GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

South Carolina 103, Temple 41

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Zia Cooke tied her career high with five 3-pointers and scored 23 points as No. 5 South Carolina powered past Temple 103-41.

Cooke sparked a 7-0 run late in the first quarter to break a 14-14 tie and send the Gamecocks (5-1) to their second straight victory since having their 29-game win streak halted at home against No. 4 North Carolina State two weeks ago.

For Temple (0-3), it was the fourth straight loss against its former coach, South Carolina's Dawn Staley, who got her college coaching start with the Owls in 2000.

Aliyah Boston had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Gamecocks, who reached 100 points in two of their three home games this season.

South Carolina took control as Cooke got going in the final 90 seconds of the opening quarter. She drove for a basket before knocking down a 3-pointer after a steal by Brea Beal.

The Gamecocks kept the pressure on after that, outscoring Temple 23-11 to lead 44-25 at the half.

It was a much more satisfying showing than the last time the Gamecocks played at Colonial Life Arena, when South Carolina fell to North Carolina State 54-46 on Dec. 3.

Staley didn't hold back after that, criticizing her team's coachability and the players' desire to put up any wild shot they could get. Her best postgame zinger that night was telling her team, which shot 10 percent in the second quarter of their first loss in more than a year, that she could be "blindfolded with defense" and shoot better.

Her players paid attention with a solid recovery at then No. 23 Iowa State a few days later, winning 83-65 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Against Temple, the Gamecocks took another solid step forward with suffocating defense and solid shooting. South Carolina forced 18 turnovers, 13 in the first half, and hit eight 3-pointers, five by Cooke, to take over.

Mia Davis, who came in averaging 28 points a game, had 17 to lead Temple.


BOX SCORE

December 17, 2020


D1SportsNet

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