Welch had 16 points and 14 rebounds – eight offensive – for the Gamecocks (11-1), who bounced back with a strong performance after losing to No. 1 Stanford 53-49 this week. Elem Ibiam scored 11 points and Ieasia Walker had six steals.
South Carolina held the Bulldogs scoreless for nearly eight minutes between the two halves, scoring 15 consecutive points to claim a 20-point lead – its largest of the contest.
South Carolina State did not score until Tiara Knott made a layup with 15:02 left in the game. Knott finished with 14 points before fouling out for the Bulldogs (8-3).
NO. 5 NOTRE DAME 83, NO. 22 TEXAS A&M 74
In Las Vegas, Skylar Diggins scored 24 points and Natalie Achonwa had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead Notre Dame (9-1) past Texas A&M (8-4) in the championship game of the World Vision Classic.
Kelsey Bone had 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead Texas A&M.
NO. 7 KENTUCKY 66, UC SANTA BARBARA 38
In Santa Barbara, Calif., A’dia Mathies scored 19 points and Kentucky (10-1) extended its winning streak to nine games with a victory over UC Santa Barbara (4-7).
NO. 13 PURDUE 78, IUPUI 53
In West Lafayette, Ind., Courtney Moses scored 18 points, Drey Mingo added 13 along with eight rebounds and Purdue (11-1) used a big second-half run to beat IUPUI (6-7) and extend its best start in a decade.
NO. 14 LOUISVILLE 106, WAGNER 32
In Louisville, Ky., Megan Deines had 19 points and eight of nine players scored in double figures as Louisville (11-2) routed Wagner (1-8).
NO. 6 INDIANA 88, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 52
In Bloomington, Ind., Cody Zeller had 24 points and six rebounds, Christian Watford scored 17 points and Indiana (11-1) overwhelmed another undermanned opponent, routing Florida Atlantic (5-7).
Indiana has shot a combined 60.4 percent from the field in two games this week en route to a 29th consecutive nonconference win at home.
NO. 22 NOTRE DAME 89, NIAGARA 67
In South Bend, Ind., Jack Cooley had 24 points and 15 rebounds, both season highs, to lead Notre Dame (12-1) over Niagara (5-7).
The Irish shot a season-high 62 percent in their 10th consecutive victory.
TENNESSEE 66, WESTERN CAROLINA 52
In Knoxville, Tenn., Jordan McRae scored 14 points as Tennessee (7-3) capitalized on a big disparity at the free-throw line and defeated Western Carolina for its 300th all-time win at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Volunteers made 30 of 42 free throws, while Western Carolina was 8 of 11.
Tenneessee is 300-104 at Thompson-Boling Arena, its home floor since the 1987-88 season.