No. 4 South Carolina pulled away in the fourth quarter for a season-opening 92-80 win over No. 7 Ohio State Monday night in Columbus, Ohio. Transfers Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray combined to score 61 points in their first game in garnet and black.
The battle between Top 10 teams opened with dueling 6-0 runs. The Gamecocks scored the first six points of the game, but after A’ja Wilson picked up her second foul and went to the bench, the Buckeyes put together a 6-0 run to take an 18-17 lead after the first quarter.
Wilson struggled with foul trouble all night and played just 16 minutes before fouling out with only six points and three rebounds. That opened the door for Davis and Gray to take over. Davis, who scored a career-high 37 made a couple of threes to put South Carolina ahead. Then South Carolina used a 6-0 run to gain some distance from Ohio State. Davis grabbed a rebound and fed Alaina Coates for a layup. After a turnover, freshman Tyasha Harris fed Bianca Cuevas-Moore for another layup, and then Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan scored on a putback.
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The Gamecocks led 44-39 at halftime were able to double the lead and take a 67-59 lead into the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes scored a pair of quick baskets to start the quarter, and then Davis and Gray took over. Each scored five points during a 10-0 run that put the Gamecocks in control for good. In addition to her 37 points, Davis grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists. Gray scored 24 points and pulled in seven rebounds.
Coates had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for her 42nd career double-double. Behind Coates and Davis, the Game coco held a 48-36 rebounding advantage and 44-30 edge in points in the paint.South Carolina made 26 free throws, two more than Ohio State attempted, but struggled mightily from the charity stripe. South Carolina finished the game shooting 63 percent from the line, but hovered around 50 percent for most of the game. At one point in the third quarter, South Carolina had missed as many free throws as Ohio State attempted (11)