South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock rival has key player go down with season-ending injury

UConn, one of South Carolina basketball's biggest out-of-conference rivals, just lost their fourth player to a season-ending injury this year.

The UConn Huskies (one of the biggest South Carolina basketball out-of-conference rivals) has lost its 4th player to a season-ending injury.
The UConn Huskies (one of the biggest South Carolina basketball out-of-conference rivals) has lost its 4th player to a season-ending injury. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina and UConn have become one of the premier rivalries in the sport of women's college basketball. The two teams are the two biggest brands in the sport, and they have won 6 championships and played in 14 combined Final Fours since the 2012-2013 season. The teams' head coaches have won 5 of the past 8 Naismith Coach of the Year awards (and 11 total), as well.

Simply put, Dawn Staley and Geno Auriemma are two of the best to ever coach, and their teams have become rivals because of their concurrent excellence.

The rivalry was owned by UConn in the early years as the Huskies won 6 meetings in a row from 2014-2019, but the Gamecocks have flipped the script, winning 4 of 5, including the 2021-2022 national championship game.

The two teams will play again this regular season in February, and South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley has hinted that SEC Player of the Year candidate Kamilla Cardoso might miss the game as she is supposed to be playing with the Brazilian national team during Olympic qualifiers.

However, bad news struck Geno Auriemma's UConn Huskies as they learned they will also be without an important player in that game.

On Wednesday, it was announced that UConn sixth woman Aubrey Griffin will miss the remainder of this season with a torn ACL. The fifth-year senior is the fourth Huskies player to go out with a season-ending leg injury this season, joining guard Azzi Fudd (ACL), forward Ayanna Patterson (patella), and center Jana El Alfy (Achilles). Star guard Paige Beuckers and reserve guard Ice Brady are healthy after returning this year from an ACL tear and patella dislocation, respectively.

The loss of Griffin is a big blow to a Huskies team that hopes to return to the Final Four after missing out last season.

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