ESTERO, Fla. (AP) - A'ja Wilson scored a career-high 33 points, Lindsey Spann added 17 and No. 3 South Carolina survived a serious test before beating Rutgers 78-68 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Wilson went 15 for 17 from the foul line for the Gamecocks (5-0), who won their 16th consecutive game going back to last season.
Rutgers was within 63-60 midway through the fourth, but South Carolina finished on a 15-8 run. Wilson topped her previous career-best by a point; she had 32 against Maryland on Nov. 13.
Tyler Scaife scored 20 for Rutgers (4-1), which got 13 from Tekia Mack and 10 from Jazlynd Rollins.
Wilson grabbed 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks, who were just far more effective at the rim than the Scarlet Knights. South Carolina shot 17 for 25 on layups; Rutgers was 13 for 30.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights gave up the first point of the game, significant because that ended a streak of 116 minutes, 51 seconds - spanning parts of four games - in which they had not faced any deficit. Their biggest deficit all season before Friday was five points. ... Rutgers has 14 players, and not only did they all play but all saw time in the first quarter.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks were 22 for 25 from the foul line. ... Wilson added five blocked shots, which was one more than every other player - both teams - in the game had combined. ... Even though it wasn't decided until late, South Carolina led for 33 of the game's 40 minutes.
South Carolina had a 12-0 run in the first half, the 10th time already this season that the Gamecocks have had a run of at least 10-0. They've had at least one such spurt in all five games.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley's third Olympic gold was won in Athens in 2004, when the Americans went 8-0. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer was an assistant for that U.S. team. They also coached against each other eight times when Staley was at Temple; Stringer and the Scarlet Knights went 5-3 in those meetings, including an NCAA tournament win.
Rutgers: Faces Western Michigan in Friday's consolation round.
South Carolina: Faces St. John's in Friday's semifinals.
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