South Carolina still unbeaten after 65-46 win over FGCU

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ST. THOMAS - The University of South Carolina used a 15-4 run to start the second half en route to a 65-46 win over Florida Gulf Coast University on Friday at Paradise Jam at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

Senior forward Ashley Bruner led the Gamecocks (6-0) with 15 points and scored six straight in South Carolina's second-half surge.

The guard-heavy FGCU roster was muscled out of the way in the low post as South Carolina grabbed 24 offensive rebounds, and the final rebounding (46-20) margin exceeded the scoring margin. South Carolina sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch and freshman guard Tiffany Mitchell tied for a game-high 11 rebounds.

"If they fronted, we were told to spin off and not go over the back because they'd probably call fouls because we're so much taller than them," Bruner said.

Welch scored 14 points and senior guard Sancheon White added 11 points to round out the Gamecocks' double-figure scoring.

"We just know when to move the ball; the ball's gonna find who's supposed to shoot it, that's what they tell us," Bruner said. "So we just keep moving the ball and get it to the shooters or the post players."

South Carolina held an 18-9 rebounding advantage in the first half and led by as much as 11 points after starting the game on an 8-0 run.

The Eagles (2-3) made up for their lack of a post presence with five 3-pointers in the first half. Sophomore reserve Anthi Chatzigiakoumi hit two shots from long range in the final two minutes of the half to close the Gamecocks' lead to 32-26. FGCU connected on just two 3-pointers in the second half.

"Well, I thought they got hot in the first half and I thought that was the difference in us opening the game up because we did allow them to hit five of 'em and more than half of their points," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "It was, again, an emphasis of ours at halftime to put a little bit more pressure on 'em and make 'em put the ball on the floor and I thought that we executed that."

Junior guard Sarah Hansen led the Eagles with 18 points and six rebounds.

South Carolina and DePaul will battle for an undefeated record at the tournament at 4:30 p.m., today. FGCU closes its tournament against Hampton at 2:15 p.m.

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