BASKETBALL OF WOMEN OF CAROLINA DEL SUR
Connecticut dominated the third quarter to get away and stay undefeated against South Carolina.
The game started perfectly for South Carolina. Dawn Staley wanted to push the pace and force Connecticut to adapt to its guard-oriented lineup, and it worked from the start. South Carolina made 10 of its first 11 shots, almost all at the start of the shot clock, and led 22-12 in the middle of the first quarter.
Things started to change when Te'a Cooper made her second foul. She already had six points and three assists and was able to push the ball, but had to sit down after only seven minutes. Connecticut struggled to return to 27-23 at the end of the first quarter. Staley went to the second unit to start the second quarter, and the reserves could not match Connecticut, which remained with its starters.
Connecticut slowed the pace and made a midfield game that took the lead to South Carolina. The teams came and went, but Connecticut led 44-43 at halftime, and the fantastic start to South Carolina was in vain. It was an emotional turning point.
The third quarter was all from Huskies, as they started in a 14-5 run and outscored the Gamecocks 29-12. The Gamecocks undid while the Huskies managed to get the crowd to back them up. The Gamecocks pressed, trying to make up the shortfall in a play instead of playing the team's basketball that worked in the first half.
However, once again, as in the previous games, South Carolina did not lose on the offensive side. He lost because he could not stop, let alone stop Connecticut. The Huskies shot 57 percent for the game, and 63 percent in the second half.
Napheesa Collier had a season record of 31 points in 15-23 shots and 16 rebounds. Katie Lou Samuelson had 29 points and seven rebounds. They also received help from others, which was not the case in the two Connecticut losses. Christyn Williams added 19 and Crystal Dangerfield had ten.
South Carolina shot 46 percent for the game, but a fourth quarter of 4-14 condemned them. Bianca Cuevas-Moore tied her personal record with 25 points. He also had four assists and did everything he could to keep the Gamecocks in the game. Cooper finished with 20 points and four assists in just 21 minutes, but eventually lost the ball. Unlike the Huskies, Gamecocks did not give enough help to their two best players. Tyasha Harris and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan each scored 11, but neither scored in the second half.
At halftime, the NCAA released its 16 best current seeds for the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina was a seed of four in the Greensboro region. The first three seeds were Baylor, Notre Dame and Maryland. Charlie Creme, of ESPN, projects South Carolina as a seed of three seeds in the Chicago region, but having to play all six Michigan State seeds in the first two rounds. … Connecticut did not replace in the first half. … South Carolina is now 0-8 against Connecticut. … Earlier on Monday, Tyasha Harris was one of the ten players named on the watch list for the Nancy Lieberman Award. The award is given to the best shipowner in the nation. … Cooper briefly left the game with pain in his left knee, which he had previously injured. Later he returned without harmful effects. Alexis Jennings only had six points and four rebounds, and he struggled to find a role in the game. It was too slow to be a factor when South Carolina ran, and unable to get a position in the midfield. … Connecticut had a rebounding lead of 39-27, and Jennings was actually South Carolina's main rebounder. … South Carolina's next game is Thursday against Georgia.
POINT OF SCORE