The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecock women's basketball can't overcome turnovers in overtime loss against UConn

Junior guard Lele Grissett goes up for a shot while UConn players attempt to block her. Grissett scored 2 points against the Huskies.
Junior guard Lele Grissett goes up for a shot while UConn players attempt to block her. Grissett scored 2 points against the Huskies.

The top-ranked South Carolina women's basketball team fell to UConn in a 63-59 overtime on Monday night in large part because UConn freshman Paige Bueckers dominated with 31 points. 

Bueckers scored from all over the floor including a last-second three-pointer as they edged out the Gamecocks in overtime. She looked calm and confident shooting 14-26 from the field, including all 9 of their overtime points. 

In comparison, the top scorer for the Gamecocks was sophmore forward Aliyah Boston, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds. She recorded her eighth double-double of the season.  

The Gamecocks missed layups, free throws and turned the ball over throughout the game. Despite this, they battled and fought their way into overtime, ultimately losing with a lucky-bounce three pointer from Bueckers. 

After the game, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley spoke about the team's mistakes. 

“We’ve been missing layups all year. So you can attribute it to UConn’s defense, everybody else’s defense that we’ve played against that we couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” Staley said. “It is what it is. We have to move on.” 

The Gamecocks turned the ball over 21 times, 8 of which were turnovers by junior guard Destanni Henderson. 

“I don’t think they did anything that was effective,” Sophomore guard Zia Cooke said about UConn’s transition defense. “I honestly think it was more of us in our own heads. We had a lot of turnovers in transition, but I definitely think it was more of an us thing than what they did to us.” 

Cooke and Henderson both had 11 points for South Carolina. Bueckers was UConn's only player who scored double digits. 

While this was a disappointing loss for the Gamecocks, Staley said the team needs to focus on improving and winning the next game. 

“All of our goals are still in front of us. Would we have liked to have won the game? Yes,” Staley said. “There are some quailty things that we could take from this game."

Boston echoed her coach’s comments saying, “We do still have the rest of our SEC games, so we’re just going to be locked in for every one of those games and just continue to push through.” 

Despite this heartbreaking loss, South Carolina is still the leader of their conference. Monday night's game was their second loss of the season, giving them a record of 15-2.  

Missouri will travel to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks on Thursday at 7 p.m.