From the opening tip, this game had the potential to replicate the high intensity, instant classic ferocity we typically see in March — and absolutely delivered.
South Carolina escaped Hartford unbeaten as the Gamecocks took down UConn in a nail-biting 81-77 victory on Sunday.
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The Huskies jumped out to a 25-14 lead after the first ten minutes of play, but from that point on, South Carolina charged back, outscoring UConn 67-52 in the succeeding three periods.
Aliyah Boston was magnificent, scoring 23 points in the second half to finish with a game-high 26 points and 11 boards, her 76th career double-double. South Carolina exploited its size advantage, out-rebounding UConn 42 to 30, and forced its way into the paint to draw fouls and go to the line 36 times. Center Kamilla Cardossa fouled out late in the fourth, but put up 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench before her exit. South Carolina’s second unit scored 35 points; UConn’s bench scored zero.
Fatigue may have played a factor in the outing for UConn as coach Auriemma opted to play just seven Huskies, the second unit combining for only 14 minutes, and ran a full court press much of the game. Still, the fifth ranked team in the nation remained tenacious, battling for buckets down the stretch. Aliyah Edwards scored an efficient 25 points on 9-12 shooting, while all but one starter finished in double figures. Dorka Juhasz had five points and a team high seven boards.
. @aa_boston OH MY GOODNESS!! Season high 25 points for the senior! pic.twitter.com/jimRpnzJIm— South Carolina Women's Basketball (@GamecockWBB) February 5, 2023
Ultimately, South Carolina’s offensive prowess proved to be too much for UConn as the Huskies move to 21-3 on the season with the loss.