Aliyah Boston’s historic debut for South Carolina, other SEC notes

KNOXVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 24: A basketball goes through the net before a college basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and the South Carolina Gamecocks on February 24, 2019, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 24: A basketball goes through the net before a college basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and the South Carolina Gamecocks on February 24, 2019, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Freshman Aliyah Boston began her career with the South Carolina Gamecocks doing something six other players in program history have done: record a triple double.

With her 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks against Alabama State, Boston is now the only freshman to record a triple double and holds South Carolina’s single-game record for blocks.

“I just want to thank God, because without God I wouldn’t be able to do that,” Boston said in post-game press conference. “Also, my teammates. They were able to get me the ball and I was able to produce for them. And then everything else just fell into place.”

Boston is the first NCAA freshman to record a triple double since Nebraska’s Kate Cain’s in December 2017.

“I’m just going to let her enjoy the moment,” Staley said post game. “A triple double is a triple double, no matter when it occurs, high school junior high college. But she’s got a promising future. And this is just the tip of the iceberg for her.”

Of note, it’s the first time under Dawn Staley that three freshman have started a game – Boston, Zia Cooke and Brea Beal. Cooke, along with Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, led the Gamecocks with 13 points. Senior guard Tyasha Harris had 11 points and 4 assists. Freshman Olivia Thompson added 10 points off the bench, including seven straight.

Next up for the Gamecocks is a road game at Maryland on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. ET, which is an early test for both teams. Last November, Maryland topped South Carolina 85-61. Learn more about the 2019-20 Terrapins in High Post Hoops’ Big Ten preview.

“It’s a big game, early. They’re excited,” Staley said. “They are eager to play. I don’t know how we’ll play, but I know we’ll be up for the challenge.”

Below are other updates from around the SEC from each team other than Mississippi State, whose season tips off Saturday.

Texas A&M

Ciera Johnson led the way for the Aggies’ in their season opening win over the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Johnson had 24 points and 13 rebounds in 78-35 win, Chennedy Carter added 16 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and N’dea Jones pitched in 13 points and 8 rebounds.

The team fell 93-63 to Team USA in an exhibition on Thursday.

On Sunday Nov. 10, the Aggies’ regular season will host Duke.


The Lady Vols opened the season with 72-68 win over ETSU on the road. Rennia Davis and Tamari Key both recorded double doubles. It was 13 points and 10 rebounds for Davis and 11 points and 12 rebounds for Key, while Zaay Green scored 17 points.

“One of the things I told the players in the locker room is, you never take a win for granted,” said head coach Kellie Harper in a postgame press conference. “We’re excited to be going home with a win. It’ll be a great opportunity for us to learn without having to take a loss. We’re very fortunate, they did an excellent job playing for 40 minutes.”

On Thursday, Nov. 7, Tennessee defeated Central Arkansas in its home opener, 63-36. Jordan Horston finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Next up for Tennessee is Notre Dame on Monday.


A young trio led Vandy to a season opening win over the Gamecocks. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Two sophomores, Jordyn Cambridge (20) and Brinae Alexander (18), along with freshman Koi Love (16) led the Commodores to a 88-66 win. Love also grabbed 10 rebounds, recording her first double double in her debut.

“I’m proud of our crew,” said Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White postgame. “We’ve been battling and prepping and working hard. We’re gonna be challenged every game and we responded to that tonight. Having this depth is really important, and our young players are getting good experience, and really, it’s gonna pay dividends down the road.”

Vanderbilt defeated Radford 80-46 on Friday. On Wednesday, the Commodores host Connecticut Huskies.


Senior Ayana Mitchell scored her 1,000th-point and 28th double double as a Tiger during LSU’s 83-49 win over the University of New Orleans. Faustine Aifuwa added 15 points.

Freshman Tiara Young led LSU in scoring with 19 points (on 9-for-14 shooting), which is the most points scored in a freshman debut since Seimone Augustus’ first game for the Tigers.

