Paige Bueckers leads No. 2 UConn over No. 1 South Carolina in OT

  • Connecticut guard Nika Muhl (10) returns the ball against South Carolina in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (David Butler/Pool Photo via AP) David Butler II

  • Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, right, and South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, left, meet before an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (David Butler/Pool Photo via AP) David Butler II

  • Connecticut forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa (20) defends against South Carolina guard Brea Beal (12) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (David Butler/Pool Photo via AP) David Butler II

  • South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson (3) shoots against Connecticut guard Nika Muhl (10) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (David Butler/Pool Photo via AP) David Butler II

  • South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson (3) called for an offensive foul against Connecticut guard Christyn Williams (13) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (David Butler/Pool Photo via AP) David Butler II

  • South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) shoots against Connecticut forward Aubrey Griffin (44) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (David Butler/Pool Photo via AP) David Butler II

Associated Press
Published: 2/8/2021 9:47:57 PM

STORRS, Conn. — Paige Bueckers scored 31 points, including her team’s final 13, to lead No. 2 UConn to a 63-59 overtime victory Monday over top-ranked South Carolina.

The freshman scored all of the Huskies’ nine points in overtime, including a 3-pointer that bounced high off the back of the rim before dropping in to give the Huskies the four-point margin with 10 seconds left.

The Gamecocks’ Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson missed 3-pointers in the final seconds.

The thriller came just hours after the Gamecocks and Huskies earned the top two spots in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll.

Aliyah Boston had 17 points and 15 rebounds for South Carolina (15-2), which overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

A layup by Aubrey Griffin had given the Huskies a 50-43 lead with just over 8 minutes left, before South Carolina turned up the defense and went on an 11-0 run.

Victaria Saxton’s layup over Nelson-Ododa gave the Gamecocks a 52-50 lead, and Boston’s jumper extended that to 54-50 with just under 2½ minutes to play.

But Bueckers hit two straight jumpers to tie the game at 54 with 46 seconds left in regulation.

Henderson missed a fall-away jumper with 4 seconds left and the Gamecocks missed three chances to tip-in a game winner.

South Carolina had its 12-game winning streak snapped.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks have faced eight ranked opponents this season, with their only other loss coming on Dec. 3 against North Carolina State. The program lost the first eight meetings with the Huskies before blowing out UConn last year, 70-52 at home.

UConn: Bueckers has 142 points over her last five games and 93 over her last three, scoring 30 or better in each of those.

UP NEXT

South Carolina: The Gamecocks, who have played four road games in their last five, host Missouri on Thursday night.

UConn: The Huskies host Seton Hall on Wednesday night.


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