Texas

Boston and Cook lead South Carolina in smashing Kentucky.

LEXINGTON, Kentucky. – Aaliyah Boston scored 21 points and 11 rebounds, Zia Cook scored 10 of her 20 points during a 16-0 second quarter playoff, and top-ranked South Carolina pulled away in the fourth quarter to thrash Kentucky 95-66 on Thursday night.

After battling for victory in Mississippi State on Sunday, the Gamecocks (17-0, 5-0 Southeastern) overcame another road challenge from the Wildcats to retain a share of the top spot in the conference.

Kentucky, 14-1, provided a 31-21 lead midway through the second quarter and a huge dose of confidence against the reigning national champions. But South Carolina gained momentum quickly. Boston, who had been shooting 9-of-11, responded with a shot, and Cooke added a 3-pointer, a 3-pointer, and two layups on the rush to lead 37–33 at halftime.

The Gamecocks kept a small cushion after three quarters before going off the floor 13 of 17 in the fourth to break away.

Maddie Sherr scored a career-high 25 points with five triples to the Wildcats (8-9, 0-4), who lost to their second top 10 opponent this week. Kentucky lost 67-48 and is now in second place. 5 LSU on Sunday at Rupp Arena.

South Carolina almost doubled Kentucky in paint scoring (62-32) on its way to 64% (35 of 55). Camilla Cardoso added 12 points and Letizia Amijere added 11 as the Gamecocks also dominated the bench, scoring 39-10.

The teams met for the first time since Kentucky upset the top-seeded Gamecocks 64-62 to win the SEC Tournament title. South Carolina won its second national title and didn’t look back, although it entered the four-way contest to lead the league.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Double-digit deficits didn’t faze the Gamecocks, who had plenty of time to regroup and use their size and speed to regain the lead. Cook sparked off the rally and, whenever needed, helped her team through the next road test.

Kentucky: The Wildcats stayed in range but simply couldn’t stop Boston or Cook, who found plenty of downtime inside. Sherr made 10 of 15 from the field and 5 of 7 from deep.

NEXT

South Carolina: Hosts Missouri on Sunday.

Kentucky: Will visit Florida on Sunday to start a two-game tour.

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AP Women’s College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter .com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.



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