The Gamecocks, in distinction, performed sharp and turned to their signature protection within the second half, permitting Connecticut to attain simply 3 factors within the fourth quarter towards tight man-to-man protection.
The junior ahead Aliyah Boston practically had a double-double within the first half, and ended the sport with 22 factors and 15 rebounds — the type of efficiency that South Carolina is counting on her to ship all through the season.
“It’s time for Aliyah Boston to be the dominant participant she is,” Staley stated.
The guards Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson are the opposite two keys to the South Carolina offense. Cooke had 17 factors value of circus photographs, whereas Henderson’s veteran savvy manifested in speedy transition baskets and a well-balanced stat line of 15 factors, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals.
Total, the group confirmed its depth — and that it has ample room to develop. If, for instance, the Gamecocks can get Kamilla Cardoso, a 6-foot-7 switch from Syracuse, extra concerned within the paint, they could have a straightforward reply for a troublesome inside protection like Connecticut’s.
This was the primary large check of the season for the Huskies. UConn guard Paige Bueckers, the group’s main scorer, delivered numerous showstopping baskets, and within the first half the Huskies’ ball motion appeared practically transcendent. That rhythm, although, disintegrated within the second half, when solely Bueckers had multiple discipline aim.
Connecticut could have loads of shooters prepared to assist, although, as soon as it reduces a few of its extra fundamental errors. The redshirt senior guard Evina Westbrook was the spark for the Connecticut offense early, and the group’s second main scorer. With extra alternatives, she would possibly be capable to raise among the offensive load off Bueckers.
Azzi Fudd, a extremely regarded freshman, barely performed Monday after scoring 18 factors towards the College of South Florida on Sunday, a choice Auriemma attributed to her incapacity to maneuver inside South Carolina’s stifling protection. With extra time in faculty basketball’s large leagues, although, Fudd would possibly turn into a constant scoring risk.