No. 1 South Carolina blows past No. 11 UConn in runaway win

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 11: Ashlyn Watkins #2 of the South Carolina Gamecocks moves the ball up court during the first half of the game against the UConn Huskies at Colonial Life Arena on February 11, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

In a matchup of two of basketball’s best programs, the Gamecocks asserted their dominance on Sunday.

No. 1 South Carolina ran away from No. 11 UConn at home on Sunday in an 83-65 blowout that it controlled from the opening tip. The Gamecocks opened up a 19-11 first-quarter lead while holding the Huskies to their lowest first-quarter tally of the season. They extended the lead to 44-30 at halftime then rode a 9-0 third quarter run to enter the fourth with a 73-50 advantage

When it was over, the Gamecocks remained unbeaten at 23-0 and continued to look like the favorite to win their third NCAA championship since 2017. It was a balanced South Carolina effort that saw four starters score in double figures as the Gamecocks repeatedly forced UConn’s stars into difficult looks from the floor.

Te-Hina Paopao paced the Gamecocks with a game-high 21 points alongside three rebounds and two assists She did most of her damage before halftime while posting 16 first-half points as South Carolina took control of the game. She was the best shooter on the floor while connecting on 5 of 7 3-point attempts.

Ashlyn Watkins filled up the box score with 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

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