Sophomore Guard Kaila Charles scored 27 of her 31 points in the second half but it was not enough as South Carolina held off a furious Maryland rally to win 94-86 Monday Night.
The Terrapins trailed by 15 at the half and were down 71-45 with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
Maryland began chipping away and eventually cut the Gamecocks lead to 87-84 with 38 seconds remaining in regulation before South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris three-point play extended the lead to 90-84 and silenced the Xfinity Center crowd.
The Terrapins came into this season with a lot of questions after losing their three best players in the offseason to graduation or transfer but tonight a few of those questions were answered. Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese appreciated the effort of her team despite the loss.
“I thought we showed a lot of fight,” said Frese. We just dug ourselves into too big of a hole in the first quarter.”
Gamecocks National Player of the Year candidate Aja Wilson led all scorers with a career-high 32 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Maryland will host Niagara on Thursday morning for a special 11am tip-off before traveling to play Top-Ranked UCONN on Sunday.
Greg Watkins is a reporter and producer for CBS Radio Baltimore. He covers Maryland Football and Basketball for Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan. You can follow Greg on Twitter@gregwatkins830