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Feb 11, 2024 4:50 pm

Te-Hina Paopao helps No. 1 South Carolina rout No. 11 UConn

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Te-Hina Paopao churned out 21 points as top-ranked South Carolina remained undefeated this season and extended its Division I-leading home winning streak to 54 games by thumping No. 11 UConn 83-65 on Sunday in Columbia, S.C.

Paopao shot 8 of 12 from the field and hit 5 of 7 treys as Gamecocks (23-0) never trailed to remain the only unbeaten team in Division I, men’s or women’s. Ashlyn Watkins racked up 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, while Raven Johnson bundled 10 points with 12 boards for South Carolina. Chloe Kitts tacked on 14 points before fouling out.

Paige Bueckers and Aaliyah Edwards both paced the Huskies (20-5) with 20 points each, with Edwards grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds. Ashlynn Shade contributed 14 points for UConn, which was outshot 46.5 percent to 36.6 percent and outscored 34-22 in the paint.

Paopao blitzed the Huskies by making all three of her shots in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers, as the Gamecocks carried a 19-11 lead into the second stanza. South Carolina stifled UConn to 33.3 percent shooting in the first half to enter the break ahead 44-30.

Johnson hit three shots in the third quarter before burying a 3-pointer to polish off a game-breaking 9-0 run that ballooned the lead to 25 late in the period. The Gamecocks never trailed and led by as many as 27 to stack up their fourth-straight win over the Huskies.

South Carolina played its second straight game without leading scorer (13.8 ppg) and top rebounder (9.8 rpg) Kamilla Cardoso. Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley announced Monday that the SEC Player of the Year candidate would miss South Carolina’s two contests this week while playing for the Brazilian national team in its Olympic qualifying tournament.

–Field Level Media

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