While Connecticut managed just three points in the fourth quarter against tight man-to-man defence, the Gamecocks played well in the second half and relied on their characteristic defence to keep the game close throughout.
Aliyah Boston, a junior center, got close to a double-double in the first half and ended the game with 22 points and 15 rebounds — the kind of performance that South Carolina is banking on her to provide for the rest of the season.
In addition to Cooke and Henderson, the guards Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson are important components of the South Carolina offence. Cooke finished with 17 points, while Henderson’s seasoned acumen showed up in quick transition baskets and a well-balanced stat line of 15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals. Cooke finished with 17 points, while Henderson finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals.
Overall, the workforce demonstrated its depth — as well as the fact that it has plenty of space to grow. If the Gamecocks can, for example, persuade Kamilla Cardoso, a 6-foot-7 switch from Syracuse, to get more involved in the paint, they will have an easy answer for a difficult interior defence like Connecticut’s.
The Huskies received their first significant check of the season with this win. Guard Paige Bueckers, who led the team in scoring with 15 points, had many highlight-reel shots in the first half, and the Huskies’ ball movement seemed to be almost transcendent in the first half of the game. That pattern, on the other hand, was shattered in the second half, when only Bueckers was assigned numerous topic objectives.
But once Connecticut corrects some of its more fundamental faults, it will have a large number of shooters available to help. Evina Westbrook, a redshirt senior guard, provided the spark for the Connecticut offence early on, and she was the second leading scorer for the team. Bueckers may be able to relieve some of the offensive pressure if she has more attacking options available to her.
It was attributed to her inability to move inside South Carolina’s stifling defence that Azzi Fudd, a highly touted freshman, didn’t play much on Monday after scoring 18 points against the University of South Florida on Sunday. Auriemma attributed Fudd’s absence to her inability to move inside South Carolina’s stifling defence. Nonetheless, with more playing time in the college basketball’s major leagues, Fudd might develop into a reliable source of offensive production.