UConn Women’s Basketball vs. South Carolina in an NCAA Championship Game

MINNEAPOLIS — The UConn women’s basketball team will play its 12th national championship game and first since 2016 against South Carolina on Sunday night.

The game will hold a mirror up to the Huskies and Gamecocks – a direct comparison of how each team has grown since facing each other in the first month of the season in November at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament Championship in the Bahamas .

South Carolina won the game, 73-57, as UConn encountered its first major bump of the season days later when rookie Azzi Fudd was sidelined with a foot injury.

It was five months ago.

Despite two upset losses, South Carolina has kept its head above water, retaining the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll all season. Meanwhile, UConn…well, its season wasn’t nearly as smooth.

The Huskies lost Fudd for 11 games. They lost Paige Bueckers two games after traveling to the Bahamas for over 10 weeks (19 games) to a knee injury. Most recently, they lost Dorka Juhász to a season-ending wrist injury in last week’s Elite Eight.

In total, UConn has seen eight of its 12 players miss two or more games due to injury or illness.

UConn has lost historic streaks — losing to unranked Georgia Tech and Big East foe Villanova at home — and has the most losses since 2012. The program fell to No. 11 in the AP poll after started the year at No. 2. .

The Huskies were challenged in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against UCF before defeating NC State in double overtime to advance to Friday’s Final Four.

It all comes down to Sunday. Both teams are perfect in the league game. UConn is 11-0 and South Carolina 1-0. UConn leads the all-time series 9-2, including a win in the NCAA Tournament’s only previous game (94-65 in the 2018 Elite Eight).

UConn vs. South Carolina: By the Numbers

2 — South Carolina has lost only twice this year: falling in overtime to Missouri 70-69 and upset by Kentucky 64-62 in the SEC Tournament Championship.

3 — The Gamecocks held UConn to just three points in the fourth quarter of the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship.

8 — With Juhász sidelined with his left arm in a sling, UConn coach Geno Auriemma uses a rotation of eight players with only two big experienced in the frontcourt.

11 — UConn women’s basketball is tied with UCLA men’s basketball in winning the most national championships (11). A win on Sunday would give the Huskies the NCAA record.

14.6 — Christyn Williams and Bueckers lead the Huskies with 14.6 points per game, although Williams has played 32 games this season while Bueckers has only played 16.

15 — The Huskies’ current winning streak spans the last seven games of the regular season, the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.

29 – This year’s National Player of the Year and Gamecock leader Aliyah Boston has had 29 double-doubles this season. She leads South Carolina with 17.0 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.

50.7 — The Gamecocks scoring defense is good for third place in the nation.

69.3 — UConn’s free throw percentage this year is the lowest in seven seasons. The Huskies have played two games so far in the tournament, which were decided by late-game trips to the charity strip, including a 15-17 fourth-quarter record on Friday.

1995 — Last year, UConn won the national championship at the Target Center in Minneapolis. It was the Huskies’ first national title.

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