Ashley Brunner had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 4 seed South Carolina to a 74-52 victory over South Dakota State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (25-7), who won a school-record 11 Southeastern Conference games this season, used their superior athleticism and stout defense to make quick work of the 13th-seeded Jackrabbits (25-8), the Summit League regular season and tournament champs.
They'll face Colorado or Kansas on Monday in their quest to reach the round of 16 for the second straight year under coach Dawn Staley, who led Virginia to three Final Fours as a player.
Guard Ieasia Walker, the SEC defensive player of the year, finished with 15 points. She also helped hold South Dakota State to 33 percent shooting in the first half as the Gamecocks raced to a 44-26 halftime lead on the strength of 61 percent shooting and 10 forced turnovers.
South Carolina led by as many as 27 in the second half as the Jackrabbits, despite 15 poin...