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South Carolina defeats UConn in ‘national championship-like game’

(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

South Carolina overcame a slow start on Sunday to take down No. 5 UConn and remain unbeaten.

The rematch of last year’s national championship game delivered as advertised, with UConn giving No. 1 South Carolina everything it could handle. UConn jumped out to a 25-14 lead in the first quarter before being outscored 20-9 in the second quarter, and outscored in the second half by five points.

“Kamilla [Cardoso] was the switch,” Boston said of what changed between the first and second quarters, noting that the atmosphere at UConn — with a crowd of 15,564 fans — was electric.

“It was a great atmosphere. It almost felt like we were back in the tournament.”

Head coach Dawn Staley echoed the statement, calling it a “national championship-like game.”

Aliyah Boston had a season-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds in the 81-77 win while Cardoso had 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench before fouling out.

Aaliyah Edwards led UConn with 25 points while three other Huskies scored in double-digits. Edwards, Nika Mühl and Lou Lopez-Sénéchal all got into foul trouble, with Lopez-Sénéchal and Mühl fouling out.

A number of high-profile fans were in attendance for the sold-out top-five matchup, including UConn alums Sue Bird and Jennifer Rizzotti.