Wilson makes elite history, but suffers ankle injury in USC’s win over Auburn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – A special night for A’ja Wilson could become memorable for the wrong reasons following the No. 9 Gamecocks 71-63 victory over Auburn Thursday.

The senior forward from Hopkins became just the third player in program history to score 2,000 points in her Carolina career, joining fellow in-state stars like Spartanburg’s Sheila Foster (2,266 points, 1978-’79 to 1981-’82) and Hartsville’s Shannon Johnson (2,230 points, 1992-’93 to 1995-’96).

The All-American’s night ended with less than thirty seconds remaining in the game, jumping for an entry pass to the post by Tyasha Harris. The Carolina big came down wrong on her ankle, screaming in pain before hobbling and then dropping to the floor. She would be helped off the court and was taken directly to the locker room for treatment.

Wilson reached the scoring milestone in the first quarter, converting her third of six made field goals on the evening to take a 24-10 lead. USC was up as much as 22 points in the contest, but the visiting Tigers cut the deficit to as little as six in the fourth. Yet A’ja’s team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds were a major force that fueled the Gamecocks to their third win in SEC play.

Dawn Staley addressed her star’s status postgame, confirming it was a sprained ankle, but not knowing yet how severe of an injury it was.

“We just have to see what she feels like,” Staley said. “She could probably take a day off and still be able to come back and play on Sunday. In the back of my mind, I probably won’t practice her (Friday) just because I want to give it as much rest as possible to see if it will heal up.”

USC (14-2, 3-1 SEC) hosts No. 6 Tennessee (15-1, 3-1) in a top 10 showdown Sunday at Colonial Life Arena, tipping off at 1:00 p.m. in what will be the garnet and black’s sixth game against a ranked opponent this season. The Lady Vols were previously undefeated before Thursday night, falling to No. 17 Texas A&M in College Station 79-76.


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