NCAA Women’s Basketball: #2 South Carolina vs #3 UConn

by | Feb 8, 2021 | NCAA Women's Basketball

NCAA Women’s Basketball: #2 South Carolina vs #3 UConn

Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, is set to host a huge NCAA women’s basketball matchup on Monday night. The #2 South Carolina Gamecocks will travel to Connecticut for a 7:00 PM ET tip against the #3 UConn Huskies. 

South Carolina and UConn both have records with a single blemish on them this season. The Gamecocks are 15-1, and the Huskies are 13-1 entering Monday’s contest. 

There is no longer an undefeated team remaining in the Top 25, which makes this game critical for both squads. 

What Will the Trek North Bring for South Carolina?

South Carolina head coach, Dawn Staley, has led her team into Gampel Pavilion four times as the program’s leader. Their last trip in 2017 didn’t go in favor of the Gamecocks. South Carolina was defeated 66-55 by the Huskies. 

South Carolina has only lost one game this season. They were bested by #8 NC State, 54-46, earlier in the year. Since this loss, South Carolina has gone on to win 12 games in a row.

Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston have led the way for the Gamecocks in this 12-game stretch. Cooke is averaging 16.2 points per game and shooting 42% from behind the arc. Her precision from three-point land is what makes her such a critical part of South Carolina’s offensive attack.

Aliyah Boston is only a sophomore, but she is the best player on South Carolina’s roster. Last season, she was the National Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press. The forward is averaging a double-double per game this year. 

Can Paige Bueckers Lead the Huskies in Prime Time?

South Carolina will be UConn’s fifth-ranked opponent of the season. The Huskies are currently 3-1 against teams in the Top 25, but the Gamecocks will be the best team UConn has faced all year.

UConn is on a three-game winning streak after their loss to #19 Arkansas on January 28th. The Razorbacks narrowly took down the Huskies, 90-87. However, UConn is still an excellent basketball team.

The Huskies don’t have a single senior on their roster, but they have continued to perform at a high level in 2020-21. Freshman Paige Bueckers is the team’s do all athlete. When the game is on the line, Bueckers has earned the right to get the ball in her short time on campus. 

Bueckers has put up back-to-back 30+ point efforts heading into the South Carolina game. Bueckers is assisted by Olivia Nelson-Odod, Evina Westbrook, and Christyn Williams. These three juniors are the backbone of UConn’s starting five. 

#2 South Carolina vs #3 UConn | The Matchup

I can’t wait to watch sophomore Aliyah Boston and freshman Paige Bueckers square off. These two athletes are going to headline women’s college basketball for years to come. Whatever young star takes this game over is going to give her team a massive advantage. 

UConn is more efficient shooting the basketball. The Huskies are shooting 53.3% as a team which is phenomenal. South Carolina is shooting 46.1%, which is still solid. Still, the Huskies’ offensive productivity gives them a leg up on the Gamecocks. 

South Carolina is a superior rebounding squad. The Gamecocks are pulling down 50 boards per game, but UConn does not miss much, so this should not be a considerable advantage for South Carolina.\

#2 South Carolina vs #3 UConn | The Prediction

History is going to repeat itself from the last time South Carolina came to Connecticut on Monday night. The young Huskies are learning how to win, and they will make a statement in this super showdown. 

I don’t think Paige Bueckers will drop 30 points once again, but she will be the catalyst that leads UConn to a home victory over South Carolina.

FINAL: UConn 77 South Carolina 71

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