Coates’ Triple-Double Leads USC Over Winthrop

By USC SID

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — Junior center Alaina Coates posted the Gamecocks’ first triple-double in 12 years to lead No. 2/2 South Carolina to a 86-37 win over Winthrop Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (9-0) showed an efficient offense throughout the game, shooting 64.3 percent from the field in the first half and finishing the game at a season-high 54.8 percent. Coates dominated the lane on both ends with a career-high 29 points and 16 rebounds to go with her school-record 10 blocked shots.

 

The Gamecocks controlled both the lane and the perimeter, out-scoring the Eagles 50-18 in the paint and making a season-high nine 3-pointers, including 4-of-7 in the first half.

 

Coates went to work early to establish the Gamecocks’ inside game, and senior guard Tiffany Mitchell got the outside game going to help South Carolina to a 16-2 lead midway through the first quarter. After four points from Coates and a Khadijah Sessions transition layup made it a 6-2 game, Mitchell netted the next eight points, sandwiching a transition layup between a pair of 3-pointers. Sessions turned a Winthrop turnover into another transition basket for the 16-2 lead with 5:00 to play in the opening quarter.

 

The second quarter saw a steady dose of inside buckets as the Gamecocks worked the high points with Coates and sophomore Jatarie White, who scored four of the first six points in the period. Senior Asia Dozier added her second 3-pointer of the game, and Coates did most of the work from there, netting seven of the last nine points in the quarter to send South Carolina into the locker room with a 47-13 lead.

 

Coates and Mitchell opened the second half with seven straight points, and the Gamecocks continued to stymie the Eagle offense, holding Winthrop to 25.0 percent shooting and turning 14 turnovers into 20 points.

 

Bianca Cuevas joined Coates and Mitchell in double figures, adding 13 points to Mitchell’s 12. Coates’ 16 rebounds led the way with White grabbing a career-high nine. The sophomore also blocked four shots and scored four points in her 18 minutes on the floor. Sessions handed out six assists to lead the way.

 

 

GAMECHANGER

Center Alaina Coates went 6-of-6 from the field in the first half, logging 14 points to Winthrop’s 13 in the opening 20 minutes. Coates ended the night shooting 86.7 percent (13-of-15) from the field.

 

KEY STAT

The Gamecocks shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the field in the first quarter and went on to hit at least 56 percent in two of the other three quarters.

 

NOTABLES

  • Alaina Coates’ triple-double was the first with points, rebounds and blocks in program history. The last triple-double by a Gamecock came on Dec. 20, 2006, when Iva Sliskovic posted 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists against High Point.
  • The Gamecocks connected on a season-best nine 3-pointers, topping their previous season high of eight against UNC Greensboro. Sunday’s nine are tied for the second-most in the Dawn Staley era.
  • South Carolina has won all four of its home games by double digits with Sunday’s 49-point win the team’s largest this season in any venue.
  • The Gamecocks’ 16 blocked shots were a Dawn Staley era record, surpassing the 15 swatted away against Arkansas in the 2015 SEC Tournament.
  • Sophomore forward A’ja Wilson did not play Sunday, resting some nagging injuries. Staley noted she is day-to-day for the Gamecocks’ upcoming games this week.

 

QUOTABLE

Head Coach Dawn Staley

On Alaina Coates’ play

“It was great to see [Alaina] get the triple-double. She was close, and we wanted it to happen for her. You get a little antsy about keeping her in being up so much, but she was that close, so we allowed her to try and get it. That’s not something that happens very often. We wanted her to get it.”

 

UP NEXT

South Carolina wraps up its three-game homestand on Wed., Dec. 16, against Hampton. Tipoff at Colonial Life Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks