March Madness: South Carolina overcomes sluggish start to cruise past South Florida into Sweet 16

South Carolina's not been at its best on offense in the NCAA tournament. But it's been more than good enough to advance to the Sweet 16.

The top-seeded Gamecocks overcome a sluggish start on Sunday to secure a 76-45 win over No. 8 South Florida and secure its place in the NCAA tournament's second weekend.

South Florida put South Carolina to the test early, opening up a 16-12 lead while holding the Gamecocks to 35.7% shooting from the field. But the Gamecocks rode a 21-point second quarter to a 33-29 halftime edge. Then they took over.

A team that's made a season of dominating second halves stifled the Bulls after halftime and leaned on its depth on offense to run away with the game. With 2:10 remaining in the fourth quarter and South Carolina leading 69-40, head coach Dawn Staley emptied the bench to allow the South Carolina home crowd to give a standing ovation to its outgoing seniors in their final home game.

Aliyah Boston controlled the post while tallying 11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Fellow senior Zia Cooke paced the offense with 21 points while shooting 8 of 19 from the field. The Gamecocks improved to 34-0 as they seek to secure a second straight national championship.

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