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February 7, 2013

WBB: USC wins 20th at Alabama



PER USC

At Tuscaloosa, Ala., No. 15 South Carolina won its sixth straight game and clinched its second straight 20-win season with a 65-53 whipping of Alabama on Thursday.

The Gamecocks (20-3, 8-2 SEC) overcame a stubbon Crimson Tide squad to pull away in the second half, leading by as much as 20 before taking their feet off the gas. USC had problems with Alabama's speed early, but its relentless attack into the paint and a renewed confidence in rebounding turned the Tide away.

After being out-rebounded in its past three games, USC crushed Alabama 53-24 on the boards. Ashley Bruner led the Gamecocks with 11, while Aleighsa Welch had 10. Ieasia Walker had nine.

Bruner took over the offense in the first half and then turned it over to Welch in the second, the two forwards finishing with 15 and 16, respectively. Elem Ibiam had a career-high 12 points, five rebounds and blocked one shot.

USC pulled away late after Alabama's Kaneisha Horn was ejected, following her second technical foul. The Gamecocks earned the seventh 20-win season of coach Dawn Staley's career, as well as the 12th in school history.

USC stayed even with Georgia and Kentucky in the SEC standings, tied for third place and a half-game out of first (Tennessee was playing late Thursday). USC hosts No. 14 Texas A&M, which was tied with Tennessee for first going into Thursday, at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Box score

SEC STANDINGS
Team SEC Overall
Tennessee 8-1 17-5
Texas A&M 8-1 18-5
Georgia 8-2 20-3
Kentucky 8-2 20-3
South Carolina 8-2 20-3
Vanderbilt 5-4 15-7
LSU 4-5 13-9
Missouri 4-5 15-8
Florida 3-6 14-9
Arkansas 3-7 15-8
Mississippi State 2-7 10-12
Alabama 2-8 12-11
Auburn 2-8 13-10
Ole Miss 1-8 8-14
Thursday's games
South Carolina 65, Alabama 53
Georgia 61, Auburn 58
Tennessee at LSU



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