Boston powers No. 1 South Carolina to blowout of Elon

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Aliyah Boston scored 12 points and blocked three shots, and No. 1 South Carolina beat Elon 79-38 on Friday.

South Carolina had a 16-point lead trimmed to 33-27 early in the third quarter. But the Gamecocks responded with a 16-0 run to put away the Phoenix (4-1) and improve to 7-0 for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Zia Cooke finished with 11 points and Destanni Henderson had 10.

South Carolina returned home for the first time since its run to the Battle4Atlantis title, which included double-digit wins over Oregon and UConn.

The Gamecocks kept up their strong play early against Elon. Boston went for six points and two blocks the first 10 minutes. When Henderson hit a 3-pointer just seven minutes in, South Carolina led 20-4 and looked ready to roll the rest of the way.

But Elon didn’t cave, going on a 19-8 surge the next eight minutes. The Gamecocks recovered down the stretch as Cooke hit a 3-pointer and Henderson converted a driving basket to help their team to a 33-23 halftime lead.

Ariana Nance led Elon with 13 points, matching her career high.

South Carolina finished with a season-high 13 blocks from eight different players.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and her Elon counterpart, Charlotte Smith, were teammates on the Charlotte Sting in the WNBA. They were also ACC standouts who competed against each other in 1992, Staley with Virginia and Smith for North Carolina.

BIG PICTURE

Elon: The Phoenix, like most teams against South Carolina, were bothered by the Gamecocks' height and length on defense. Elon was at its best with strong ball movement that led to open looks. That will serve it well in the Colonial Athletic Association.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks are deep and talented and right now is about Staley finding good combinations for everything they'll see on their schedule, which includes games with No. 2 Maryland and No. 7 Stanford the next month.

UP NEXT

Elon plays N.C. Central at home Monday night.

South Carolina will take on North Carolina A&T at home Monday night.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Boston powers No. 1 South Carolina to blowout of Elon
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