COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – Zia Cooke scored 20 points, including the first with a 5:13 to play, as the South Carolina No. 1 overtook the No. 8 Maryland 66-59 on Sunday for a fourth win over a top 10 opponent. this season.
Aliyah Boston added 16 points, 16 rebounds and seven saves for the Gamecocks, who improved to 10-0 for the first time in six seasons.
That’s not why it came easily before Maryland (9-3). The Terrapins overcame a 53-47 deficit in the 4th quarter with 8 straight points scored by Faith Masonius’.
That’s when Cooke turned the ball around, ending the game with a foul. On the next ball, Cooke stole the ball from Ashley Owusu and fixed the score.
The Terrapins finished in the 61-59 round with Angel Reese’s three-point game with 2:04 remaining, but South Carolina left them without a goal for the rest of the run.
Angel Reese had 20 points to lead the Terrapins, which are looking for their first win over a No. 1 team since topping North Carolina in 2006.
Cooke and Boston, juniors who were on the South Carolina first-place team three seasons ago, both have surpassed the 1,000-point milestone in their careers.
Brea Beal had 10 rebounds and Laeticia Amihere had eight as South Carolina overcame the Terrapins 61-34. The Gamecocks also posted 15 blocks to Maryland’s four blocks.
Maryland ranked 9th in the country in terms of points scored while the Gamecocks ranked 12th in the country in terms of scoring. It was midfield defense early on as both teams tried to find an attacking rhythm.
Teams combined 10 of the 34 shooting in the first 10 minutes. The Terrapins focused on the middle to limit Boston’s movement close to the basket, while South Carolina’s height advantage saved seven shots in the opening period.
South Carolina took the lead for the first time on LeLe Grissett’s bucket. After Katie Benzan’s three points put Maryland back in front, Cooke made a long-range shot to start a 10-2 formation.
Cooke scored a few more fouls and a last-minute jump as South Carolina led 34-30 at half-time.
Maryland: Terrapins cannot surpass the height and length of South Carolina. Their point guard Owusu, who is leading the team with 17.9 points a game, picked up 11 points in the 3/17 shootout. Maryland probably won’t face as many challenges as South Carolina until the NCAA Tournament.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks prevailed in a tight game, an anomaly this season. They beat top 10 rivals North Carolina State, Oregon and UConn by an average of 14 points.
Maryland faces Coppin State on December 21.
South Carolina plays at 19 Duke on Wednesday night.
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021/12/12/cooke-leads-no-1-gamecocks-to-66-59-win-over-no-8-terps/ Cooke leads game 1 to 66-59 to win 8 places – CBS Baltimore