Wilson leads No. 5 South Carolina past Georgia 72-48

Credit: USA Today

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – Southeastern Conference player of the year A’ja Wilson scored 18 points and No. 5 South Carolina opened its quest for a third straight SEC Tournament title with a 72-48 victory over Georgia on Friday.

The top-seeded Gamecocks (25-4) played without SEC first-team pick Alaina Coates, who sat out for a second time in three games with a right ankle injury.

Wilson, the 6-foot-5 junior, helped South Carolina open a 20-point lead in the second quarter.

The Gamecocks will face either No. 20 Kentucky or Alabama in the semifinals on Saturday.

Wilson, who won her second straight SEC player of the year honor this week, added seven rebounds and seven blocks.

Georgia shot less than 20 percent to fall behind 42-16 at halftime.