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The highly anticipated women’s college basketball rematch between No. 1 South Carolina and No. 9 UConn has been called off. The Gamecocks, prioritizing their SEC schedule, opted to make up their game with Ole Miss (originally scheduled for Jan. 2) on Thursday instead.

UConn will now play DePaul on Wednesday, after their previous Big East matchup scheduled for Dec. 31 was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Huskies’ program.

“I know our fans always enjoy the UConn game, and our team enjoys the rivalry; but I have always said that or conference season and especially our goal of another SEC championships is more central to our program,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “This Thursday is one of the few dates Ole Miss has open, so, with my team’s best interest at heart, I started the conversations that led us to this point.”

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said Staley reached out to him about postponing the series for the season. UConn lost to South Carolina 73-57 during their first meeting on Nov. 22.

“It’s a priority for South Carolina to make up SEC games, so this is the best decision for them right now,” Auriemma said. “We know a lot of fans were excited for this game, but we look forward to continuing the series with South Carolina in future seasons.”

The Gamecocks are currently in a tight race for the conference title. Five SEC teams are ranked in the AP poll, and with one conference loss to Missouri, South Carolina sits one game behind Tennessee, who is undefeated in conference play. Ole Miss is in third with just one conference loss.

The originally scheduled UConn-South Carolina matchup was to be the last of the home-and-home agreement the programs reached over the summer.