The Chicago Sky made a splash in Monday night’s WNBA draft, taking Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese in the first round. 

South Carolina’s Cardoso, who was the 2024 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, went third to the Sky. The day before, the team had swapped picks with the Minnesota Lynx to land the No. 7 pick as well, which they used on Reese, the 2023 Final Four MOP.

Now, the two will team up in Chicago after battling each other in both college and high school

"She’s a great player, and I’m a great player. Nobody's going to get no rebounds on us," Cardoso joked afterwards, while Reese expressed excitement about playing under new Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon.

"Being able to be a Black woman and as a head coach, and everything she's done at the NBA level, I just knew everything they were bringing to the table," Reese said of the Sky. "Player development is something that I was looking for and they looked for in me. I'm super excited for this move."

Former NBA star and Chicago Sky co-owner Dwayne Wade welcomed the pair to Chicago.

“The foundation is set,” he wrote.

The Sky have entered re-building mode after winning a WNBA title in 2021. This offseason, they traded franchise cornerstone Kahleah Copper to the Phoenix Mercury for a package that included the No. 3 picked used on Cardoso.

Now, Cardoso and Reese will be looking to jump-start the team's return to contention.

South Carolina was down but never out on Thursday, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to claim a 76-70 win over No. 9 LSU.

The team went on an 11-3 run to close the game, securing the win after Angel Reese fouled out with 4:02 to play. South Carolina remains the lone unbeaten team in Division I women’s basketball. All five starters for both teams finished with double digits.

“Angel is a talent. She’s aggressive. She’s poised. She’s very unselfish,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “She’s mean, she’s physical, she is somebody that you want to play with because you know she’s going to play to the very end, she’s going to give it her all. That’s what you lose if you’re LSU and she’s out of the game for the last four minutes.

“When you lose Angel, you lose a big part of what they do, because she touches the ball and she makes the right decisions.”

“Experience — that was a big hit for us,” LSU’s Flau’jae Johnson said of Reese’s absence after fouling out. “We had four minutes left — that’s too much time to not have Angel Reese on the floor.”

It was the Gamecocks’ 28th consecutive road victory, the longest streak in SEC history and the sixth longest ever in D-I.

LSU had jumped out to lead by as many as 11 in the first half, with Staley saying that the Tigers “had their way with us.” But a 3-pointer to end the half from MiLaysia Fulwiley kept the Gamecocks within striking distance. After the half, the team outscored LSU 40-29.

“It was a game of runs,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “They made big plays. We made big plays. The team that made the last play was the one that was going to win this basketball game.”

With the win, Staley moves to 15-0 against LSU since 2012, while LSU head coach Kim Mulkey is 1-4 all time against South Carolina (0-3 with LSU, 1-1 with Baylor).

“I think we’re one of the top teams in the country,” Mulkey said after the loss. “Losing to South Carolina the way we did sent a message that we’re not going away.”

Those wanting to watch South Carolina and LSU women’s basketball may be paying a hefty price tag to get into the building.

Ticket prices for the matchup between the two top 10 teams, which is set for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday in Baton Rouge, are currently sold out. The secondary market is an option, although ticket prices have soared to as high as $2,373 on SeatGeek if you are looking to sit courtside.

Upper level seats could come as cheap as $53, but seats in 100-level sections were retailing for around $844 a piece. By Tuesday morning, lower-level tickets on Vivid Seats ranged in the mid-$3,000.

ESPN will be airing the game, with CollegeGameday rolling into town beforehand.

As Iowa star Caitlin Clark hit a shot heard around the world on Tuesday night, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley lamented the refereeing that got her there.

“Heckava shot but give the game ball to the ref for the shooting foul call,” Staley wrote on social media.

While some thought she was referring to the idea that Clark didn’t get the ball off in time, it was a questionable 3-point shooting foul that allowed Molly Davis to sink two free throws and give Iowa a 73-71 lead.

