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GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

South Carolina 68, Georgia 51

(AP Photo/Alex Slitz)

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

ATHENS, Ga. - Zia Cooke scored a career-high 31 points and No. 1 South Carolina recovered after trailing throughout the first half to beat Georgia 68-51.

Aliyah Boston, the reigning AP Player of the Year, scored a season-low four points, her second consecutive game in single figures. Boston made only one of six shots from the field and had five rebounds.

Cooke, who has scored 14 or more points in six consecutive games, helped fill the scoring void for the Gamecocks. Cooke made four of 12 3-pointers and 11 of 13 free throws.

No other South Carolina player scored in double figures.

South Carolina (14-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) took its first lead at 35-33 on Brea Beal's 3-pointer with 5:44 remaining in the third period. Kierra Fletcher followed with a basket to cap the Gamecocks' 9-0 run.

South Carolina never trailed again, stretching its lead to double figures in the final period.

Georgia (11-5, 0-2) started strong but was denied its first win over a No. 1 team since beating Louisiana Tech in the 1996 NCAA Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs' last win over a top five team came against No. 2 Texas A&M in the 2021 SEC tournament.

Audrey Warren led Georgia with 12 points. Brittney Smith and Javyn Nicholson each had 10.

The Gamecocks were slowed by poor shooting in the first half. Boston missed her only two shots from the field and made two second-quarter free throws for her only points of the half.

Boston ended her field-goal drought by making a layup to open the second half but then missed her next three shots.

South Carolina made only 8 of 28 shots (29%) from the field in the half as Georgia led 29-26 at the break. Strong second-half shooting lifted the Gamecocks to 44% from the field (22 of 50).

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Cooke, who made three 3-pointers while scoring 14 points in the Gamecocks' SEC opening win over Texas A&M, again provided perimeter scoring. Beal helped with two third-quarter 3s, including the Gamecocks' final basket of the period for a 47-40 lead. Kamilla Cardoso had eight points and seven rebounds.

Georgia: The Lady Bulldogs swarmed Boston around the basket with team defense led by forwards Brittney Smith and Javyn Nicholson. ... Guard Diamond Battles, averaging a team-leading 14.1 points, was held to one point while missing each of her four shots from the field.

January 2, 2023


South Carolina
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
A. Boston F 31 1-6 2-2 0-0 3-5 0 3 1 2 3 4
V. Saxton F 13 2-3 0-2 0-0 3-5 0 0 0 2 2 4
Z. Cooke G 36 8-19 11-13 4-12 0-4 2 0 2 3 1 31
B. Beal G 27 2-5 0-0 2-3 0-3 5 0 0 0 0 6
K. Fletcher G 27 2-3 0-0 0-0 0-3 3 1 2 0 2 4
K. Cardoso 20 4-9 0-1 0-0 4-7 0 1 1 3 3 8
L. Amihere 17 1-1 4-5 0-0 0-3 1 2 0 3 2 6
R. Johnson 13 0-2 0-0 0-1 0-2 2 0 1 2 1 0
S. Feagin 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 1 1 0
A. Watkins 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 2
B. Hall 4 1-1 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 3
C. Kitts 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   199 22-50
(.440)
17-23
(.739)
7-17
(.412)
13-40 13 7 7 18 16 68


Georgia
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
B. Smith F 19 5-8 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 0 4 10
J. Isaacs F 9 1-1 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 0 0 2
A. Warren G 27 5-14 0-0 2-4 1-3 0 0 0 3 3 12
D. Battles G 23 0-4 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 2 4 1
C. Chapman G 20 2-4 1-2 0-0 1-2 3 0 0 2 1 5
J. Nicholson 34 3-6 4-6 0-0 3-8 0 0 0 1 1 10
A. Lewis 24 1-5 0-0 0-4 0-1 5 0 2 1 3 2
Z. Smith 16 4-9 1-3 0-0 3-4 1 0 1 2 2 9
M. Bates 11 0-5 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 0 2 0
D. Flournoy 10 0-2 0-0 0-1 0-2 1 0 1 1 1 0
A. Evans 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 1 1 0
Totals   198 21-58
(.362)
7-13
(.538)
2-9
(.222)
12-31 10 0 8 13 22 51


Officials: Pualani Welsh, Katie Lukanich, Meadow Overstreet
Attendance: 6,225




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