Wilson leads No. 2 South Carolina to 92-44 victory
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Dawn Staley knows a good thing when she sees it and isn't about change No. 2 South Carolina's game plan.
A'ja Wilson had 19 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in another dominant showing by the Gamecocks' inside players in a 92-44 win over UNC Greensboro on Sunday.
Wilson and Alaina Coates each had double-doubles as the Gamecocks (2-0) wore down No. 6 Ohio State on Friday night. This time, Virginia transfer Sarah Imovbioh had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Coates added 12 points and seven boards to run past the much smaller Spartans (1-1).
''That was the game plan and it's probably always going to be the game play with the personnel we have,'' Staley said.
It's easy to see why.
South Carolina moved the 6-foot-5 Wilson and 6-4 Coates into the starting lineup this season. Imovbioh, the Atlantic Coast Conference's top rebounder last season at Virginia, is a 6-2 forward off the bench who outworks almost everyone on the floor, Staley said.
''She's a sacrificer,'' Staley said. ''She does all of the blue-collar work our other post players aren't doing.''
South Carolina put the game away early with a 30-6 run spanning the first and second quarters to turn a tight game into a blowout.
Lucy Mason was UNC Greensboro's only double-figure scorer with 20 points.
Wilson did just about everything around the basket for the Gamecocks. The 6-foot-5 sophomore was even called on to tip free a basketball wedged between the rim and the backboard while the crowd cheered.
It was Wilson's seventh career game with double-figure points and rebounds.
Wilson saw when UNC Greensboro had only one player taller than 6-foot in the lineup, the Gamecocks would concentrate on the inside.
''It's something we focused on last year and we're going to continue to focus on it this year,'' Wilson said.
Spartans coach Wendy Palmer said she asked Mason late if she wanted to come out, the senior told her that ''this was the biggest stage I'm going to get to play in,'' she said. ''So I think it was a good experience for my team.''
Staley's more experienced, taller team quickly turned a close game into a rout. Shanese Harris hit a 3-pointer with 3:44 left in the first quarter to draw the Spartans within 13-12.
That's when the Gamecocks took off on the run to put things away.
Two-time Southeastern Conference player of the year Tiffany Mitchell and Cuevas had 10 points each, giving the Gamecocks five players in double figures.
UNC Greensboro coach Wendy Palmer and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley share a pedigree as two of the most accomplished players in Virginia history.
Dawn Staley was a two-time ACC player of the year with the Lady Cavaliers from 1989-92 while UNC Greensboro coach Wendy Palmer also won ACC honors twice in her college career playing at Virginia from 1993-96.
''She's like my big sister,'' Palmer said of Staley.
The two shared a hug in front of the scorer's table after the horn sounded.
Tiffany Mitchell is still rounding into form as she comes back from offseason foot surgery. She missed several weeks of practice recovering. Mitchell is 9-for-23 shooting overall and 4 of 11 on 3-pointers, both percentages lower than her career averages coming into the season.
UNC Greensboro: Spartans hadn't played a Top 25 opponent since No. 23 Florida State in December 2013 and had not faced one in the top five since taking on No. 3 Ohio State in November 2009.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks used their second different starting lineup in as many games with forward Alaina Coates moving into the first five after coming off the bench against Ohio State. Coates finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds in beating the Buckeyes.
UNC Greensboro plays NCAA Division II Francis Marion on Wednesday night.
South Carolina goes to rival Clemson on Wednesday night.