Michigan State’s DeeDee Hagemann was able to tie the game at 73, but those two points inevitably made a difference in the outcome.

Davis, for her part, joked about missing one of the free throws on purpose.

“I missed the first [free throw] on purpose so Caitlin could hit the game-winner,” she said.

South Carolina retained its spot atop the AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll Monday, receiving all 36 first-place votes.

It’s the seventh consecutive week that the Gamecocks have held the top spot.

The top 10 remained unchanged due to a light schedule ahead of the holidays. Ohio State, who lost to UCLA by six points, dropped four spots to No. 17. West Virginia, meanwhile, entered the top 25 for the first time since 2021. The Big 12 Conference now has five teams in the poll.

The Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC are the only conferences to have every school still have a winning record.

Conference play will begin starting this week. UCLA will play USC, Colorado will face Utah and Baylor will play Texas on Saturday. Then on Sunday, No. 18 Marquette will play No. 15 UConn.

The poll was released on Christmas for the seventh time, with the last Christmas poll coming in 2017. Other years were 1979, 1983, 1995, 2000 and 2006.

Utah may have lost to top-ranked South Carolina on Sunday, but Utes star Alissa Pili showcased why she could be a first-round pick in the 2024 WNBA draft.

Pili had a career game in Utah’s 78-69 loss to South Carolina, which was nearly a stunning upset from the Utes. She helped the team overcome an early 11-point deficit with a career-high 37 points, but while the Utes pulled within two points of the lead, the Gamecocks held on to remain undefeated.

On top of her 37 points, Pili went 15-of-23 from the field, with a team-high three 3-pointers. She also added three steals, two rebounds, one assist and one block.

“If I’m a WNBA GM, there’s no doubt in my mind that kid can play in the WNBA,” Utah associate head coach Gavin Petersen said. “She’s a winner, she’s an assassin in between the lines and she’s a great teammate.”

In the second period, Pili had 14 consecutive points for Utah before foul trouble put her on the bench. She finished the first half with 21 points.

“I’d much rather get the win and have Pili score 37 on us, then her score 37 with the win,” Dawn Staley told the Associated Press. “Now, that’s a little bit hard to swallow. But, utmost respect for Pili. I mean, Utah, I hope we don’t see them in the tournament and whoever does get to see them, good luck to you.”

If you ask Pili, her performance came down to sticking with what works.

“I just went out there and did my thing,” Pili said. “Let the game come to me. It’s better when I don’t think about it, because it just comes to me.”

Top-ranked South Carolina was up by three points against No. 11 Utah with just under five minutes left in the game. Te-Hina Paopao dribbled up the court to the elbow and released a jump shot. 

Her shot dropped into the hoop. Three minutes later, Paopao had the ball in the key again. She dribbled closer and closer to the basket and was approaching traffic. She lifted her arms to shoot as she ran, and her shot fell into the hoop again as her arm hung in the air. 

Paopao’s last-minute points kept her team afloat in a difficult matchup. The game remained close until the final buzzer, but Dawn Staley’s squad secured the victory against Utah, 78-69, to remain undefeated this season. 

The Gamecocks faced their toughest challenge of the year against Alissa Pili and the Utes. Pili dropped 21 points in the first half, and she only played 13 of the 20 minutes after getting into foul trouble. 

Kamilla Cardoso got into foul trouble herself after being called for three charges on Jenna Johnson, who put on a foul-drawing clinic against the defensive powerhouse. 

When Pili returned to the court in the second half, she did so in her usual form. Pili rained buckets on South Carolina, finishing the game with 37 points, a career-high. No other Utes came close to her offensive contributions, and the only other Utah player to reach double-digits was Dasia Young with 10 points. 

The Gamecocks spread the love on the scoreboard with four players in double-digits and 26 bench points. 

South Carolina was plagued by turnovers in its closest game of the season. Utah forced 23 turnovers and collected 11 points in transition, but they weren’t enough for the Utes to earn their first win against a first-ranked squad.

