No. 1 South Carolina gets 19 from Henderson to top LSU 66-59


(Photo Courtesy: Gamecocks Athletics)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Destanni Henderson scored 19 points and Aliyah Boston added 12 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks as No. 1 South Carolina beat LSU 66-59 on Sunday for its 31st straight Southeastern Conference victory.

The Gamecocks (17-2, 12-0 SEC) haven’t lost in league play since falling to Arkansas in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in March 2019.

Boston finished with her 10th double-double this season and 23rd of her career as South Carolina won its 12th straight over LSU. Zia Cooke added 13 points for the Gamecocks.

Jailin Cherry had a career-high 19 points to lead LSU (8-10, 6-6). Faustine Aifuwa had 11 points and 12 rebounds, her ninth double-double this season for the Tigers.

Henderson had her second consecutive standout performance after she acknowledged her failures – the junior point guard had eight turnovers – in a 63-59 overtime loss at No. 2 UConn on Monday night that likely will drop South Carolina from the top spot when the new rankings come out Monday.

Henderson, who had seven points during a decisive third-quarter run in Thursday’s win over Missouri, picked up where she left off against LSU.

The Gamecocks used a 12-0 run and some tight defense in the opening quarter to build a big lead that LSU could not overcome. The Tigers trailed by 18 in the third quarter before getting within single digits at the end.

Cooke started the run with a jumper and two foul shots. Henderson hit a basket and Boston followed with two inside shots before Henderson scored the next five points.

Henderson kept the pressure on LSU with a sweet driving, left-handed layup and a long 3 as South Carolina went up 27-13.

Henderson finished with three of South Carolina’s four 3-pointers. LSU struggled to hit shots, missing eight straight during one stretch. The Tigers were sloppy handling the ball, too, with 11 first-half turnovers.

The No. 1/3 Gamecocks (17-2, 12-0 SEC) head to Rocky Top for a clash with No. 16/19 Tennessee on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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