Monday night was a statement game not just for this year’s South Carolina team, but for the Gamecock women’s basketball program as a whole as they got the emphatic 70-52 win over No. 5 UConn.
The No. 1 Gamecocks (23-1, 10-0 SEC) showed resolve, overcoming a 5-21 shooting from the field in the first quarter, to get their first win in program history against the Huskies (20-3, 10- AAC).
Aliyah Boston finished with a double-double, scoring 13 and pulling down 12 rebounds. Tyasha Harris led the charge with 19 points and 11 assists. Zia Cooke finished with 15 and iMikiah Herbert Harrigan chipped in .
South Carolina had to rely on its defense early on as shots weren’t falling. They held the Huskies to just two points in the first quarter on 1-16 shooting and forcing five turnovers.
Tyasha Harris got going in the second quarter with a 4-0 run on her own to help give the Gamecocks the 15-7 lead. Destanni Henderson came off the bench and hit two 3-pointers and suddenly USC found itself with a double digit lead.
The offense picked up in the second half as threes started falling for Brea Beal and Harris and the Gamecocks extended their lead to 20.
Crystal Dangerfield was the only Husky able to knock down baskets in the first half and Megan Walker made plays in the second. The duo combined for 35 points, while the rest of the Huskies’ starting five had a total of 15.
The Huskies closed the third quarter out on a 7-0 run and threatened to cut he lead down to single digits in the fourth. Boston hit a jumper then Herbert Harrigan got a huge block on the other end and the Gamecocks would force a shot clock violation. Herbert Harrigan later knocked own a three to put the Gamecocks up 59-43.
From there South Carolina managed the clock, pulled down timely offensive rebounds and closed the game.