COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just because she’s an All-American doesn’t mean A’ja Wilson sometimes doesn’t get mad at herself.
Wilson’s shaky first half let Wofford hang around way longer than anyone expected and provided the senior with a bad taste after No. 4 South Carolina’s 94-60 win over the Terriers on Sunday.
In the first three games, South Carolina (4-0) had only trailed for 1:32. But the Terriers came out shooting hot and led for more than eight of the game’s first 15 minutes
“I did not like the way we started the game off,” Wilson said. “It ticked me off.”
Wilson finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds — she’s had a double-double every game this season — after shooting only 2-of-8 in a first half where she played just nine minutes with foul trouble. Wilson looked energized coming out of the locker room, scoring South Carolina first five points of the second half and pulling down four rebounds in a little over three minutes.
“Coach gave us a little pep talk at halftime,” Wilson said, smiling.
By then, South Carolina had restored order. The Terriers (1-2) led 32-28 on freshman Da’ja Green’s 3-pointer midway through the second quarter. But the Gamecocks went on a 17-2 run to end the half as Wofford missed its next nine shots.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said she just had to clear out some complacency in the first half, not hit the panic button.
“I try to put things in perspective. This is our third game in seven days. We’re challenged when it comes to being mentally tough,” Staley said.
Green led all scorers with 21 points, including making four of her seven 3-pointers.
Wofford: Second-year Terriers coach Jimmy Garrity helped Wofford to four more victories in his first season. With threats from the outside like Green, another leap is possible this season. … The Terriers are the only Division I women’s basketball team in South Carolina without a player from South Carolina.
South Carolina: Eight Gamecocks played at least 10 minutes as coach Dawn Staley gets her team ready for three games in three days over the Thanksgiving weekend … Alexis Jennings and Tyasha Harris each had 13 points for South Carolina … The Gamecocks have scored at least 20 points in 13 of 16 quarters so far.
The biggest surprise for South Carolina so far has been the hot shooting of Penn State graduate transfer Lindsey Spann.
Staley brought her into to take pressure off of Wilson. But after shooting 29 percent on 3-pointers last season for the Lady Lions, Spann is shooting 65 percent (15-of-23) this season, including making three of her four shots behind the arc Sunday. She is in the top five in the nation for shooting percentage for players with at least 10 made 3s.
Spann, who scored 12 points and had eight assists Sunday, said she is just getting open looks and knocking them down.
“Lindsey is a great get,” Staley said. “We’re thanking out lucky stars.”
With No. 3 Baylor losing to No. 8 UCLA, the Gamecocks could move up a spot Monday with the new Associated Press Top 25 is released.
South Carolina has been in the top 10 of the AP poll every week since January 6, 2014.
Wofford: The Terriers host North Carolina Central in an 11 a.m. special Tuesday.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks head to Estero, Florida, for three games in the Gulf Coast Showcase. Up first is Rutgers on Friday. On the other side of the bracket is No. 5 Notre Dame.