This was a day full of positives for South Carolina.
Aliyah Boston — unintentionally rocking orange braids — tied LSU’s Sylvia Fowles for the SEC’s consecutive double-double record, ESPN’s College Gameday was in town, the Gamecocks played in front of a sold-out crowd for the sixth time in history and it was senior day.
Most importantly, top-ranked South Carolina took care of business Sunday afternoon, beating Tennessee in a high-stakes, nationally televised game by the score of 67-53. It was their 13th straight win, and it clinched the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament for the Gamecocks.
Although the Volunteers kept it competitive for a good portion of the contest, they were very much feeling the loss of Jordan Horston – the team’s leading scorer and rebounder – who suffered an elbow injury last Thursday in a loss to Alabama.
Tennessee’s 53 points scored was the team’s lowest since its third game of the season against South Florida (52 points), and they got annihilated on the boards, getting out-rebounded by 21. USC even had more offensive rebounds (31) than Tennessee had defensive rebounds (21).
This wasn’t necessarily a dominating performance by the Gamecocks either.
Both teams shot the same percentage from the field (32%) and struggled from three-point land.
What really turned the game was how South Carolina took advantage of the fast break late in the third quarter, transforming an eight-point lead with 5:11 remaining to a 17-point lead when the quarter expired.
The Volunteers never could quite respond after that, suffering their fourth loss in the last six games.
As for the potential record breaker, there wasn’t much drama in terms of securing the double-double for Boston. She had eight points and eight rebounds at the half, scored her 10th point with 6:49 left in the third quarter and picked up her 10th board with 4:31 remaining in the same quarter.
Boston will have a chance to make history when the Gamecocks play again this Thursday night at Texas A&M.