South Carolina's Aliyah Boston (4) celebrates with other players moments before defeating Maryland in an Elite 8 college basketball game of the NCAA Tournament in Greenville, S.C., Monday, March 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

South Carolina women’s basketball downs Maryland in Elite Eight

The No. 1 South Carolina women’s basketball team defeated Maryland 86-75 Monday in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Aliyah Boston led the Gamecocks with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, recording her ninth double-double in an NCAA tournament.

Advantage Gamecocks

In order to advance to the Final Four, second-seeded Maryland needed to defeat South Carolina — something no team had done in over a full calendar year.

The Terps had their first chance earlier this season, but were routed at home on Nov. 11.

They battled early in this Elite 8 matchup. Maryland guard Brinae Alexander knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Maryland’s deficit to eight with minutes to go in the third, giving the Terps some momentum to put together a second-half comeback.

However, South Carolina charged down the other end of the court and matched its counterpart’s triple with one of its own from Zia Cooke.

The Terps were never able to recover, as their season expired Monday night.

South Carolina Seniors

Boston and Cooke elevated the Gamecocks with a steady diet of midrange jumpers and shots inside. Boston finished the night with 22 points and five assists.

Cooke was getting her jumper to fall for the Gamecocks. She scored 18 total points versus Maryland. With her two 3-pointers on Monday, Cooke has now made 63 three-pointers for the season, which is a career record.

Brea Beal had a huge second half for South Carolina. She scored 16 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out a game-high six assists.

Continued South Carolina Dominance

South Carolina will play in their fifth Final Four in program history after steamrolling the SEC once again.

Each appearance came under head coach Dawn Staley. The team will next face 2-seed Iowa, who’s led by Caitlin Clark. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated SE Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado and Louisville to advance to Dallas.

In the Final Eight game against the Cardinals, Clark earned the first 40-point triple-double in men’s or women’s NCAA Tournament history. T

he Gamecocks are 2-2 all-time in Final Four games, with the wins in 2017 and 2022 resulting in national championships.


Maryland had opportunities to make it interesting but didn’t take advantage of them. Three Terps players reached double figures, with star Diamond Miller leading the way with 24 points in what was probably her last game wearing a Maryland uniform. When a team shoots 50% from the field and three-point range, there isn’t much more they can ask for. But they needed more to defeat the country’s undisputed No. 1 squad.

It’s been a question that every opposing team has been forced to ponder: How do you deal with the size of the Gamecocks? The answer remains a mystery. Maryland couldn’t contain South Carolina’s interior presence, as the latter scored 46 points in the paint.

Throughout her four years with the Terps, Diamond Miller had one of the best careers in the history of the program. She’ll now be faced with the question of whether to declare for the 2023 WNBA Draft, where she is anticipated to be a top choice. She could also return to Maryland, of course, but the regulations of the league state that she will have just 48 hours to decide.

About Rafael De Los Santos

Junior studying Journalism - Sports & Media at the University of Florida

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