Sutton hits milestone in 66-21 win

GoGamecocks staff reportsDecember 14, 2011 

USC's Charenee Stephens, Ashley Bruner and La'Keisha Sutton boast at the bench after a teammate scores. USC women's basketball hosts S.C. State, Wednesday at the Colonial Life Arena. Final score of the game USC beat SC State 66 to 21.

KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN — kkfoster@thestate.com

South Carolina set a program record for fewest points allowed in a 66-21 victory over South Carolina State in Dawn Staley’s 100th game as head coach of the Gamecocks.

The win puts the Gamecocks at 8-2, the best record they have had since the opening of the 2003-04 season. Senior guard La’Keisha Sutton also hit the South Carolina record book in the outing, recording her 1,000th career point midway through the first half.

The Lady Bulldogs’ 21 points in the game eclipsed the previous record of 24 that was set in a 67-24 victory over Georgia Southern on February 3, 1992, and tied earlier this season by Presbyterian. South Carolina held S.C. State to 12.5 percent shooting from the field, another Gamecock opponent record low, and held a 46-28 edge in rebounding.

“We are more confident than we were at the beginning of the season on both sides of the ball,” Staley said. “From a defensive standpoint, our team really understands what they can do to create havoc for an offense. From an offensive standpoint, the last two games have really helped us gain some more confidence.”

After the teams traded baskets on their opening possessions, South Carolina used a 15-0 run to pull away from the Bulldogs, taking an 18-2 lead midway through the half. Sutton led the team with 12 points in the first half to become the 11th player in South Carolina history to score 1,000 in her career. Defensively, the Gamecocks were just as efficient, limiting the Lady Bulldogs to one shot on most possessions.

The Gamecocks’ defense held S.C. State to eight points in the first half, the second-lowest mark in Gamecock history. South Carolina out-rebounded the Bulldogs 15-9 before halftime, led by Ieasia Walker and Welch with five each.

Sutton and Tina Roy led the Gamecocks with 12 points each. Aleighsa Welch paced the team in rebounds with nine, six of them defensive, along with nine points.

The Gamecocks are back in action on Sunday when they travel to Myrtle Beach to take on No. 18 North Carolina. South Carolina closes out its pre-holiday schedule with another noon tipoff at Colonial Life Arena against Savannah State on Dec. 21.

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