South Carolina Basketball: Aja Wilson makes playoff history

South Carolina basketball legend Aja Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina basketball legend Aja Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Stop if you’ve heard this one before: Aja Wilson made some WNBA history.

Yesterday, Wilson led her Las Vegas Aces squad to the franchise’s 5th-straight WNBA Playoff Semifinal, but in doing so, she put up a historical performance for the Vegas crowd.

Aja Wilson set a new Las Vegas franchise record for points in a playoff game, dropping 38 points on 65% shooting from the field in her team’s closeout victory over the Chicago Sky. She also became just the 3rd player in WNBA history to put up a 35-point, 15-rebound performance in the postseason.

She finished the night with 38 points, 16 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, and an assist while shooting 65% from the floor and 80% from the free throw line.

It was another MVP-type performance for Wilson who sits as one of two realistic candidates to win the 2023 award, along with New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart. The two best players in the league are also on the two best teams in the league seeded #1 and #2 in the postseason, meaning that WNBA fans might get to witness the two square off in the WNBA finals next month.

However, before that can happen, the Aces will take on the winner of the Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream (Dallas currently leads 1-0 in the best-of-three series). The Liberty are up 1-0 on the Washington Mystics, and the winner of that series will face the emerging victor from the 1-1 series between the Minnesota Lynx and Connecticut Sun.

Other South Carolina basketball alums in the postseason include all-star Allisha Gray (Atlanta Dream), Laeticia Amihere (Atlanta Dream), Ty Harris (Connecticut Sun), Tiffany Mitchell (Minnesota Lynx), and Wilson’s teammate Alaina Coates (Las Vegas Aces).

Gray, Harris, Mitchell, and Coates all played with Wilson at South Carolina, as well, and Harris, Gray, and Coates were on the Gamecocks’ national championship team in the 2016-2017 season.