Gamecocks Dominate Maryland On Their Way to the Final Four

Dick Cox

March 30, 2023 at 10:22 am.

The top-ranked South Carolina women’s basketball team dominated the Maryland Lady Terrapins, 86-75, to capture the NCAA Women’s Greenville (SC) Regional championship. The Gamecocks punched their ticket to the Final Four in front of a crowd of 11,144 fans at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The Terps got off to a fast start with hot shooting, and by forcing five Carolina turnovers and they were on their way to a 21-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Maryland had an excellent game plan by running five players outside the three-point line on offense, trying to bring the taller Gamecock players away from the basket, but South Carolina made adjustments in the second quarter. They outscored the Terrapins 23-9 to take a 38-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, the Gamecock’s physicality, height, athleticism and depth took over and they totally controlled the game after intermission. South Carolina led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter before clearing their bench with substitute players.

Carolina owned the backboards and they out-rebounded the Terps, 48-26. The South Carolina ladies had 25 offensive rebounds compared to Maryland’s seven.

The South Carolina four-year starters, Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke and Brea Beal all shined on the big stage. Boston had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Cooke had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Beal had 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. All three were named to the All-Tournament team and Boston was named the Regional final’s Most Valuable Player.

After the game, I asked the players that with all the high expectations going into the season and now that they were back in the final four again, if they could they now take a deep breath and concentrate on the final two games. Their reply was “no” and that they would not be able to relax until the season was over. The Gamecock senior players have only lost one game played in the state of South Carolina during their four years and that was back during their freshman season against North Carolina State.

Carolina has now won 42 games in a row and are 36-0 this season. The Gamecocks now head back to the Final Four for the third consecutive season and travel to Dallas, Tex., trying to repeat as the NCAA Women’s National Champions.

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