Dozier, Welch Lead Gamecocks Past College of Charleston 81-54
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind
career efforts from junior forward Aleighsa Welch and sophomore forward
Asia Dozier, No. 21/17 South Carolina (3-0) defeated College of
Charleston (1-2) 81-54 in non-conference action on Thursday night at
Colonial Life Arena. Dozier led the Gamecocks with a career-high 16
points. Welch paced the rebounding effort, hauling in a career-high 17
“I’m very happy for her (Dozier) because I know that it
was a tough year last year,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley
said. “There were a tough couple of games last year where she really
didn’t get the opportunity to shoot it. Tonight, I think she felt it,
and it was going in for her. I’m very, very happy for Asia, and it was
a long time coming.”
From the opening tip, the Cougars came out
firing. Junior forward Christy Hewatt scored five points to push
College of Charleston to an early 9-0 lead.
A 3-pointer from
redshirt sophomore guard Tina Roy pulled the Gamecocks within four at
7-11, but the Cougars surged out ahead by nine again at the midway
point of the first half with a 25-16 advantage.
Welch kept South
Carolina within striking distance, seemingly all over the court for
offensive rebounds and loose balls. The forward’s effort eventually
changed the game’s momentum as she brought her team within two at 28-26
on a three-point play at the under-eight media timeout.
made her presence felt when she sank back-to-back 3-pointers with 6:35
left in the first half. The much-needed points gave South Carolina its
first lead of the night at 32-28 and forced the visitors to call a
timeout to stop the surge.
Newly invigorated, South Carolina stretched its lead to 14 just before the break and entered the half with a 46-32 lead.
senior guard Alyssa Frye sank a 3-pointer two minutes into the second
half to cut into the deficit at 48-39, but it was the closest the
Cougars would get for the rest of the night.
Ramping up the
defensive effort, the Gamecocks limited the Cougars to short, one-shot
possessions. South Carolina used transition play to their advantage and
rattled off a 15-0 run to take command of the game at 63-39.
Gamecocks built a 32-point lead, their largest of the night, at 78-46
with under seven minutes on the clock and never looked back.
of Welch’s career-high 17 rebounds were on the offensive end. The
forward rounded out her second-straight double-double with 12 points on
the night. Dozier’s 16 points on 4-of-8 3-point shooting was also a
career-best. Three other Gamecocks scored in double figures as well,
junior center Elem Ibiam pouring in 12 points with Tiffany Mitchell and
Alaina Coates contributing 11 apiece.
out-rebounded College of Charleston 62-38. The Gamecocks were active on
the offensive boards, corralling 23 rebounds that led to 23
Tolbert had a double-double on the night, leading the Cougars with 14 points and 11 rebounds.