South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from domination of UConn

South Carolina basketball dominated the UConn Huskies at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday despite playing shorthanded.

South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao
South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball is the class of women's college basketball. By now, that should have been obvious to anyone who has watched them this season. However, if anyone had doubts, Sunday should serve as assurance that Dawn Staley's team has no rival.

In front of another sold-out crowd at Colonial Life Arena, the Gamecocks smacked around the UConn Huskies despite playing shorthanded. While Kamilla Cardoso was in Brazil playing for the Brazilian national team in Olympic qualifying and Sahnya Jah was suspended, the Gamecocks only had 9 available players for the game, but they dominated anyway.

Dawn Staley's group was paced by 21 points from Te-Hina Paopao (8-12 shooting and 5-7 from the 3-point line), a double-double from Raven Johnson (10 points and 12 rebounds), and 29 combined points from Ashlyn Watkins and Chloe Kitts down low.

UConn couldn't get anything going against the Gamecock defense until garbage time, only scoring 44 points on 32.7% shooting from the field through the first three quarters. All-American Paige Bueckers was completely bottled up until 6 points on three shot attempts in the 4th quarter; before that, Bueckers was just 6-17 from the field.

Geno Auriemma's team "won" the 4th quarter by seven points while the Gamecocks coasted to the finish line, making the final score much closer than the game actually was. Coach Staley's group made light work of UConn, something that has not happened very often to the Huskies over the past 25 years. The 83-65 win pushed the Gamecocks' record to 23-0.

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