The Mercury News

South Carolina cruises to 40th consecutiv­e win


Zia Cooke scored 21 points and Aliyah Boston had her 81st career doubledoub­le as top-seeded South Carolina shook off a slow start to power past eighthseed­ed South Florida and into the Sweet 16 with a 7645 Greenville 1 Region win Sunday in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks improved to 34-0 with their 40th straight win overall and moved four victories away from a second straight national title. They'll head to Greenville, where they won the SEC Tournament two weeks ago, to play for a spot in the Final Four.

Boston, the program career record holder for double-doubles, finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds in her final game at home.

South Florida (27-7) entered looking for a program-record 28th win this season and its first berth in the Sweet 16.

NO. 3 NOTRE DAME 53, NO. 11

MISSISSIPP­I STATE 48 >> Lauren Ebo had 10 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks to help the Fighting Irish down the Bulldogs in South Bend, Ind.

Maddy Westbeld added nine points and 15 rebounds for Notre Dame, which blew an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter before making the plays down the stretch for the win.

Mississipp­i State scored eight straight points to open the fourth quarter and tie the game at 41.

The Irish regained the lead for good on a pair of KK Bransford free throws with 3:49 left in the game for a 45-43 advantage.

NO. 2 MARYLAND 77, NO. 7 ARIZONA 64 >> Diamond Miller scored 13 of her 24 points in the third quarter to lead the Terrapins over the Wildcats in College Park, Md.

Maryland (27-6) advances to the Sweet 16 for a third straight year.

The Terrapins trailed by a point after two quarters but ran past Arizona (22-10) in the second half.

Cate Reese led Arizona with 19 points.

Seattle 4 Region NO. 2 IOWA 74, NO. 10 GEORGIA 66 >> Caitlin Clark had 22 points and 12 assists while Monika Czinano added 20 points to pace the Hawkeyes past the Lady Bulldogs in Iowa City.

Iowa (28-6) advanced to the ninth Sweet 16 in program history.

Clark, a first-team Associated Press All-American, was held scoreless for 13 minutes in the first half, but scored 14 secondhalf points as the Hawkeyes finally shook off Georgia (22-12).

The Lady Buldogs got within 68-66 on a 3-pointer from Audrey Warren with 2:17 left in the game, but they would not score again.

Diamond Battles led Georgia with 21 points.

Greenville 2 Region NO. 2 UTAH 63, NO. 10 PRINCETON 56 >> Alissa Pili had 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Utes over the Tigers in Salt Lake City.

Jenna Johnson added 15 points for Utah, which made only one 3-pointer but still advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 2006.

Kaitlyn Chen scored 19 points for Princeton (24-6).

The host Utes (27-4) didn't score a field goal in the final 6:24 but went 13 for 19 from the line in the fourth quarter to complete their season undefeated at the Huntsman Center.

NO. 3 LSU 66, NO. 6 MICHIGAN 42 >> Angel Reese dismantled Michigan on both ends of the court with 25 points, 24 rebounds, six blocks and three steals to help the Tigers blast the Wolverines in Baton Rouge, La.

Reese, a 6-foot-3 AllAmerica forward, did most of her damage with gauze wedged under her upper lip after a shot to her mouth drew blood in the opening minutes of the game.

LaDazhia Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds for LSU (30-2), which held Michigan (23-10) to its lowest point total of the season.

In just their second season under coach Kim Mulkey, the Tigers advanced past the second round of the tournament for the first time since 2014.

 ?? SEAN RAYFORD — AP ?? South Carolina senior Aliyah Boston posted her 81st career double-double in Sunday's NCAA tournament victory over South Florida.
SEAN RAYFORD — AP South Carolina senior Aliyah Boston posted her 81st career double-double in Sunday's NCAA tournament victory over South Florida.

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