The two teams qualifying for the first Bad Boy Lawnmowers Woman Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game on Monday, the country’s top two programs will face off at a neutral venue in Paradise Island, Bahamas – they will still play their already scheduled Jan. 27 match at Colonial Life Arena.
The South Carolina-UConn opener of the 2021-22 season kicks off Monday at noon on ESPN, having previously been scheduled for an ESPN2 broadcast.
Head Coach Dawn StaleyThe Gamecocks advanced to the championship with a victory over Buffalo on Saturday and the No. 9 Oregon on Sunday. UConn beat Minnesota and No. 23 South Florida en route to the final.
South Carolina is sure to cope Geno Auriemma‘s Huskies twice in the regular season for the first time in the history of the series. The two have met every year since the 2014-15 season and faced off in the Elite Eight round of the 2018 NCAA tournament.
The Gamecocks lost an overtime thriller to UConn last season, when Huskies star goalie Paige Bueckers scored her team’s 9 overtime points in a 63-59 victory over UConn. South Carolina and UConn entered the match ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, the same as this year.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this year’s Battle 4 Atlantis Championship.
Staley’s keys to the Gamecocks’ victory over UConn
Dawn Staley said her main points of focus heading into Monday’s game will be limiting turnovers, making adjustments and committing to defense.
South Carolina are averaging 17.8 turnovers in their first five games of the 2021-22 season, and it’s a mark Staley has been watching since the Gamecocks returned the ball more than 34 times in their two. first matches.
USC committed 22 turnovers in their tournament opener over Buffalo on Saturday, with Staley saying after the game that the number had made him “cringe”. The Gamecocks turned him over 16 times against Oregon on Sunday.
The Gamecocks are averaging 76.4 points per game and hold their opponents at 53.2. UConn averaged 81 points in his first three games, allowing his opponents 63.7 points.
Staley is optimistic about the Gamecocks’ offensive progress, saying she thinks they’re better now than they were the last time South Carolina beat UConn in 2020.
“If there’s anything we bring, it’s probably a better defensive team,” Staley said. “We have to stay committed to this. I think from an offensive point of view we are much further ahead than we ever were when we faced them.
Power in the mail
South Carolina’s road to the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship has passed through its post players. Gamecock center Kamilla Cardoso and forwards Aliyah Boston and Laeticia Amihere contributed valuable minutes in USC’s first two wins against Buffalo and Oregon.
Boston led South Carolina’s 88-60 win over Buffalo with 23 points, a season-high, on 9 of 15 shots from the field. Cardoso won his first double-double as Gamecock with 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Bulls.
Amihere played a key role off the bench in the Oregon Gamecocks’ 80-63 rout, scoring a career-high 18 points. She also had two interceptions against the Ducks.
“We’re in a place where (Amihere) knows we’re counting on her,” Staley said. “She plays with guts. She plays with tenacity. She doesn’t back down from anyone. He’s a person who’s going to go to war, and you just see the stats behind this whole game. “
USC vs. UConn in NCAA Women’s Basketball Landscape
Staley knew the type of competition that would take place in the Bahamas.
The Battle 4 Atlantis field included four top 25 AP teams, three of which landed in the top 10. Staley said she believed the Gamecocks, who faced Buffalo and No.9 Oregon en route to the championship, had the most difficult route to cover. the final, but she liked the chance to gauge her team before facing UConn.
“I think all the teams that signed up to come here knew what we were signing up for,” said Staley. “(We) knew we were going to have the opportunity to compete and grow the game.”
The Bahamian games weren’t the only ranked contests in the NCAA women’s basketball landscape the weekend before Thanksgiving.
On Sunday alone, No.3 Maryland clinched a narrow victory over No.6 Baylor. No.16 Tennessee beat No.12 Texas, who had just toppled defending No.7 champion Stanford.
“There are a lot of great non-conference women’s basketball games, and these are the stories that should be written,” Staley said. “There’s a lot going on in our game, and we just have to push it.”
How to watch South Carolina vs. UConn
Who: No.1 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-0) vs. No.2 UConn Huskies (3-0)
When: Monday noon
Or: Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas
To concern: ESPN
This story was originally published November 21, 2021 7:58 pm.