Wilson has 16, No. 3 South Carolina tops Mississippi 66-45
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) South Carolina's A'ja Wilson made every shot she tried on Thursday night. Her teammate Alaina Coates finished with her 15th double-double of the season.
Just another night for the Gamecocks' talented post tandem.
Now the program is just one win away from finishing the SEC regular-season schedule undefeated.
Wilson scored 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting, Coates added 11 points and 14 rebounds and No. 3 South Carolina cruised past Mississippi for the 66-45 win.
''It was just kind of one of those nights,'' Wilson said. ''We stayed within our system and our system is getting it inside. We just take what the defense gives us and play off each other.''
South Carolina (27-1, 15-0 Southeastern Conference) has won five straight games since its only loss of the season to top-ranked UConn.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a 34-19 by halftime, holding Ole Miss to just five points in the second quarter.
It was another rough night for Ole Miss in a season full of them. The Rebels - who have lost nine straight and 13 of 14 - shot just 14 of 63 (22.2 percent) from the field.
''That's the story of our season right there,'' Ole Miss coach Matt Insell said. ''Look at the box score, look at the shooting percentages. We get great shots and we don't make them.''
Ole Miss (10-18, 2-13) made a brief run in the third quarter to pull within 36-29, but South Carolina's Bianca Cuevas stopped the charge with a pair of free throws and the Gamecocks were on their way to the win.
South Carolina shot the ball well, making 23 of 41 (56.1 percent) from the field, but struggled with 29 turnovers.
''Our offense has been something that's a work in progress,'' said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley. ''We took a few steps back tonight, but our defense sustained us all game long.''
The Rebels were led by Madinah Muhammad's 20 points. Shandricka Sessom added 13.
South Carolina continued its undefeated charge through league play thanks to the dominant night from Wilson and Coates. The Gamecocks had a 40-8 scoring advantage in the paint with both players routinely getting open looks.
''They are a dynamic duo for us,'' Staley said. ''They bail us out a lot. We probably don't get them the ball enough considering how efficient they are. They've done that all season long.''
Tiffany Mitchell added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina's size advantage was also evident on defense. Ole Miss was usually able to penetrate into the lane, but rarely had open looks around the basket. Wilson had five blocked shots and Coates had two.
South Carolina only needs to beat LSU at home on Sunday to complete its perfect run through the SEC regular season.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have won 10 of 12 games against Ole Miss since Dawn Staley became the Gamecocks' coach in 2008. ... South Carolina had a 40-32 rebounding advantage.
Ole Miss: This was the Rebels' final home game of the season, but there was no senior night. That's because Ole Miss is the only team in the league without a senior.
South Carolina hosts LSU on Sunday.
Ole Miss travels to Arkansas on Sunday.
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