Boston sets SC record with 73rd double-double

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Aliyah Boston showed once more her consistency is every bit as important as her enormous talent.

Boston had her program-record-setting 73rd double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds as No. 1 South Carolina moved to 20-0 with a dominant 92-46 victory over Arkansas on Sunday.

Boston’s coach, Dawn Staley, has watched the 6-foot-5 All-American stay engaged and focused despite junk defenses with three or four players aiming to limit her production. Very little has worked the past four seasons.

“Mentally tough, mentally strong. Those are the separators for Aliyah,” Staley said.

Boston takes in the information and knows in the end she’ll get the better of things in nearly every game, Staley said.

“She’s at a place,” the coach said, “where you really can’t stop her.”

Zia Cooke scored 24 points to lead the Gamecocks (8-0 Southeastern Conference), who won their 26th straight and seventh in a row over the Razorbacks (17-5, 4-3). And just like much of the past four seasons, Boston was right in the center of things.

Boston, who tied the school mark set by Sheila Foster from 1979 to ’82 at Vanderbilt this past Thursday, came out quickly with seven points and three boards in the first quarter. She was up to 11 points and six rebounds at the break.

Boston clinched the record with three rebounds on one offensive possession that she finished with a basket. She was taken out with 1 minute, 18 seconds left in the third quarter to a loud ovation from the crowd — and South Carolina cruising 73-33.

“Hey, y’all got room for another statue?” asked Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors, referring to the statue of South Carolina great A’ja Wilson outside the arena.

It’s not that far-fetched — except for the ultra-humble Boston, who typically deflects attention to her teammates. She surprised herself with her steady play over the years.

“Coming in [to college], I didn’t really know this was a record,” Boston said. “To do it, is very exciting because, wow, who’d have thought?”

Foster, now second in South Carolina double-doubles, was in attendance. She smiled and waved to the crowd after Boston overtook her.

“Good players don’t player-hate … it just knocked me down one notch,” Foster told WIS News 10 after the game. “It’s all in the Gamecock family. It’s all in the Gamecock house.”

Boston is 13 away from catching LSU great Sylvia Fowles for the SEC mark of 86 double-doubles set from 2004 to ’08.

The NCAA mark is way out of reach. Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris had 128 from 2006 to ’09, and Boston is widely expected to be the WNBA’s No. 1 overall pick after this season.

Cooke, the team’s top scorer this season, had 19 points by halftime as South Carolina blew things open in the second quarter by outscoring Arkansas 28-7 to lead 53-24.

Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina’s 6-foot-7 backup, ended with 12 points and tied her career best with 16 rebounds.

Samara Spencer had 15 points to lead Arkansas, which was outrebounded 74-17 overall and 32-2 on the offensive boards.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

This post was originally published on ESPN

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