“When you look at our starting lineup, you’ve got to be aware of our three returning starters,” said LSU head coach Nikki Fargas postgame. “Then you’ve got Tiara Young and what she’s able to do with really not a lot of assistance, it doesn’t need a lot of ball screen action, she can go get a basket anytime she wants to. I’m very pleased with the fact that she’s picking up our defensive scheme a lot faster, and that’s going to only help us on both sides of the basketball.”

On Saturday, Nov. 9, LSU hosts Florida State.


It’s no surprise Rhyne Howard led the way for Kentucky over Mount St. Mary’s, to a 67-44 win, with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Notably though, she shot 4-for-16, logged 31 minutes and still finished with a +/- rating of 22, a game-high. Jaida Roper added 13 points and Tatyana Wyatt contributed 10 and 5 rebounds.

“We’re still a work in progress,” said head coach Matthew Mitchell postgame. “There’s plenty of improvement we can make, but I thought we had some great hustle out there on the defensive end. For the season opener, so happy to win and so happy for the opportunity to get better from here.”

On Sunday, Nov. 10 Kentucky visits Middle Tennessee.

Ole Miss

Ole Miss beat Mississippi Valley State, 72-53, to start its second season under Yolett McPhee-McCuin.

“Good to start the season off with a victory,” McPhee-McCuin said postgame. “As you can see, we’re a young team, so the goal is to just continue to find things that we can get better at every game and focus on those things.”

Taylor Smith, who averaged 2.6 points per game last season, led Ole Miss with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Torri Lewis, who redshirted last season, added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Deja Cage added 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting off the bench, which is a career high in her Ole Miss debut. Cage sat out last season after transferring from DePaul.

Ole Miss hosts University of Louisiana at Monroe on Sunday.


The Bulldogs opened its season with a 80-65 win over Kennesaw State. Gabby Connally finished with 28 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. Jenna Staiti, who finished with a double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Maya Caldwell poured in 18 points.

“Kennesaw State is a good team,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “They returned all five starters. I think the biggest thing was making sure we were able to still get Gabby her shots at the point because it’s a lot easier when she was playing off the ball. We worked on that a lot this summer and she’s handled it well. She’s a junior now so she understands and accepts the responsibility that comes with number one being a point guard and also her production and how important it is for us to be successful.”

Georgia hosts North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, Nov. 13.


The Razorbacks opened the 2019 season with a 30-point win over the University of New Orleans. Chelsea Dungee led Arkansas to the 82-52 win with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Taylah Thomas grabbed 21 rebounds and 10 points. The Razorbacks host McNeese State on Monday, Nov. 11.


Mizzou opened its first game post-Sophie Cunningham with a 97-89 OT win over Western Illinois. Five players finished the game in double scoring figures: Amber Smith (27 and 15 rebounds), Jordan Chavis (18), Elle Brown (15), Jordan Roundtree (14) and Hannah Schuchts (11).

Mizzou hosts Nebraska on Sunday, Nov. 10.


The Crimson Tide opened its season with a 64-61 loss to Hampton. Three players finished the game with double digit scoring: Jordan Lewis (14), Brittany Davis (13) and Ariyah Copeland (11), added 11 rebounds for a double double.

Alabama shot 27.4 percent from the field and 22.2 percent (6-for-27) from three.

Alabama plays next on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Clemson.


Auburn opened its 2019-20 season with a two-point win over Wofford. Senior Daisa Alexander scored 22 for the Tigers while Unique Thompson led with 25 points, on 9-for-12 shooting, and 11 rebounds. Brooke Moore added 15 points and Annie Hughes pitched in 10.

“Great offensive night,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “We scored 84 points. I don’t think we scored 84 points many times last year. I think our kids kept fighting. Wofford is a very good team, probably going to win their conference this year. It’s a great test for us in the beginning.”

Auburn next plays on Nov. 14, hosting Old Dominion.

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