Wilson powers USC over Ole Miss

South Carolina guard Bianca Cuevas (right) dribbles past Mississippi guard A’Queen Hayes during the Gamecocks’ win on Thursday.

A’ja Wilson scored 16 points, Tiffany Mitchell added 12 and No. 3 South Carolina beat Mississippi 66-45 on Thursday night.

South Carolina (27-1, 15-0 Southeastern Conference) has won five straight games since its only loss of the season to top-ranked UConn.

The Gamecocks jumped out to a 34-19 by halftime, holding Ole Miss to just five points in the second quarter.

It was another rough night for Ole Miss in a season full of them. The Rebels — who have lost nine straight and 13 of 14 — shot just 14 of 63 (22.2 percent) from the field.

Ole Miss (10-18, 2-13) made a brief run in the third quarter to pull within 36-29, but South Carolina’s Bianca Cuevas stopped the charge with a pair of free throws and the Gamecocks were on their way to the win.

The Rebels were led by Madinah Muhammad’s 20 points.

South Carolina continued its undefeated charge through league play thanks to a dominant night from its post players. The Gamecocks had a 40-8 scoring advantage in the paint with Wilson and Alaina Coates continually getting easy baskets.

Wilson, a 6-5 junior, made all eight of her field-goal attempts while the 6-4 Coates scored 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting.

The size advantage was also evident when South Carolina was on defense. Ole Miss was usually able to penetrate into the lane, but rarely had open looks around the basket. Wilson had five blocked shots and Coates had two.

South Carolina only needs to beat LSU at home on Sunday to complete its perfect run through the SEC regular season.

South Carolina hosts LSU on Sunday, while Ole Miss travels to Arkansas.

The Gamecocks have won 10 of 12 games against Ole Miss since Dawn Staley became the Gamecocks’ coach in 2008. ... Coates finished with her 15th double-double of the season, grabbing a team-high 14 rebounds. ... This was the Rebels’ final home game of the season, but there was no senior night. That’s because Ole Miss is the only team in the league without a senior.