COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Aliyah Boston scored a career-high 29 points on 13-of-13 shooting and powered No. 1 South Carolina to a 79-42 victory over North Carolina A&T on Monday night.
The Gamecocks improved to 8-0 for the first time since the 2015-2016 season. And, they did it through their 6-foot-5 All-American junior, who had 18 of South Carolina’s 27 straight points over a 10-minute stretch of the second and third quarters to put away the winless Aggies (0-6).
Boston added 14 rebounds, one off her season high, and three blocked shots during her 20 minutes of action. She also made both her foul shots, each finishing off a three-point play.
South Carolina was a unanimous No. 1 pick in the latest rankings released earlier Monday. But, except for Boston, the Gamecocks didn’t look the part early on against the Aggies.
North Carolina A&T drew within 18-15 on Chanin Scott’s jumper with 8:11 left before half. That’s when Boston led a 22-0 surge to the break, scoring 11 points including her fourth 3-pointer.
When Laeticia Amihere drove the basket for a layup with 1.4 seconds left, South Carolina was up 40-15.
Boston continued her dominant play after the break, scoring South Carolina’s first nine points of the third quarter. Her inside jumper with 6:50 left in the period broke her previous high of 28, set against Florida last New Year’s Eve.
Boston’s 13 field goals were also a career best, topping the 11 she made in that Florida win last season.
Boston came out soon after to loud cheers and spent the rest of the game pulling for her top-ranked teammates.
Amihere finished with nine points and Zia Cooke 8 for South Carolina.
North Carolina A&T is off to its worst start in coach Tarrell Robinson’s 10 seasons. Scott had seven points to lead the Aggies, who shot 22% (14 of 63) from the field.
THE BIG PICTURE
North Carolina A&T: The Aggies are playing their first season in the Big South Conference after winning three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournaments in Robinson’s first nine seasons. It’s likely they won’t face too many teams in their new league like South Carolina.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks, already with top-10 wins over North Carolina State, Oregon and UConn, have marked themselves as clear favorites for the national title this season. They are deep, talented and smart and will be hard to beat if Boston keeps playing like this.
North Carolina A&T: Hosts South Carolina State on Saturday.
South Carolina: Continues its homestand against Kansas State on Friday night.
More 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
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