The South Carolina Gamecocks faced off against one of the better teams in the SEC in the Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday afternoon, but with the way the game played out, nobody would've been able to discern this. In fairness to the Razorbacks, they were playing their third game in the past seven days and had just played the undefeated LSU Tigers on the road this past Thursday, so Arkansas was a bit worn down heading into the contest.
The Gamecocks, however, played a near-perfect game on both ends of the floor, as they were extremely aggressive on offense, leading to 32 offensive rebounds and 33 total free throws at the charity stripe. Defensively, the Razorbacks tried to space the floor by running a four-out offense, trying to get South Carolina in some one-on-one situations to open up driving lanes. Still, the Gamecocks weren't caught off guard by this strategy, as Arkansas only hit 17 shots the entire game.
Aliyah Boston, the reigning national player of the year, came into today's matchup tied with program legend Sheila Foster in terms of career double-doubles with 72, and with 6:18 left in the third quarter, scored a putback off two offensive rebounds to officially break the record. She would be subbed out later in the period and leave the floor to a rousing ovation from the Gamecock faithful at the Colonial Life Arena.
In the same vein, Kamilla Cardoso was phenomenal in this contest. She scored 12 points, secured 16 rebounds in just fifteen minutes of action, and made life miserable for Arkansas' defense, which could not get a reprieve due to Cardoso's presence on the offensive glass. Zia Cooke, the team's leading scorer for most of the season, had one of her most efficient outings in her Gamecock career, scoring 24 points on 72.7 percent, shooting from the floor, and making four of her five three-point attempts.
As a team, the Gamecocks broke the record for their highest rebound margin ever in an SEC game, securing a staggering 57 more rebounds than the Razorbacks. It's hard to imagine how this team sometimes continues to find ways to set new standards for the program going forward, yet they manage to do just that week in and week out.
The Gamecocks will be off the rest of the week before they play in Tuscaloosa against the Alabama Crimson Tide this coming Sunday.
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