Top-seeded South Carolina routs Quinnipiac to reach Elite Eight

South Carolina junior guard Kaela Davis scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Gamecocks to a 100-58 win over Quinnipiac in the Sweet 16. (PHOTO: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports)

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) – Kaela Davis, A’ja Wilson and top-seeded South Carolina overpowered NCAA Tournament surprise Quinnipiac from the opening tip, scoring the first 16 points and advancing to the Stockton Regional final by beating the 12th-seeded Bobcats 100-58 on Saturday.

Davis scored 28 with five 3-pointers, Wilson added 24 and South Carolina’s athleticism and smothering, swarming defense was just too much for Quinnipiac on the Sweet 16 stage. The Bobcats started out 0 for 10 and took more than seven minutes to score as they struggled to get shots off, let alone establish their typically prolific perimeter game.

South Carolina (30-4) won its eighth in a row, putting coach Dawn Staley’s team in the Elite Eight for the second time in three years.

The Bobcats (29-7) had won 12 straight games, beating fifth-seeded Marquette and No. 4 Miami for the first two NCAA Tournament wins in school history. The mid-major school became an upset darling as Connecticut’s other team, prompting UConn coach Geno Auriemma to wear a Quinnipiac T-shirt on Friday beneath his warmup jacket in support of dear friend and coach Tricia Fabbri and her program.

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