Coates leads No. 2 South Carolina women past Hampton, 86-48
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina forward Alaina Coates isn't sure she did herself any favors last weekend with a triple-double against Winthrop.
Coates followed up the school's first triple-double since 2006 with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Gamecocks to an 86-48 victory over Hampton on Wednesday night.
''I kind of felt pressure because my coaches said we expect nothing less than the Winthrop game,'' Coates said, laughing. ''But following up a triple-double with a double-double is nice. My effort showed.''
And it again blew away an overmatched opponent in the Lady Pirates (1-8).
Coates, who had 29 points, 16 boards and a team record 10 blocks three days ago, started slowly along with the rest of her teammates as Hampton stayed in arms reach of the Southeastern Conference powerhouse, trailing 16-11 early in the second quarter.
That's when the Gamecocks took off with 12 straight points to build a big lead on the way to their fourth straight 10-0 start.
''It was just a slow start,'' South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. ''We just had low energy. I don't know why. Sometimes, it's just like that.''
With the 6-foot-4 Coates down low, the Gamecocks typically have a way to perk things up. She made eight of her 11 shots. When she wasn't scoring underneath, Coates was sent to the foul line and hit six of nine attempts.
Malia Tate-DeFreitas had 14 points to lead Hampton.
Virginia transfer Sarah Imovbioh had a season-high 19 points, and Tiffany Mitchell added 17 for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina is in the less challenging part of its schedule after opening with three ranked opponents in its first eight games.
The Gamecocks had a 49-point win over Winthrop on Sunday and Hampton came in having lost five of their first six road games - four by 20 points of more - this season.
Still, the smaller Lady Pirates proved difficult to overcome early on.
Despite going 0-for-4 shooting and committing three turnovers to fall behind 8-0 in the game's first four minutes, Hampton rallied to trail 16-11 on Tate-DeFreitas' second quarter jumper
That's when South Carolina scored 12 straight points to gain control.
Hampton lost two starters in Kayla Lupoe and Ryan Jordan to foul trouble, each fouling out. The Lady Pirates were called for 25 fouls to South Carolina's 13.
''We don't have 10 All-Americas to rotate in and out,'' Hampton coach David Six said. ''That's it.''
Mitchell, the two-time Southeastern Conference player of the year, struggled in the first two quarters, missing all seven of her shots. She recovered in the second half, making all four of her field goals.
Hampton: The Lady Pirates have logged the miles early this season, starting with a five-game road streak where they traveled 6,953 miles. Hampton started at Iowa State, then went to Washington State, Oregon and UTEP before ending at No. 5 Texas. Things didn't go so well for the Lady Pirates, who lost all five games.
South Carolina: Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley was named the co-national coach of the year by USA Basketball for leading the American team to gold at the FIBA Women's U19 World Championship last July. She shared the honor with Sean Miller, the Arizona coach who led the men's team to the same title. Staley is the first person to have won a USA Basketball coach and athlete of the year award.
The Gamecocks extended their home win streak to 39 straight games by beating Hampton. South Carolina's last home loss came three seasons ago to Texas A&M on Feb. 10, 2013.
South Carolina leading scorer A'ja Wilson missed a second straight game resting shin splints. Coach Dawn Staley said the 6-foot-5 forward could have played against Hampton and will take the court against East Carolina on Sunday. ''She's champing at the bit to get back,'' Staley said.
Hampton returns home to face Lehigh on Sunday.
South Carolina faces East Carolina on Sunday in Myrtle Beach.