A’Ja Wilson scored a career-high 31 points to lead No. 3 South Carolina to a 76-67 victory over No. 14 Texas Thursday night at the Erwin Center.
Wilson, a 6-5 junior, took over when USC’s best player, center Alaina Coates, got into early foul trouble. Wilson connected on 12 of her 18 shots from the field and contributed 12 rebounds.
USC (6-0) had a big edge at the foul line. The visitors took hit 40 free throws, hitting 30. Texas shot 14, hitting 7 in the annual Big 12-Southeastern Conference Challenge.
The Gamecocks pulled away after Texas guard Lashann Higgs hit a pair of free throws with 6 minutes to play, narrowing USC’s lead to 62-59. South Carolina closed the game on 14-8 scoring run.
Texas was led by senior post Kelsey Lang, who had 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Junior guard Ariel Atkins had 14 points.
Longhorn guard Brooke McCarty, covered heavily throughout the game, had an offense, finishing with 7 points.
Texas won the battle of the boards 40-37.
This marked the third game Texas has faced a highly-ranked team. The Longhorns, who had lost to No. 11 Stanford and No. 10 Mississippi State on the road, hoped that home cookin’ would help them rejuvenate their season.
Texas will hit the road for a game against No. 2 UConn Sunday afternoon in Uncasville, Conn.
The next home game will be Dec. 11 against Tennessee.