USC Women's Basketball

No. 1 Gamecocks set historical marks in rout of Alabama

South Carolina center Alaina Coates scores against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. South Carolina won 102-59. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
South Carolina center Alaina Coates scores against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. South Carolina won 102-59. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) AP

South Carolina's season of milestones continued.

Alaina Coates scored 20 points and the top-ranked Gamecocks had six players in double figures in a 102-59 win over Alabama Thursday night. It's the first time a South Carolina team has reached triple digits in a Southeastern Conference game.

"I thought we really executed from an offensive standpoint," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "We moved the ball around and it was hard for Alabama to figure out who we were going to.

"I think that has to do with how many weapons we have on our basketball team. We went with a lot of different people."

Mostly with the same result: Baskets.

The Gamecocks (15-0, 3-0 SEC) made 19 of 21 field goals during a couldn't-miss stretch extending well into the second half. They have breezed to wins in their first three SEC games by a collective 86 points and have won the last 10 meetings with Alabama (11-7, 0-3).

South Carolina made 37 of 58 field goals (63.8 percent), the fourth-best shooting percentage in program history. Tiffany Mitchell scored 16 points for the Gamecocks and Asia Dozier added 15.

It was South Carolina's third 100-point game of the season, continuing the program's best start and longest winning streak. It was also one of the biggest routs in USC's SEC history, with the last (42 points) also coming against Alabama in 2013.

Alabama leading scorer Ashley Williams was injured in the second half. She was placed on a backboard wearing a neck brace, but waved at the fans as she was being carted off. She had 10 points.

Crimson Tide coach Kristy Curry said she didn't have an update on Williams, but planned to head to the hospital from the arena. The Alabama players and a couple from South Carolina went to her side before she was taken off.

"My first reaction was, 'God I hope she's OK,'" Alabama's Karlya Middlebrook said. "That was really hard for me to sit on the bench while she's over there almost looking unconscious from where I was sitting."

Meoshonti Knight led Alabama with 16 points, but the Tide had no answer for South Carolina's shooting blitz.

"Any time you shoot 63 percent and have six players in double figures, there's not a whole lot you can do," Curry said. "They made open shot after open shot. Contested shot, open shot. Inside, out."

The Gamecocks never cooled off and got 55 points off the bench, led by Coates.

Coates made 7 of 8 and blocked three shots in 21 minutes. A'ja Wilson, the reigning SEC freshman of the week, and Tina Roy each scored 11 points for the Gamecocks.

Aleighsa Welch was 5-of-6 for 10 points and has only missed two shots in the first three SEC games (14-of-16).

"When somebody has a hot hand, everybody else feels it," Coates said.

Dozier scored South Carolina's first eight points on two 3-pointers and a long jump shot, nearly doubling her 4.4-point average in the first five minutes.

TIP-INS

... South Carolina: The Gamecocks made 17 of 20 free throws. They committed seven turnovers and forced 17.

... Alabama: The Tide was 7-of-25 shooting in the second half (28 percent). Knight was 8 of 11 from the free throw line.

HOT SHOOTING: South Carolina made its final 11 shots of the first half. The Gamecocks were 19-of-28 (67.9 percent) before halftime. It was the fourth-best shooting percentage in school history and one of the largest margins of victory in an SEC game. USC beat Florida by 43 in 1979, but the Gamecocks were not a member of the SEC. They beat Alabama by 42 in 2013, Kentucky by 46 in 2003 and Alabama by 60 in 2007.

DOZIER'S START: Dozier, who came in averaging 4.4 points, carried the offensive load early for the Gamecocks. She hit her first three baskets while her teammates started 0 for 7 from the field and had 13 points by the half, ending up just shy of her career high (16).

GOOD FROM 3: Roy, Mitchell and Dozier each made three 3-pointers, and the Gamecocks were 11 of 21 from beyond the arc.

NEXT UP: The Gamecocks return home on Sunday to face No. 10 Kentucky.

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SOUTH CAROLINA (15-0)

Welch 5-6 0-0 10, Dozier 6-8 0-0 15, Ibiam 2-3 0-0 4, Sessions 1-3 0-0 2, Mitchell 6-10 1-1 16, Farmer 0-1 0-0 0, Cuevas 1-5 4-4 7, Gaines 1-2 0-0 2, Duckett 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 1-1 1-2 4, Wilson 3-7 5-7 11, Roy 4-4 0-0 11, Coates 7-8 6-6 20. Totals 37-58 17-20 102.

ALABAMA (11-7)

Hegstetter 1-4 0-0 2, Williams 4-7 2-2 10, Hutchen 3-5 0-0 6, Cook 0-1 3-5 3, Middlebrook 2-3 0-0 4, Bolton 2-8 2-2 8, Carter 0-1 0-0 0, Hayden 0-3 0-0 0, Knight 4-9 8-11 16, Rivers 2-6 0-0 6, Hamilton 0-2 2-2 2, Martinez 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 19-51 17-22 59.

Halftime_South Carolina 48-30. 3-Point Goals_South Carolina 11-21 (Roy 3-3, Dozier 3-5, Mitchell 3-6, Davis 1-1, Cuevas 1-4, Sessions 0-1, Gaines 0-1), Alabama 4-15 (Rivers 2-3, Bolton 2-4, Knight 0-1, Hamilton 0-1, Cook 0-1, Carter 0-1, Hegstetter 0-1, Hayden 0-1, Hutchen 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_South Carolina 30 (Wilson 5), Alabama 26 (Hutchen 6). Assists_South Carolina 22 (Sessions 5), Alabama 7 (Bolton, Knight, Middlebrook 2). Total Fouls_South Carolina 15, Alabama 15. Attendance_2,454

SEC STANDINGS

SEC Overall

Kentucky 3-0 14-2

Mississippi State 3-0 18-0

South Carolina 3-0 15-0

Tennessee 3-0 13-2

Georgia 2-1 14-2

LSU 2-1 8-7

Ole Miss 2-1 12-4

Texas A&M 2-1 14-3

Florida 1-2 9-7

Alabama 0-3 11-7

Arkansas 0-3 10-5

Auburn 0-3 9-7

Missouri 0-3 10-6

Vanderbilt 0-3 8-7

Thursday’s games

South Carolina 102, Alabama 59

Kentucky 78, Auburn 57

Ole Miss 64, Florida 57

Georgia 69, Missouri 48

Tennessee 81, Texas A&M 58

LSU 64, Vanderbilt 44

Mississippi State 72, Arkansas 57

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