Aliyah Boston extended her double-double streak to 12, LeLe Grissett scored a team-high 14 points filling in for Zia Cooke and the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks put forth their best-ever defensive effort in an SEC game with an 85-30 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Monday night at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.
Here's hoping your work week started off as nice as ours did!— GamecockWBB (@GamecockWBB) January 25, 2022
Fewest points EVER allowed to a SEC opponent. pic.twitter.com/kMqXeg5ikG
Cooke was out with a lower leg injury and Grissett, a grad student who had just nine points on the season coming in, scored seven of the team’s first 11 points. The Gamecocks were up 11-3 and later 18-5 in the first before entering the second up 19-8.
Kamilla Cardoso came off the bench to score nine points in the second, after which South Carolina led 42-15.
Grissett capped off her scoring with a 4-0 individual run midway through the third that featured an impressive reverse layup and brought the score to 52-20 Gamecocks. Destanni Henderson followed with a fadeaway three from the left corner that made it 55-20 and another triple that made it 58-20.
South Carolina went on to lead by as much as 56 before winning by 55.
Freshmen guards Bree Hall and Saniya Rivers scored eight and seven points, respectively, in a fourth quarter that the Gamecocks won 25-7. It was their largest margin of victory in any quarter and begs the question of whether South Carolina will have the courage to play its freshmen in key moments in March and April. Rivers and Hall were the No. 3 and No. 14 Hoop Gurlz recruits, respectively, and appear to be better scorers than Laeticia Amihere, Victaria Saxton and Brea Beal. Offense has not been the Gamecocks’ strength and they could use a spark. Their incoming class was a big part of the reason they were so feared in the preseason, yet we’ve seen a rotation pretty much identical to last year’s leading the way.
Boston finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks, while Saxton had seven points and 11 boards. Eight Gamecocks scored at least seven points with Cardoso (11) and Hall (10) finishing in double figures. Henderson recorded nine points (3-of-4 from distance) and four assists and Amihere had eight points, four helpers and four boards.
10 points is a season high for Hall. Rivers tied her season high with seven.
Brinae Alexander led Vanderbilt with 10 points and three steals.
South Carolina took 13 more free throws and made 11 more. It dominated field goal percentage (58.2 percent to 20.4 percent) and rebounds (48-19).
The Gamecocks had 42 bench points.