BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Daeqwon Plowden had 19 points and 16 rebounds as Bowling Green rolled past South Carolina State 101-78 on Saturday.
Trey Diggs added 17 points, Justin Turner scored 16 and Caleb Fields had 15 for the Falcons. Turner also had six rebounds and six assists, while Fields had five steals.
Rahsaan Edwards had 12 points for the Bulldogs (0-2). Tariq Simmons added 12 points. Jemal Davis had 11 points.
Lady Bulldogs fall to Coastal 88-56
CONWAY – A young South Carolina State team fell behind early and never recovered in dropping an 88-56 decision to host Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams.
Lady Bulldog senior Heniya Moton led all scorers with 28 points but was the only SC State player in double figures for Coach Audra Smith’s team, which fell to 0-1. Jacquece Alston, also a senior, added seven points and freshman Trinity Klock and sophomore Jayah Hicks six points each in the loss.
Smith’s team, because of COVID-19 and injuries, only had eight players in uniform for the contest.
Coastal, with a decided advantage in size, experience and personnel, had five players in double figures, led by junior Aja Blount with 17. Tyra Brown and Janeen Camp added 15 each, while Alana Denson contributed 14 and Kaylin West 12 in the win, which lifted the Chanticleers to 1-0.
The host took advantage of some early Lady Bulldog fouls to build a 24-9 lead after one. Ten of Coastal’s first 15 points came from the free throw line. The Chanticleers led 44-27 at the half and outscored the SC State 25-13 in the third for a 69-40 advantage after three periods. The host outscored Smith’s team 19-16 in the final stanza.
Coastal, with two players 6-1 and a third at 5-11, enjoyed a big edge on the boards, 37-24 and also at the free throw line, 14-21 to 2-2 for the Lady Bulldogs. Alston was the only SC State player to get to the line.
“We are not making excuses but due to the Coronavirus and injuries, we had just eight players available,” Smith said. “But we struggled early, committed too many fouls, which they capitalized at line, and we just couldn’t get any shots to drop, with the exception of Moton.
“I’m so proud of her (Moton) as she was our only offense for most of the game. We are young and have been limited with our preparation due to the injuries and COVID, but we fought hard and once these young players start making some shots and get their confidence up, we will get better.”
The Lady Bulldogs have a short turnaround as they host Winthrop in their home opener Wednesday at 2 p.m.
South Carolina rallies past South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — After winning by 81 in its season opener, South Carolina found a tougher fight against South Dakota.
Destanni Henderson and Zia Cooke each scored 19 points, and the top-ranked Gamecocks pulled away after halftime for an 81-71 win in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic on Saturday.
“We’re going to be tested,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “We were tested today. We’re going to be tested tomorrow. We could have scheduled differently, but this type of competition is the best type of teacher.”
Henderson finished two points shy of a career high. She was 8 of 13 from the floor and also had nine rebounds.
Chloe Lamb led South Dakota (0-1) with 18 points, and Hannah Sjerven added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
South Carolina (2-0) trailed by five during the second quarter and the game was tied 37-37 at halftime before the Gamecocks pulled away. They outscored the Coyotes 31-11 in the third quarter, and Cooke’s basket with 19 seconds left gave the Gamecocks a 20-point lead entering the final frame.
“Nothing changed," Staley said. "I thought South Dakota played great basketball and we played subpar basketball. I thought we looked unorganized at times. We looked rushed. I knew we had another gear in us. When that gear kicked in, I thought we did a great job of exploding for a 31-point third quarter.”
They stretched the advantage to 21 in the fourth quarter before South Dakota cut it to seven with just under a minute to play.
South Carolina’s size eventually wore down the Coyotes. The Gamecocks outrebounded South Dakota 45-37 and had 15 offensive boards.
SHE SAID IT
“This is my 21st year of coaching, and an old coach told me that a marathon isn’t won in the first mile,” Staley said about getting down in the second quarter. “You have to have a little bit of trust in your players that some of your good habits will kick in, and they did.”
South Carolina’s Laeticia Amihere was 1 for 8 from the floor in the first half. She finished with 11 points and nine rebounds on 4-of-12 shooting.
“I just needed to go stronger in the paint,” she said. “I think in the first half I was going soft. I think I could be a lot stronger in the paint. Once I’m doing that — trying to get contact — and finishing through contact, is really what helped me in the second half.”
South Carolina plays Gonzaga in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET.
Gamecocks fall to Liberty
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kyle Rode scored 18 points and Liberty knocked off its second Southeastern Conference team in three days with a 78-62 victory over South Carolina on Saturday at the Hall of Fame Classic.
The Flames (2-1) made a program-record 19 3-pointers in an 84-73 win over Mississippi State on Thursday and sank eight more in the first half against the Gamecocks on their way to a 43-26 halftime lead. The lead remained in double figures in the second half as Liberty went to 4-1 in their last five games against SEC teams.
Elijah Cuffee and Keegan McDowell added 13 points, Chris Parker had 12 with five assists and Darius McGhee scored 10 points for Liberty, which shot 56% overall. The Flames were 11 of 26 from the arc with five players hitting from long range.
AJ Lawson scored 12 points and Jermaine Couisnard and Keyshawn Bryant 10 each for the Gamecocks, who were playing their season opener after an exhibition against Coker was canceled on Wednesday after the Gamecocks' opponent had issues with its COVID-19 testing. Lawson, Couisnard and Bryant ranked among South Carolina's top five scorers last season.
Spray reaches trey milestone
CLEMSON — In a game that saw Clemson sharpshooter Kendall Spray reach a milestone, the Tigers trounced Presbyterian College in runaway fashion. Spray knocked down six 3-pointers on Friday, surpassing 300 career treys and leading all scorers with 18 points. The Tigers roared past the Blue Hose at Littlejohn Coliseum, winning 92-47.
The 45-point margin of victory was made possible by the imposing defense utilized by Clemson (2-0), particularly on 3-point attempts. Presbyterian (0-1) made just 1-of-28 3-point shots, resulting in the lowest 3-point shooting percentage by a Clemson opponent during Head Coach Amanda Butler's tenure. On the flip side, the Tigers accomplished an offensive feat by scoring 92 points, the highest point total of the Butler era. The Tigers finished with a shooting percentage of 52.1 and won the rebounding battle 57-31. Furthermore, Clemson tallied 21 points off 21 PC turnovers and amassed 52 points in the paint, 35 bench points and 21 fast break points. Clemson also recorded 18 assists, 12 of which came in the first half.
Spray, who went 6-of-12 from the field, was responsible for six of the nine three-balls netted by Clemson in the contest, and all 18 of her points came from 3-point range. She also pulled down six rebounds.
Next up for Clemson is a Monday, Nov. 30, matchup against the Charlotte 49ers (0-1). The Tigers will head to Halton Arena in Charlotte, N.C., for their first road game of the season, which is slated to tip off at 2 p.m.