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No. 4 UConn Women’s Basketball Rolls Past No. 11 South Carolina, 97-79

Napheesa Collier was unstoppable as the Huskies rode a strong third quarter to victory.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

After an even first half, the UConn Huskies brought an onslaught in the third quarter as they took down the No. 11 South Carolina Gamecocks, 97-79. The No. 4 Huskies outscored South Carolina by 17 points in the third while Napheesa Collier had her best game of the season with 31 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists.

Defense was absent for both teams in the first quarter with everyone shooting over 50 percent after 10 minutes. South Carolina found the first edge, going on a 7-0 run to take a 15-8 lead. The Gamecocks built their lead up to 10 points before leading scorer Te’a Cooper got her second foul and went to the bench.

The Huskies slowly chipped into the deficit, eventually getting within one on a potential and-one from Collier. However, the senior missed the ensuing foul shot to even the game.

But shortly after, early in the second quarter, UConn took its first lead of the game off a three-pointer from Crystal Dangerfield. It didn’t last long, though, as South Carolina responded with a 9-0 run.

Just like in the first quarter, the Huskies found a way to respond, and took a 44-43 lead into the break.

After limited defense in the first half, the Huskies clamped down in the third quarter. They gave up just four baskets as their lead ballooned to 19 points thanks to a pair of 8-0 runs followed by a 7-0 run that sealed the deal for a 97-79 victory.

Samuelson finished with 29 points to go with seven rebounds. She also hit all of her eight free throws. Christyn Williams racked up 19 points and was active on the offensive glass with three offensive rebounds.

Nelson-Ododa had two points and a pair of rebounds, but also rejected three shots on the night in a nice performance off the bench. Dangerfield contributed 10 points, four assists and three rebounds.

Next, the Huskies return to AAC play at UCF on Sunday at 2 p.m.

At halftime of the game, the NCAA Selection Committee revealed their top 16 for the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today. UConn placed in the Albany Regional as a No. 2 seed, with Mississippi State at No. 1. Baylor was the top overall seed.