UConn is back as the team to beat in college basketball
After an exciting second half that extended into overtime, #2 UConn came out victorious 63-59 against #1 South Carolina. The two rivals came into the game as the top teams in the country after Louisville and NC State lost last week, setting up another classic matchup.
When it comes to South Carolina and UConn, you’re going to be watching talented, well-coached basketball, which means sometimes defense > offense. Neither team could make contested shots, especially three-pointers, as shooters found themselves smothered on the release.
The Huskies D was especially dominant, as they racked up 11 steals and 8 blocks, forcing the Gamecocks starting backcourt to shoot 9 for 30. Aliyah Boston did have her way on the glass, scoring 17 and picking up 15 boards.
The story of the night for UConn, and of the season, was Paige Bueckers. Possession after possession down the stretch the freshman phenom hit clutch shots. The dagger came with only 15 seconds left in the game, when Bueckers faded to the right and hit the perfect spot on the back rim that resulted in this:
Bueckers played all 45 minutes of the game, finishing with 31 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 steals. She becomes the first UConn player ever to score 30 points in three straight games. In the storied history of the Husky program, setting any record is an extraordinary feat.
Arizona shows off in Eugene
Over in the Pac-12, Oregon was looking for revenge against Arizona after a 16-point loss last month. Any hope the Ducks had evaporated in the third quarter, when Cate Reese took over for the Wildcats, part of her game-high 25 points.
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Aari McDonald was held in check, shooting just 4 for 16, but Arizona proved once again that they have Oregon’s number, winning 79-59. All four of the Ducks’ losses this year have been to top-11 teams.
WNBA Veteran Moving On
Crystal Langhorne decided to call it a career yesterday, retiring after 13 seasons. The University of Maryland product was a two-time all-star with the Washington Mystics before joining the Seattle Storm for the ladder half of her career, helping the team win two WNBA championships.
Langhorne will remain with the Storm organization as the team’s first ever Director of Community Engagement. She has been a major contributor to Seattle’s social justice campaign, and will look to continue the fight against inequality working with the Force4Change initiative.
From a competitive stand point, Langhorne played sparingly last season, but her salary cleared helped Seattle sign Candice Dupree.