TIFFANY MITCHELL and Alaina Coates each scored 14 points and No. 1 seed and host South Carolina built a big first-half lead and cruised to its third Sweet 16 in 4 years with a 97-68 victory over Syracuse last night at the Greensboro Regional.
Aleighsa Welch added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks (32-2), who turned an anticipated tight rematch into a runaway by halftime.
Alexis Peterson had 23 points to lead the Orange (22-10), which gave the Gamecocks one of their toughest games last November before losing, 67-63.
Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said her players came out with a fire and focus apparent at Saturday's practice and pregame shootaround.
She urged them not to let it go in the next round, where the Gamecocks have lost both previous trips.
"It's the same place we've been for a couple of years now," Staley said. "In order for us get over that hump, it's going to take us playing inspired basketball. It's going to take some focusing in on our opponent. It's going to take executing some game plans because the stakes are higher."
The Gamecocks have to wait until tonight to find out if their next opponent is Ohio State or North Carolina, which bounced South Carolina in last year's Sweet 16.
* At Kentucky, Ally Malott scored 28 points and Amber Deane added 23 to lead No. 7 seed Dayton to a 99-94 upset of second-seeded Kentucky.
Deane hit a three-pointer with 24 seconds remaining to send the Flyers (27-6) to their first Sweet 16 and knock out the host Wildcats (24-10).
* At California, Imani McGee-Stafford had 20 points and 11 rebounds as fifth-seeded Texas (24-10) ousted the fourth-seeded Golden Bears (24-10), 73-70.
* At Duke, freshman Azura Stevens had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (23-10) beat Mississippi State, 64-56.
* At Oregon State, Emma Wolfram scored a career-high 17 points and 11th-seeded Gonzaga held off a furious late rally by the Beavers for a 76-64 victory.
Gonzaga (26-7) advances to the Sweet 16, heading home to Spokane to face the winner of tonight's game in Knoxville between Tennessee and Pittsburgh.
* At Iowa, Bethany Doolittle scored 22 points, Ally Disterhoft had 15 and the third-seeded Hawkeyes (26-7) beat 11th-seeded Miami, 88-70, earning their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1996.
* At Baylor, Nina Davis scored 21 points, Niya Johnson had 12 assists to tie Baylor's career record and the second-seeded Lady Bears are headed to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the seventh year in a row after a 73-44 win over Arkansas. The Lady Bears (32-3) took control with a 30-7 run to finish the first half.
* At Notre Dame, Michaela Mabrey scored 19 points, hitting five three-pointers, Taya Reimer and Brianna Turner added 14 points each as the top-seeded Fighting Irish beat No. 9 seed DePaul, 79-67.