Boston Rallies #1 South Carolina past #2 Stanford

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP sportswriter

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Dawn Staley pulled her South Carolina women close and urged them to fight.

Hearing that one-word request, Aliyah Boston took charge when it mattered and delivered, as she has done day in and day out throughout her successful career.

Boston overcame early difficulties to score 14 goals, including the tie jumper with two seconds left on rule, Bree Hall hit a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in overtime, and No. 1 and defending champion South Carolina rebounded at second-placed Stanford 76- 71 on Sunday in a dramatic preseason showdown.

“The huddle coach was like, ‘You gotta fight, you gotta fight,'” Boston said, “and that was our mentality.”

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South Carolina’s Victaria Saxton missed both free throws by 24.3 seconds, but a jump ball moments later gave the Gamecocks possession (4-0). Stanford had a chance 10 seconds after Agnes Emma-Nnopu’s steal, but Haley Jones couldn’t get the ball in before a 5-second injury.

Stanford (5-1) then missed another opportunity and received a technical error with 3.4 seconds left after Kiki Irifen called a time-out in the backcourt which it didn’t have.

VanDerveer’s Stanford team led most of the afternoon but couldn’t match the top women’s basketball coach and Hall of Famer with their 1,163. bring career victory.

“There’s a lot that we left out there on the court,” Jones said. “But overall it’s November, it’s our first loss, so I think there’s still a lot on the table.”

Cameron Brink scored Stanford’s first four points in overtime, finishing with 25 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. But she tried to deflect a shot three minutes from time.

Stanford only managed seven points in the fourth quarter.

South Carolina’s Brea Beal made a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in fourth. Jones then missed the first of two shots with 12.5 seconds remaining. After that, South Carolina had one more chance — with which Boston ran to force overtime.

VanDerveer and Staley wore long-sleeved white t-shirts with Brittney Griner’s name and picture in support of the WNBA star being jailed in Russia.

Ashten Prechtel came off the bench, blocked five shots and grabbed seven rebounds as Stanford saw his 17-game home winning streak end at the Maples Pavilion, which drew a sold-out crowd of 7,233 at the nationally televised matinee.

“That’s what women’s basketball is about, that’s what it was about, and now is the time that the product that we’re putting on the floor should be seen by as many eyes as possible,” Staley said.

Zia Cooke’s layup with 7:54 left put the Gamecocks within 54-50, then neither team scored for almost the next four minutes. Both missed high-percentage chances but faced a stingy defensive end.

Cooke’s next basket at 2:54 ended the field-goal drought. Averaging 16.5 points as a team leader, she scored 13 points but only shot 3 out of 13.

Brink made 5 of her first 7 shots and had 12 points after the first quarter.

The teams met in Columbia, South Carolina last December with equal placings. South Carolina bounced back from 18 to win this one. The higher-ranked team has won the last nine matchups of the series.

The cardinal triumphed in both previous encounters on his home floor.

Stanford beat South Carolina 56-55 in the 2021 national semifinals before beating Arizona 54-53 for the program’s first title since 1992.

In November 2010 — 12 years ago in the coming week and the beginning of Staley’s coaching career in South Carolina — she brought VanDerveer into the locker room for a pep talk with the Gamecocks after Stanford’s 70-32 loss.

This time, it was Staley who addressed the Stanford team and their supporters, who stayed long after the game.

“If you have an insatiable desire to learn, like I have as a student of the game, it’s going to take you your head off a few times, then adjust,” Staley said.

A video message in support of Griner played before the tip. There was also a minute’s silence, a standard so far this season at Stanford’s home games in support of Griner.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks shot 2 of 7 from long range in the first half and managed just three assists. … South Carolina was one of the best rebound teams in the nation, finishing third on the offensive glass after recording 50.5% of its own misses. The Gamecocks were passed 22-17 in the first half and 47-41 in the game, but secured multiple second chance opportunities in crunch time.

Stanford: The Cardinal shot 64.3% (9 of 14) in the first 10 minutes and led 21:11. … No team has scored more than 77 points against the Cardinal since the end of the 2019-20 season — a 75-game span since an 89-56 loss to Oregon in the 2020 Pac-12 tournament title game. … Stanford has in the committed eleven turnovers in the first half and ball care was a key focus of VanDerveer’s lead into the game. … Several former Stanford stars were at the game, including Hull twins Lacie and Lexie, Alyssa Jerome and former guard Anna Wilson. … Stanford’s winning streak at home was the fifth-longest active streak in the country.

South Carolina: At Cal Poly on Tuesday. It’s quite a stretch for a young Cal Poly program, which also played at Stanford on Wednesday.

Stanford: meets Florida Gulf Coast University Friday at the Rainbow Wahine Showdown in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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