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Meghan Keeler
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The WBB Rivalry at South Carolina

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks Women’s Basketball Team has quickly become one of the best in the country. There are multiple contributing factors to the Gamecocks’ rise in popularity over the years; however, basketball royalty Head Coach Dawn Staley seems to have had quite the impact on her team’s success.

A quick biography: Dawn Staley was the head coach of the Team USA Women’s Basketball National Team at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which took place in the Summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She led the powerhouse team to their seventh straight Olympic Gold Medal this year, and she is praised by many for her talent, dedication, passion, and drive that has led her to become one of the most decorated coaches in USA Women’s Basketball. 

With a very well-known and feared coach on the Gamecock’s side, many teams fall short to South Carolina. Currently, the Gamecocks rank #1 in this 2021-2022 season. Their current record stands at an outstanding 7-0, one being a smashing win against what can be considered South Carolina’s biggest rivals: The UConn Huskies, coached by the infamous Geno Auriemma. Like Dawn Staley, Auriemma has built up quite the name for himself and his Huskies, making them a challenging opponent each year they face off. 

Some might say South Carolina has picked up on a few of UConn’s tactics, because at this year’s Battle 4 Atlantis on November 22, South Carolina prevailed against the Huskies with a 73-57 triumphant win. This was a huge win for the Gamecocks for multiple reasons:

  • South Carolina maintains its #1 ranking, a title UConn has notoriously held.
  • This would be the second win in the last 10 matchup’s that South Carolina has prevailed.
  • This game may be the first sign that the Gamecocks could replace the Huskies as the reoccurring #1 team in NCAA basketball.

ESPN reports that South Carolina’s relentless and substantial defense is their major strength, and I would have to agree, after it wore the Huskies offense all the way down until they were only able to score three points in the fourth quarter. It was quite the game to watch, and I only wish it wasn’t at the luxurious Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, so the Cockpit could’ve shown up in full force.

Although, I can’t be too upset because we have the exciting opportunity for a rematch against the UConn Huskies on January 27th, 2022, back at home at Colonial Life Area in Columbia, SC. The game is already starting to sell out with student tickets predicated to be in extremely high demand. 

We must wait and see if our South Carolina Gamecocks will prevail yet again against Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies, but, until then, GO GAMECOCKS!

Forever to Thee, Gamecocks! Have an amazing Holiday Break!

Zoe Smith

South Carolina '25

CT | University of South Carolina '25 | Editorial Team Contributor
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