Boston leads No. 1 South Carolina to win over Wildcats
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Aliyah Boston had 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead No. 1 South Carolina to its first 9-0 start in six years with a 65-44 victory over Kansas State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Friday night.
Boston, the 6-foot-5 All-American, has been on a tear since the Gamecocks won the Battle4Atlantis event last month, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds her past six games. Earlier this week, she scored a career best 29 points on 13-of-13 shooting.
Boston wasn't quite as accurate this time — 9 of 11 from the field — but was every bit as dominant in going against another of the game's top forwards in 6-6 Ayoka Lee, who had double-doubles in her previous six games.
Lee and the Wildcats, though, could not match up with South Carolina, even with the Gamecocks missing injured starting point guard Destanni Henderson.
Lee, who came in averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds, picked up three fouls in her first 12 minutes and ended with season lows of 14 points and six rebounds.
Kansas State (7-2) fell to 0-14 all-time against No. 1 ranked opponents.
Laeticia Amihere, the 6-4 forward who filled the point guard spot with Henderson out, had 11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five of South Carolina's 11 blocked shots.
Boston filled in with four blocks and three assists of her own.
Boston had reached a double-double by halftime with 11 points and 11 boards. But things didn't fall South Carolina's way until Lee went to the bench in foul trouble.
Up 19-17, Amihere started an 11-0 run with a three-point play, before 6-7 Syracuse transfer Kamilla Cardoso and Boston had inside baskets. When freshman Sania Feagin made a foul shot in the final 40 seconds, South Carolina was up 30-17.
The Wildcats were just 2 of 14 from the field in the second quarter, missing their final nine shots.
South Carolina continued its surge in the third quarter with a 15-5 start, ended by Amihere's third 3-pointer of the season for a 45-22 lead that Kansas State could not overcome.
Brylee Glenn had 10 points to lead the Wildcats.
THE BIG PICTURE
Kansas State: The Wildcats are 0-2 against teams ranked in the top five (they lost to then-fifth-ranked North Carolina State 90-69 last month) and 7-0 against everyone else on their schedule. With Lee limited by fouls, Kansas State is a different team against top competition.
South Carolina: Amihere showed skills and polish in bringing the ball up, something coach Dawn Staley gushed about recently when facing Henderson's absence. Things might be more difficult down the road as South Carolina's next three games are at home to Maryland, on the road against Duke and back home vs. Stanford.
Kansas State plays at Omaha on Wednesday.
South Carolina is off for nine days before facing No. 8 Maryland at home Dec. 12.
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