South Carolina dominated Morgan State on Wednesday night, but did so with a different starting lineup than previous games.

Both Kamilla Cardoso and Raven Johnson started from the bench in favor of Sakima Walker (in place of Cardoso) and freshman guard Tessa Johnson (in place of Raven Johnson).

Following the game, head coach Dawn Staley gave insight into the decision, noting that both had broken a team rule.

“They broke a team rule. They took it on the chin, we kept it moving, we’re good,” she said. “Nothing long-lasting.”

Ultimately, Staley said she “liked” putting out a different starting lineup, as it allowed for some different looks. Tessa Johnson finished with 16 points, while both Johnson and Cardoso finished in double-digits off the bench.

“I think we gained some valuable minutes, valuable instances for, like a Tessa,” Staley said. “Tessa is right there. She just needs more opportunities to play, and it gave her an opportunity to play. [Te-Hina Paopao] playing the point just solely, I thought she did a great job running the team, keeping it simple. And they were able to just bank some threes and open the floor up for us.”

UConn fell to its lowest ranking in 30 years on Monday, clocking in at No. 17 in the latest women’s college basketball AP Top 25.

The ranking brings UConn’s 357-week stretch of being in the top 15 to an end. It was the second-longest such span in AP poll history, dating back to 1977. Tennessee holds the record for the longest top-15 streak at 428 consecutive weeks.

The Huskies were last ranked this low in 1993-94, when they were No. 18 in the second poll that season. The last time they fell out of the top 15 was in 2005.

UConn’s drop in ranking comes after they suffered their first-ever loss to Texas on Sunday. The Longhorns, who had been ranked 10th, moved up to No. 5 in the latest poll. UConn (4-3) hasn’t lost three games this early in a season since 1980. Their three losses, however, have come against some of the best teams in the country — Texas, UCLA and NC State are all now in the top five.

The road doesn’t get much easier as the Huskies continue to face a tough schedule without star guard Azzi Fudd, out for the season with a knee injury, and junior guard Caroline Ducharme (neck spasms).

South Carolina maintained its hold on the No. 1 ranking, taking all 35 first-place votes. UCLA, NC State and Iowa rounded out the top four.

No. 1 South Carolina eked out a 65-58 win over No. 24 North Carolina on Thursday, but freshman phenom MiLaysia Fulwiley played just three minutes.

It was an uncharacteristic game from Fulwiley, who had been playing significant minutes and hadn’t scored less than 10 points in her first five games. She entered Thursday’s contest as the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer but rode the bench after the first quarter.

South Carolina trailed 19-10 after the first quarter. For head coach Dawn Staley, the decision to bench Fulwiley came because she wanted to go with the hotter defensive player.

“From a defensive standpoint, she lost her man a few times and gave up a couple of 3s,” Staley said.

Fulwiley entered the night averaging 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 23.5 minutes per game. She also has been sound defensively, with 10 steals and 7 blocks on the year.

But there’s still room for improvement, Staley said. And while the game showcased an area in which Fulwiley can improve, Staley also was looking out for her player.

“I know that’s probably one of the things she has to improve on, but it was such a nip-and-tuck game that I don’t want her to lose confidence,” Staley said. “She’ll know exactly why she didn’t get extended minutes. I’ve always told our players if you play well, you get extended minutes. If you don’t, they have to go to someone else. It could be you at times, it could not be you at times.”

After all, though South Carolina is ranked No. 1 in the country, the Gamecocks are still a young team and there will be growing pains. But they did rally in the second half to take the lead and the win from UNC. Their next game comes on the road at 1 p.m. ET Sunday against Duke.

“We just have such a young team that they got to know, and hopefully she doesn’t feel good about not playing as much as she probably wanted to,” Staley said. “Hopefully we can get her in at Duke and hopefully play some extended minutes, but she’s got to be ready to rock and roll.”