09 Jan

South Carolina scores 100+ points in first two games of the season, first time in program history

No. 6 South Carolina is looking strong as ever after a 114-76 win over No. 14 Maryland. This is officially the first time in program history the Gamecocks have scored 100 points in each of their first two games.

The 114 points the Gamecocks scored against Maryland also became the most points ever scored by South Carolina against a ranked opponent.

“We are going to be who we are. Seriously, we are going to be who we are…” head coach Dawn Staley said during the postgame press conference. “Just proud of the team, proud of who we are. We’ve come a long way. If you could’ve seen June, July, August, if you could’ve seen that, you would be sitting where I’m sitting where it was unimaginable for us to even think about what we were able to do the first two games of the season.”

“If you could have seen us in June”

Sunday’s 114-76 win marked the first time in program history South Carolina WBB has scored at least 100 in the first two games of the season.

It’s a start that has even HC @dawnstaley told me has surprised her@GamecockWBB | @wachfox pic.twitter.com/XaVyztNWQp

— Matt Vereen (@MattVereen) November 12, 2023
Every single South Carolina player who stepped on the floor on Sunday scored at least three points, while seven reached double digits. Oregon transfer Te-Hina Paopao led the way with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Freshman Chloe Kitts reached a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Ashlyn Watkins got one too with 13 points and 11 boards.

If this is a rebuilding year for South Carolina, it seems Dawn Staley didn’t get the memo because her non-conference schedule is anything but easy. After losing the most historic class in South Carolina history, including two-time national player of the year Aliyah Boston, Staley challenged other players to step up and that’s exactly what they did.

They started the season with a bang on Nov. 6 by defeating No. 10 Notre Dame 100-71 in the first college basketball game ever played on Parisian soil. On Sunday, they proved that was anything but luck.

South Carolina took the 2022 NCAA championship and made the Final Four earlier this year. However, the hype around the program wasn’t as loud during this preseason because of the key pieces the team had lost. Even Staley told CBS Sports the current roster lacks experience in virtually every position.

At the time of their national title, the Gamecocks were a well-known defensive powerhouse but they had an inconsistent offense. It improved during the 2022-23 season, but now it seems they really have no trouble in that area and could be more dangerous than ever.

“I actually think they’re better than last year’s team,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.

South Carolina has now won 43 consecutive games at Colonial Life Arena, meaning they have gone 1,074 days without losing at home. Next up, the Gamecocks will be taking on in-state rival Clemson on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. ET.

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