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Furman Falls At South Carolina, 69-35

Brittany Hodges
Brittany Hodges

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tiffany Mitchell scored 16 points and keyed a strong South Carolina defense with five steals to help power the Gamecocks to a 69-35 victory over Furman in women's basketball action Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena.

Mitchell, a 5-foot-9 freshman guard from Charlotte, N.C., connected on 8-of-13 shots to go along with five steals and four rebounds in 29 minutes of action as South Carolina (10-0) remained unbeaten on the season.

Aleighsa Welch added 11 points and Wilka Montout contributed 10 for USC, which shot 42.4 percent from the field (28-of-66) despite finding the mark on just 1-of-15 3-point attempts.

The Gamecocks overpowered Furman (3-5) with defensive pressure, forcing the Paladins into 24 turnovers leading to a 31-6 scoring advantage off miscues.  

Ieasia Walker scored nine points and joined Mitchell with a game high five steals.

Brittany Hodges led Furman with 10 points and seven rebounds, but the Paladins struggled again from the field, finding the mark on just 11-of-46 shots (23.9 percent).

Leading 21-12 with just under eight minutes to go in the first half, South Carolina got a pair of baskets and two free throws from Montout to key a 12-0 run over the next five minutes to extend their advantage to 33-12.

South Carolina led 37-20 at intermission and 52-32 with seven and half minutes to go when a Montout jump shot ignited a 14-0 run that pushed USC's lead to 66-32 before a 3-pointer by Raegan Thompson 2:28 remaining halted the run.

South Carolina, which entered the game with +17.4 rebounding margin, claimed a 40-33 advantage on the boards.  Elem Ibiam collected a game high nine caroms to go along with eight points.

Furman was a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line.

After finishing exams on Wednesday, the Paladins, who have now lost four straight, will prepare to entertain Arkansas on Sunday in a  2:00 p.m. contest at Timmons Arena.