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No. 1 South Carolina’s blistering first half enough for blowout of No. 17 Georgia

The South Carolina Gamecocks lost the second half 29-21, but it didn't matter because they dominated the Georgia Lady Bulldogs 51-25 over the first two frames.

NCAA Womens Basketball: South Carolina at Georgia
Aliyah Boston (right) played a solid game and South Carolina held on to an early lead.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Aliyah Boston (18 points, 12 rebounds, two steals, two blocks) notched her 17th consecutive double-double and her No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks shot 63.3 percent from the field in the first half en route to a convincing 72-54 win over the No. 17 Georgia Lady Bulldogs Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

South Carolina (23-1, 11-1 SEC) went on a big run in the first quarter with Georgia star Jenna Staiti out due to foul trouble. Back-to-back threes from Destanni Henderson (15 points) and Zia Cooke (10 points, five assists) made it 17-8 Gamecocks. A Henderson three a little later made it 22-10 and a deep trey from Cooke at the buzzer of the first made it 29-10.

The Gamecocks continued their tear in the second quarter. A Sania Feagin 3-point play made it 39-11. Feagin stole the ball on the ensuing Lady Bulldogs possession and it led to a deep two from Henderson, making it 41-11.

Georgia finally stopped the bleeding with an 10-0 run that took the score from 45-15 South Carolina to 45-25 South Carolina. But the Gamecocks finished the second on a 6-0 run to go up 51-25 at halftime.

The closest Georgia got in the second half was within 15, as South Carolina cruised to victory.

Que Morrison made the play of the game in defeat. A third-quarter pass had just arrived in Aliyah Boston’s hands and Morrison took it away, put the ball behind her back in transition and made a layup without traveling. It was also a 3-point play.

Considering how much they were down, it was impressive to see the Lady Bulldogs (17-7, 6-6 SEC) cut it to 15 on a hustle play by Zoesha Smith at 6:48 remaining. Smith turned a near-defensive rebound into an offensive rebound right beneath the basket and went up for the score.

Boston reached a double-double on an offensive rebound with 3:44 remaining.

In spite of the early foul trouble, Staiti finished with just two fouls and played 33 minutes. She led Georgia with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. The Lady Bulldogs actually outrebounded the Gamecocks 37-35. South Carolina is the No. 1 rebounding team in the country.

How about Henderson knowing how to finish on this play: