No. 17 Gamecocks rout Alabama in second round of SEC Tournament

Dawn Staley's No. 17 Gamecocks cruised in their first game of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament against Alabama on Thursday in Duluth, GA.

DULUTH, Ga. (WACH/AP) -- Elem Ibiam scored 19 points, Ashley Bruner pulled down 14 rebounds and No. 17 South Carolina easily defeated Alabama 77-35 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Thursday.

Alabama's total was a record low for the tournament, one fewer than the 36 scored by Mississippi State in the Tide's 63-36 play-in victory Wednesday. That matched the 36 scored by Alabama against LSU in 2011 and by Mississippi against LSU in 2008.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley has been vocal about her team putting together a complete game all season long. She got exactly what she asked for on Thursday.

"I thought we played extremely well. We played with a lot of energy, especially in the second half," said Staley. "The second half is something we've really been concentrating on, getting off to better starts. I though our players really concentrated on taking care of the basketball, getting the ball inside, taking care of the mismatches that we had on the floor. We put a total 40 minutes together."

The Gamecocks (24-6) will face No. 19 Texas A&M in the quarterfinals on Friday. The victory was their eighth straight over Alabama under fifth-year coach Dawn Staley.

Alabama (13-18) ended the season by losing 11 of its last 12 games. Daisha Simmons led the Crimson Tide with 10 points.

South Carolina began to assert its size and speed midway through the first half. Sancheon White's 3-pointer gave the Gamecocks their first double-digit lead, 21-9, 10:47 before halftime.