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South Carolina's Aliyah Boston sets double-double mark; Texas A&M's Gary Blair coaches last home game

On a historic night in SEC women's basketball, South Carolina star forward Aliyah Boston set the league's women's record for consecutive doubles-doubles at 20, and Gary Blair coached his last game on the Texas A&M court named after him.

No. 1 South Carolina earned the SEC regular-season title outright with an 89-48 victory at Texas A&M. The Gamecocks had already clinched the No. 1 seed in next week's SEC tournament with their win Sunday over Tennessee.

Boston, the favorite for national player of the year, had 18 points and 10 rebounds, eclipsing the 19 straight double-doubles by LSU's Sylvia Fowles in 2006-07.

"I think I celebrated a little bit," Boston told SEC Network after the game. "I'm just very excited. I'm just thankful to God that I'm able to do this. I'm thankful to my teammates."

Boston is the fifth woman in Division I history to have at least 20 consecutive double-doubles, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. DePaul freshman Aneesah Morrow also joined that list this season; she currently has 21.

The others are Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, who had streaks of 33, 31, 28 and 20 double-doubles from 2005 to 2009; Cal's Kristine Angiwe, who had 32 straight in 2018-19; and Robert Morris' Artemis Spanou, who had 24 straight in 2012-13.

"This league is a tough league," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "This league puts you in position to do some historical things. And that's exactly what it did for Aliyah. I'm so happy for her. She etches her name in history.

"But I know she would deflect and give credit to her teammates. I have to share one moment, because it's kind of the epitome of our team. In the third quarter, Brea Beal and Aliyah were near each other for a rebound and Brea was like, 'Go get it.' That is the type of friends and teammates they are. No one wanted her to get it more than her sisters."

Staley opened her postgame video call, though, by praising Blair, who is in his 37th and final year as a college head coach. Blair, 76, had success at Stephen F. Austin and Arkansas (going to the 1998 women's Final Four) before taking over at Texas A&M in 2003-04. He won the Aggies program's first national championship in 2011, beating McNeese State, Rutgers, Georgia, Baylor, Stanford and Notre Dame to do it.

"In the world in which a large portion of guys don't think our game is worth looking at or following, coaches like Coach Blair dedicated their entire lives to girls' and women's basketball," Staley said. "Certainly it's much deserved [they] named the court after him. I respect Coach Blair a great deal for winning championships and doing it the right way.

"Coach Blair has given so much of himself. I'm sure he missed a lot of family time, all because he sacrificed for the betterment of our game. So I just told him thank you. I hope his retirement is as fulfilling as basketball was for him."

Under Blair, the Aggies made one Final Four and two other trips to the Elite Eight. Last season, Texas A&M was the SEC regular-season champion, going 25-3 and making the NCAA Sweet 16.

This has been a difficult season for the Aggies, who fell to 14-12 overall and 4-10 in the SEC. But Blair, who is 852-345 overall as a college head coach, has remained upbeat. He addressed the crowd at Reed Arena after the game, saying he plans to become a fan of Texas A&M sports like them, but that he has cherished his career.

"Why do I do it?" Blair said. "Because I love it. I think I can make a difference in people's lives."