The Connecticut Huskies proved Thursday night that despite the fact the most recent Women’s Basketball Championship banner hangs in Columbia, they remain the gold standard in the sport.
The Huskies defeated the Gamecocks 83-58, trailing for just a 24-second stretch of the opening quarter, leading at one point by as many as 34.
Sharp-shooting guard Kia Nurse led four Huskies in double-figures with 23 points and post-player Katie Lou Samuelson added 20. The Huskies shot 11-27 from beyond three, and 40 percent overall from the field.
Connecticut (21-0) made its biggest run in the second quarter, shooting 61 percent during the 10-minute stretch and outscoring South Carolina 29-8.
UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma said they knew they wouldn’t be able to stop everything South Carolina did, but effectively took away their best options.
USC fell to 0-6 all-time against UConn, suffering its worst head-to-head margin against the Huskies since an 87-62 loss in 2015.
South Carolina provided some hope for the home crowd, getting the score down to 21 halfway through the third quarter, but the Gamecocks had dug themselves too deep of a hole to climb out of.
Bianca Jackson proved to be the best viable option offensively for the Gamecocks, scoring 20 points with A’ja Wilson adding 14.
Dawn Staley said after the game that their players couldn’t match the intensity brought by UConn.
The road gets no easier for South Carolina, with a rematch of last year’s NCAA National Championship game coming on Sunday against #2 Mississippi State. The Bulldogs (23-0, 9-0) come into the weekend off a victory Thursday against Missouri, and ranked #2 in the nation.