The shorthanded No. 11 UConn women’s basketball team was no match for the undefeated No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks, falling 83-65 on the road on Sunday.
That difference was clear in the first half: South Carolina had eight players score while the Huskies had just nine healthy players. UConn fought hard and battled, but it just didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with the hosts.
Paige Bueckers (20 points), Aaliyah Edwards (20 points) and Ashlynn Shade (14 points) combined for 54 of the Huskies’ 65 points. Edwards added 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double in six games while KK Arnold also played well with seven rebounds, four assists and just one turnover.
South Carolina had a staggering 19-3 advantage in bench points.
UConn stayed close for the first five minutes, but South Carolina scored eight of the final 10 points in the opening quarter to take a 19-11 lead. The Huskies put up 19 points themselves in the second quarter, but still found themselves down by 14 at the half.
After the break, UConn could only hold on for so long. The Gamecocks used a 9-0 run to push the lead to 25 points — a gap which held through the end of the third quarter. The Huskies fought to get it back below 20 points and a 3-pointer from Qadence Samuels with 12 seconds left meant they only fell by 18.
The loss drops UConn to 20-5 on the season. Next, the Huskies will return to Big East play with a trip to Xavier on Wednesday.