Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Alaina Coates had a double-double today. The senior had 28 points and 16 rebounds as #4 South Carolina ran past Hampton 92-38 in their home opener at Colonial Life Arena. Coates was just one of three Gamecocks to reach double figures in points: A’ja Wilson (20, including a 14-14 day at the line) and Alisha Gray (16) hit the mark as well for Carolina.
South Carolina was dominant in all areas against the overmatched Pirates: they forced 24 turnovers to nine of their own; they held a 50-36 edge on the glass; and held Hampton to just 24% shooting. This was supposed to be a walkover for the Gamecocks, and it was just that against a Pirates team that entered the contest 0-4 after a 14-17 record last year.
It was the first game in three days at home for the Gamecocks, who take on Maine tomorrow and Saint Peter’s on Tuesday as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge. Those two games are expected to be tuneups before a contest against fellow national power and fifth-ranked Louisville next Sunday in Springfield, Massachusetts, on ESPN2.