COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Aleighsa Welch had a career high 19 points and South Carolina won its seventh straight game with a 65-55 victory over No. 24 Vanderbilt on Thursday night.
The Gamecocks (13-2, 2-0 SEC) opened 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in 10 years, disrupting the Commodores (12-2, 0-1) with their pressure defense. Vanderbilt was held to its fewest points of the season and committed 26 turnovers.
South Carolina broke open a tie game with a 10-0 run to close the first half. Vanderbilt did not get closer than six points as it lost its league opener for the first time in six years.
Tiffany Clarke led Vanderbilt with 13 points. Christina Foggie, the team's top scorer at 17 points a game, was held to nine.
Vanderbilt led the nation in three point shooting percentage entering the contest and was held to just 1-6 from beyond the arc...Vandy went 0-2 from three in the first half, marking the first time this season they failed to hit a three-pointer in a half...The game marked the first time the Commodores had more than 25 turnovers since March 5, 2011, when they had 25 against Kentucky in the SEC Tournament...Vanderbilt fell to 6-4 in SEC openers under Melanie Balcomb...The Commodores lost their first road game of the SEC slate for the third straight year...South Carolina now trails Vandy 21-7 in the all-time series, as well as 7-5 in Columbia...South Carolina beats Vanderbilt for just the third time in 13 tries since Melanie Balcomb arrived at Vanderbilt...Vandy used the same starting line-up it has all season (Jasmine Lister, Christina Foggie, Kady Schrann, Elan Brown, Stephanie Holzer)...Gabby Smith returned for the first time since the Western Illinois game on November 14 after missing a total of 12 games...It marked the second straight season Vanderbilt lost a player for at least 10 games to a concussion, after Foggie missed 10 last year with two separate concussions...The Commodores return to action on Sunday, January 8, when they host Ole Miss...Tipoff at Memorial Gym is set for 2:00 p.m. and following the game the players will conduct a free autograph session and mini-clinic.