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Feb. 9, 2015

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Team 1st 2nd Total
#1 S. Carolina (22-1, 10-0 SEC) 31 31 62
#2 Connecticut (23-1, 12-0 AAC) 47 40 87
Watch Party
Post-Game Press Conference

STORRS, Conn. – No. 1/1 South Carolina grabbed an early lead, but No. 2/2 Connecticut took advantage of a cold shooting stretch midway through the first half to take command of the contest and go on to notch the 87-62 win. Junior Tiffany Mitchell and senior Aleighsa Welch led the Gamecocks (22-1) with 17 points each. Welch also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to post her 20th career double-double to move into the program’s all-time top-10 in the category.

The game went back and forth early with the Gamecocks’ veterans answering every UConn challenge. Neither team could build more than a three-point margin through the first eight minutes of the game. Mitchell and Welch did a bulk of the scoring early, combining on 14 of the first 18 points, capped by Mitchell’s traditional three-point play to put the Gamecocks up 18-15 with 12:28 to play.

A three-point play from Moriah Jefferson leveled the game at 18-18 and launched a 13-0 run that put the Gamecocks back on their heels. The Gamecock defense was doing everything it could, but shots were not falling for South Carolina and the Huskies were in control of the glass. Bianca Cuevas stopped the run with a pull-up jumper that made it a 28-20 game with 8:47 to go in the first half. Four turnovers down the stretched allowed the Huskies to build a 47-30 edge going into the locker room.

The Gamecock defense locked down to start the second half, creating three turnovers on the Huskies’ first four possessions. Meanwhile, the offense went back to Mitchell and Welch. Within 10 points less than two minutes into the half, the Gamecocks turned it over on an offensive foul, and the Huskies capitalized with a Jefferson drive through the lane for UConn’s first points of the period.

The consecutive scores got the Huskies back on track in the half as the Gamecocks turned to Khadijah Sessions for more offense. The junior hit a layup and a pair of threes, but South Carolina saw Connecticut continue to pull away by hitting tough shots to build a 70-49 lead with 7:32 to go. The Huskies didn’t let up as the clock wound down and gave the Gamecocks their first loss of the season.

Netting 10 points and grabbing six rebounds, freshman A’ja Wilson joined Mitchell and Welch, who matched a season high with 17 points, in double figures. Sessions scored all eight of her points in the second half, going 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Thanks to 21 offensive boards, South Carolina outrebounded UConn 37-34.


UConn took advantage of a cold shooting stretch for the Gamecocks and limited them to one shot each time to launch a 13-0 run the turned an 18-15 South Carolina lead into a 28-18 Husky advantage in a three-minute span.


Despite hard work on the defensive end of the court by the Gamecocks, the Huskies shot 55.4 percent from the field, hitting 31-of-56 shots. UConn also made 17-of-23 free throws while South Carolina was just 5-of-10 from the line.


  • Aleighsa Welch posted her 20th career double-double, joining teammate Alaina Coates, who also owns 20, in the program’s all-time top 10 in the category.
  • The Gamecocks are 5-1 against ranked opponents this season.
  • UConn’s 43 first-half points are the most given up by the Gamecocks in a first half this season and their 87 total points are the most scored by a South Carolina opponent this year.



South Carolina returns to Columbia for a pair of SEC matchups, beginning on Thu., Feb. 12, against LSU. Tipoff at Colonial Life Arena is slated for 7 p.m.