No. 1 South Carolina basketball beats UCLA in NCAA Tournament, advances to Elite Eight

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The No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team plays the No. 4 UCLA Bruins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The State’s Jeremiah Holloway and Chapel Fowler are there to bring you live updates as the undefeated Gamecocks, who won the 2022 national championship over UConn, seek an Elite Eight berth.

The winner of South Carolina-UCLA will play Maryland in the Elite Eight on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. The second-seeded Terrapins defeated No. 3 Notre Dame 76-59 in Greenville Region 1’s first game Saturday.

Women’s basketball score right now

South Carolina advances to Elite Eight

Your Saturday Sweet 16 final: South Carolina 59, UCLA 43.

The No. 1 overall seed Gamecocks are officially halfway there in their quest for a national championship repeat. They’ll play No. 2 seed Maryland on Monday at Greenville’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena for a Final Four berth.

USC (35-0) put its foot on the gas in the second half, and the third quarter especially, to cruise past a UCLA team it only beat by nine points earlier this season.

Forwards Brea Beal (10 points) and Kamilla Cardoso (10 points) led a balanced scoring effort. USC once again shared the ball well with 19 assists on 24 field goals while controlling the rebound battle and then some and leading by as many as 23 points. USC emptied its bench for the final three minutes.

This will be USC’s third consecutive trip to the Elite Eight, sixth under coach Dawn Staley and seventh in program history. No. 4 seed UCLA’s season ends at 27-10. Guard Charisma Osborne (14 points) was the Bruins’ sole double-digit scorer.

South Carolina pulls away in Q3

USC’s now up 50-30 on UCLA after three quarters.

This game is getting away from the Bruins. South Carolina just had its best scoring quarter by far (25 points) and has shaken off its first-half sloppiness. In those 10 minutes the Gamecocks were a scalding 9-14 from the field and assisted on eight of nine made baskets.

Forward Kamilla Cardoso (10 points) has joined forward Brea Beal (10) in double digits, and forward Aliyah Boston (eight points) and guard Bree Hall (seven) aren’t far behind.

USC continues to dominate on the boards (+13 advantage) and has really benefited from Boston and Cardoso’s height down line against a UCLA front line that briefly lost starting forward Emily Bessoir to injury in the third quarter.

That was coincidentally UCLA’s best scoring quarter, too, but it didn’t matter. USC’s 20-point lead at the end of the quarter was its largest of the afternoon.

USC holds steady at halftime

South Carolina leads UCLA 25-15 at halftime.

This remains a scrappy game, which is an ideal outcome for USC. The Gamecocks have limited star UCLA guards Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice to a combined five points, and they’re winning in all the hustle stats: 24-14 on rebounds, 9-0 on offensive rebounds, 10-6 in paint points.

Forward Brea Beal’s 3-pointer put South Carolina 25-13 with 2:36 remaining — a huge shot to give USC its largest lead of the game (12). Beal’s now 2-5 on 3-pointers, providing a huge boost considering USC’s just 11-33 (33.3%) from the field at half.

But UCLA’s even worse at 6-22 (27.3%). And the Bruins are coming off their fourth-highest scoring game of the season (82 points) against Oklahoma in the NCAA second round. Gameflow continues to favor the Gamecocks.

Beal’s 10 points are a game high for USC; five other players have between two and five points. Forward Kamilla Cardoso probably has the play of the day with her vicious mid-quarter chasedown block.

Gamecocks lead low-scoring Q1

South Carolina’s up on UCLA 14-8 after one quarter.

The Gamecocks are certainly the more physical team so far; they’re dominating UCLA on the boards (13-7 overall and 6-0 on offensive rebounds) and essentially bullying their way to the basket.

The Bruins are finding some success with their traditional “sagging off” defense, which is baiting USC into taking wide-open 3-pointers that aren’t falling (the Gamecocks are 1-7 on threes).

Forward Brea Beal has five points for South Carolina, and forward Aliyah Boston has four. Reserve guard Bree Hall also had a big layup to give USC its largest lead of the quarter (seven points).

UCLA’s only shooting 3-11 (27.3%) from the field.

NCAA Tournament: How to watch Gamecocks

  • Who: No. 1 South Carolina (33-0) vs. No. 4 UCLA (27-9)

  • Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville

  • When: 2 p.m. Saturday

  • TV: ESPN

  • Stream: Via ESPN or the ESPN app

  • Next up: The winner of South Carolina-UCLA will advance to an Elite Eight game on Monday, March 27 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena at 7 p.m. against Maryland.

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