Boston’s double double powers No. 1 Carolina past No. 25 Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Aliyah Boston had 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 1 South Carolina to an 86-65 win over No. 25 Arkansas on Thursday night.
Boston, a 6-foot-5 freshman, also had seven blocked shots for the Gamecocks in their 16th straight win.
South Carolina (22-1, 10-0 SEC) got a game-high 25 points from Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, who was 11-of-19 from the floor and added five rebounds and five assists. Zia Cooke added 14 points for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina grabbed an early 9-0 lead and was never really threatened after that. It was much different than the first meeting between the teams in January, when Arkansas (18-5, 6-4) rallied from a 20-point deficit before losing 91-82.
This time, the Gamecocks led 46-33 at halftime and led by more than 20 points several times in the second half. South Carolina dominated the boards 57-31 and had 19 offensive rebounds.
Chelsea Dungee led Arkansas with 16 points and Alexis Tolefree, who was coming off a 35-point performance against Missouri, added 13.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks just kept rolling. They have not lost since a 71-57 setback against Indiana in November.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks were coming off an overtime win against Missouri. They have shown marked improvement under third-year coach Mike Neighbors, but they didn’t have the size to compete with the Gamecocks.
The Gamecock defense locked down the nation’s fourth highest-scoring offense, holding the Razorbacks to just 65 points, their second-lowest output of the season. Arkansas scored just 16 points in each of the final three quarters.
The Gamecocks continued their rebounding prowess on Thursday by out-rebounding Arkansas 57-31, including 19 offensive boards, which they turned into 24 second-chance points.
- Carolina dominated in the paint, outscoring Arkansas 50-28.
- The Gamecocks kept Arkansas off the free throw line, where it entered the game averaging 16.6 made free throws. The Razorbacks went to the line just seven times.
- This win gives the Garnet and Black its eighth win over teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
- The Gamecocks are 22-1, their best start since the 2015-16 squad opened the year 22-0.
- Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored a season-high 25 points, just two shy of tying her career high. The senior just missed out on a double-double as she finished with nine rebounds.
- Aliyah Boston earned her ninth double-double of the season, fifth in SEC play, with 18 points and 15 rebounds. She also swatted seven shots, just one shy of the program record in an SEC game.
- Zia Cooke poured in 14 points, her eighth SEC game in double figures. She also tied her career high for rebounds in conference play with six.
The Gamecocks (22-1, 10-0 SEC) return to the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena for their biggest test in Columbia so far this year when No. 4 UConn (19-2, 9-0 AAC) comes to town on Monday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with the game airing on ESPN2.