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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Tiffany Mitchell made all six of her 3-pointers and scored 20 points as No. 2 South Carolina auditioned for the top spot in the country beating San Diego State 89-38 on Sunday.
The Gamecocks (3-0) overwhelmed the Aztecs with defense, forcing 29 turnovers and holding San Diego State to 29 percent (14-of-49) shooting.
The Aztecs (1-3) led just once, at 6-5 with 15:56 left in the first half. The Gamecocks went on a 33-2 run over nearly the next 12 minutes, forcing 12 turnovers as San Diego State missed all four of its shots from the field and two of four free throws.
No. 1 Connecticut lost this week to No. 6 Stanford, then the Cardinal lost to No. 10 Texas, clearing the way for the Gamecocks to be the No. 1 team in the country for the first time ever.
Heralded freshman A'ja Wilson added 15 points and nine rebounds, while freshman Bianca Cuevas added 11 points and five assists.
South Carolina had assists on 25 of its 33 field goals and shot 47.4 percent (9-of-19) on 3-pointers. The Gamecocks showed their depth too. South Carolina's bench had 53 of its points as 11 different players scored.
Erimma Amarikwa led San Diego State with nine points, while Chairese Culbertson added three points and six rebounds.
It is the second game in a row South Carolina didn't allow a player from the other team to score in double figures.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is in her seventh season, taking over a program that needed massive rebuilding. She went 10-18 her first season, but the Gamecocks have improved every year. They won their first ever Southeastern Conference regular season title and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament last year. She was successful at her first head coaching job at Temple, leaving as the program's winningest coach after eight seasons.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have won 21 home games in a row ... Dawn Staley is just four wins away from career victory 300 ... South Carolina has never beaten a No. 1 team in women's basketball.
San Diego State: The Aztecs lost both games on their East Coast swing, losing 60-43 to Furman on Friday ... South Carolina was the highest ranked team San Diego State has played since losing 99-55 to No. 1 Connecticut in November 2008.
South Carolina plays Wisconsin on Thursday in the Junkaroo Jam in the Bahamas.
San Diego State plays Idaho State on Thursday in the San Juan Shootout.