No. 3 South Carolina blows past Maine 79-42
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) A'ja Wilson had 14 points and Alaina Coates had 12 points and 14 rebounds as No. 3 South Carolina used its height advantage to blow past Maine 79-42 on Monday night in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Challenge.
The 6-foot-5 Wilson and 6-4 Coates did about whatever they wanted against the undersized Black Bears (2-3). Wilson hit seven of her eight shots while Coates, who notched her second double-double of the season by halftime, hit six of seven shots.
The Gamecocks (3-0) used some strong defense to open up the lead, using a 15-0 run to start the game and a 13-0 charge coming into the third quarter. Wilson had four of the team's five blocks with Coates swatting the other.
The Gamecocks outrebounded Maine 42-27.
South Carolina's two high-profile transfers, Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray, also finished in double figures with 10 points each. Freshman Mikiah Herbert Harrigan had 13 points for the Gamecocks, who eventually built a 41-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Julie Brosseau had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Black Bears.
Maine: The Black Bears opened with a surprise win at Purdue, but lost for the third time in the past four games. They don't have the size to match up with teams like No. 7 Mississippi State (a 44-point loss on Nov. 12) or the third-ranked Gamecocks. But Maine, which starts four freshmen, showed off some shooting touch in a 59-43 win over St. Peter's on Sunday night. Laia Sole, who scored 16 points in the St. Peter's win, was named the American East rookie of the week for the second straight time this season.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks won't go wrong going inside this season to Wilson and Coates. Coates had 10 points and 12 rebounds by halftime to collect her second double-double of the season and 44th of her career.
Maine takes on Hampton here at the Colonial Life Arena on Tuesday night as part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Challenge.
South Carolina finishes a three-game homestand on Tuesday, facing St. Peter's as part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Challenge.