AMES, Iowa (AP) – Zia Cooke scored 19 points and No. 1 South Carolina bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 83-65 win over 23rd-ranked Iowa State on Sunday.
The Gamecocks (4-1) were beaten by No. 8 N.C. State 54-46 on Thursday, but never trailed against the Cyclones (2-2) during the SEC/Big 12 Challenge matchup.
Aliyah Boston and Brea Beal added 13 points each while Destanni Henderson had 12.
Ashley Joens scored 32 points for Iowa State, which shot just 37.1% for the game and was outrebounded 50-24.
South Carolina held a 44-30 lead at halftime and made nine of its first 13 shots in the third quarter to put the game away.
Unlike last game when the Gamecocks struggled offensively, they jumped to a 10-0 lead in the opening moments, with Boston and Beal each contributing 5 points.
Iowa State trimmed the margin to 16-15 late in the first quarter before South Carolina went on a 17-2 run and built a 33-17 advantage.
The Gamecocks will fall from the top spot when the new poll comes out Monday. How far is the question. … Saturday marked Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly‘s second game back after missing two games due to COVID exposure.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks host Temple on Thursday, before taking a two week break prior to facing SEC rival Mississippi on Dec. 31.
Iowa State: The Cyclones travel to rival Iowa on Wednesday, then host North Dakota State on Saturday.