Minnesota was probably the perfect opponent for a Gamecocks team coming off its first loss of the season to Duke. The #6 Gamecocks showed no signs of a letdown as they whipped the Golden Gophers 98-58 at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The story in this one was the Gamecocks’ hot shooting and stiffling defense. They set the tone early - rattling off the first fifteen points of the game - and held Minnesota to just 29% shooting in the contest while recording a 53% mark of their own. After seeing the Gophers hang around a little in the second quarter, Carolina blew it open with an 18-0 run that spanned just over four minutes en route to a 57-27 halftime advantage.
Most notable: the 16 three pointers the Gamecocks made this afternoon. Those that follow the progra know that this isn’t one that lives and dies by the three, but the sixteen threes - the most by a Dawn Staley-coached Carolina team - set the tone as they came out determined to shake off a pre-finals loss to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium last week.
Leading the way were transfers Kaela Davis (22 points, 6-10 from three point range) and Allisha Gray (18 points, 4-10 from deep), while Alaina Coates reached double-double territory with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Coates was a matchup nightmare inside as she blocked four shots on the afternoon. In all, every Gamecock that saw the floor (except Tiffany Davis) recorded at least three points.
The Gamecocks remain home to face Clemson on Thursday night. Tip off from the CLA is set for 7pm on a game that will be seen on the SEC Network.