HARTFORD, Conn. - No. 11 South Carolina women's basketball fell to #4 UConn 97-79 in another top-10 test on the road Monday night. The Gamecocks (17-6, 9-1 SEC) got huge offensive nights from Bianca Cuevas-Moore with 25 and Te'a Cooper with 20 points against the Huskies.
Cuevas-Moore was able to put a huge night on the offensive end shooting 8-of-18, and poured in the second-most points by a Gamecock against UConn in eight meetings. Cooper's 20 points came on 8-of-10 shooting, including two from beyond the arc. Tyasha Harris dished out five assists while scoring 11 of her own, and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan rounded out the Gamecocks in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Carolina got off to a hot start offensively with three of the first buckets coming from Cooper. After trading shots to begin the game, the Gamecocks separated themselves with a 7-0 run, including Cuevas-Moore scoring five of the points, highlighted by a big three, to make it 15-8. The run was the start of six consecutive makes for the Gamecock offense, capped off by a three from Herbert Harrigan that gave Carolina a 10-point lead at 22-12 with 4:40 to go in the quarter. UConn eventually made a run, cutting the lead to 27-23 at the end of the period.
The second quarter started with UConn claiming the lead with a 7-0 run. The Gamecocks responded in a big way with four consecutive buckets for a 9-0 run to take back a six-point lead led by another Cuevas-Moore triple. The game of runs continued in the quarter with seven straight points from the Huskies. UConn was able to use the last run to hold the lead for the remainder of the half, and head into the locker room on top 44-43.
UConn started the second half with six straight shots to take a 10-point lead with 5:40 to go and extended the run to 15-3 during the third.
In the fourth, Carolina went on an 8-2 run, including six straight points, to cut the deficit to 16 with 6:45 to go, but the Huskies maintained their lead throughout the fourth quarter.
In the third quarter, the Huskies outscored the Gamecocks 29-12 and shot 62.5 (19-32) percent in the second half.
Carolina jumped out to a huge lead to begin the game, shooting 10-of-12 to start and owned a double-digit lead in the opening quarter at 22-12.
Cuevas-Moore's 25 points are the second-most points a Gamecock has scored against UConn just behind A'ja Wilson who scored 27 on March 26, 2018.
Cooper (20) and Cuevas-Moore (25) each scored over 20 points, the first time this season any two Gamecocks have scored 20 or more points in the same game.
Carolina assisted on 15 of their 30 field goals in the game, the 11th time this season the Gamecocks have assisted on at least half of their field goals.
After being named to the Nancy Lieberman Top 10 earlier in the day, Harris dished out five assists to notch her sixth-straight game with at least five assists.
The Gamecocks (17-6, 9-1 SEC) return to SEC action against Georgia on Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks will wrap up the weekend with Florida on Sun., Feb. 17, in Gainesville, Fla. at 2 p.m.