The UConn Huskies showed why they have been the biggest and baddest team in women’s college basketball with an absolute thumping of South Carolina in their Elite Eight matchup in Albany, 94-65. The victory sends UConn to its 11th straight Final Four and 19th in program history.
Geno Auriemma’s squad put on an offensive clinic, notching an assist on 25 out of 37 (68%) made baskets while shooting 59 percent from the field and 12-20 (60%) from behind the arc. All five starters scored in double figures, led by senior do-everything forward Gabby Williams, who had 23 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Sophomore point guard Crystal Dangerfield had a breakout offensive performance, scoring 21 points while also dishing out six assists.
The Gamecocks had just 12 points after the first quarter and were held under 20 in three out of four quarters. They also let UConn get off to a quick start in part by turning the ball over quite a bit—six times in the first quarter, which is not part of the formula for an upset.
This marks the final collegiate game for South Carolina star A’ja Wilson, the in-state star who chose USC over many prestigious offers to join a program with no real history of success. In her four years, the Gamecocks’ seasons ended with one Sweet 16, two Elite Eights, and the national championship which they won last year over Mississippi State.
Wilson ends her career with three All-American nods and numerous conference and program records and distinctions. The success Wilson helped bring has had an incredibly profound impact on her school and she has a very bright future in the WNBA.
UConn will move on to face Notre Dame in the national semifinals opposite an exciting Louisville/Mississippi State matchup in the other semifinal. The games will start on Friday, March 30th at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
For a more detailed recap and additional post-game coverage, check out The UConn Blog and Garnet and Black Attack!