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No. 1 South Carolina tops Alabama for 27th straight win. What we learned

The South Carolina women’s basketball team picked up win against Alabama on the road Sunday and secured a program milestone.

The No. 1 Gamecocks (21-0, 9-0 SEC) overcame the Crimson Tide’s defensive efforts and won 65-52 to keep their perfect record intact for the season. Sunday’s victory also gave USC a program-record 27th straight win.

USC struggled to shoot from the field in Coleman Coliseum, with Alabama trapping USC’s bigs inside and the Gamecocks struggling with midrange jumpshots. The Crimson Tide never led but mostly managed to keep the game within reach.

USC kept the ball out of harm’s way, only recording eight turnovers in the game.

South Carolina hosts Kentucky for its next game on Thursday, the second meeting of the season between the two teams.

CLOSING IN ON WINNING STREAK RECORD

South Carolina is now up to 27 straight wins, approaching the longest streak in program history.

Those victories date back to the national championship run from last season and include the six 2022 NCAA tournament wins. The longest winning streak across two seasons is 29 wins.

The longest USC winning streak was the 26 games it won in 2019-20 season, which ended prematurely due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

South Carolina’s 2019 recruiting class serves as a cornerstone for the program. The team holds a 114-8 record since that group came to Columbia.

*quote*

EXTRA OPPORTUNITIES

South Carolina entered the game rebounding more than half of its misses on offense. On Sunday, the team hauled in 20 offensive boards.

The extra possessions came in handy for the Gamecocks, as they struggled from the field early in the game.

“They were committed to clogging the paint,” Staley said. “We usually do a great job controlling the paint. It was a little stifling in there, a little crowded in there. We weren’t able to hit the shots that we normally hit. And they’re just really committed to it.”

The 26 points USC generated from second-chance opportunities helped it keep the lead for the entirety of the game. The Gamecocks led by as many as 16, though the Crimson Tide did cut the lead down to single-digits in some parts for the game.

South Carolina’s ability to control the boards and capitalize on the extra chances gave it the advantage.

BOSTON AND HALL GUIDE GAMECOCKS

In a difficult shooting game for USC, senior star Aliyah Boston and Bree Hall gave South Carolina a lift.

Boston tallied her 74th career double-double — 14th of the season — with 16 points and 12 rebounds. She also sent back four Alabama shots.

*Boston quote*

Hall poured in a career-high 18 points off the bench, knocking down four 3-pointers to help the Gamecocks space the floor. The sophomore guard led the team in points, taking 13 shots in the game.

Hall came up big in the team’s win against Stanford, with 12 points and two clutch 3-pointers in overtime. On Sunday, she took advantage of the space USC had on the perimeter and also made contributions with her on-ball defense.

*hall quote*

NEXT FOUR SOUTH CAROLINA WBB GAMES

  • Thursday: home vs. Kentucky, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)

  • Feb. 5: at UConn, noon (Fox)

  • Feb. 9: at Auburn, 8 p.m. (SEC Network Plus)

  • Feb. 12: home vs. LSU, 2 p.m. (SEC Network)