Gamecocks maintain No. 1 ranking; A’ja Wilson earns fourth SEC freshman award

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley reacts during Sunday's game at Mississippi, which USC won 77-59. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

COLUMBIA — South Carolina continued to maintain the nation’s top ranking in women’s college basketball on Monday, and Gamecocks player A’ja Wilson continued to rack up SEC Freshman of the Week awards.

South Carolina held the No. 1 ranking for the 11th consecutive week in the new AP Top 25 released Monday. The Gamecocks received 26 first-place votes, while No. 2 Connecticut received eight. Baylor, Notre Dame and Maryland rounded out the top five.

Wilson earned the SEC’s freshman honor for the fourth time this season, one short of tying the record of five compiled by teammate Alaina Coates last year. Wilson scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds in USC’s victory over No. 14 Texas A&M last week, followed by 17 points and five rebounds in a victory over Alabama, and 11 points and six boards in Sunday’s comeback win at Ole Miss.

The Gamecocks (21-0, 9-0 SEC) are off to the best start, and in the midst of the longest winning streak, in the program’s history. South Carolina travels to No. 22 Georgia for a 7 p.m. game Thursday, and then heads to No. 2 Connecticut on Feb. 9 for perhaps the most anticipated regular-season game in school history.