NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament - South Carolina vs Arkansas
USATSI

In a rematch of last season's thrilling matchup between the South Carolina and UConn women's basketball teams, the No. 1 Gamecocks on Monday avenged their regular-season road loss with a win in a championship format, knocking off No. 2 UConn 73-57 to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis championship in the Bahamas.

It was the fourth meeting between the two as top-two ranked teams and the first that resulted in a South Carolina win. UConn was 22-3 all-time in No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups entering the game, 7-1 all-time when playing as the No. 2 team and 9-1 all-time facing South Carolina. In February, No. 2 UConn welcomed No. 1 South Carolina to Storrs, where the Huskies escaped with a 63-59 overtime win.

"I'm super proud of our kids. We asked them to focus in after the Buffalo game because we didn't play our best," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said on the ESPN broadcast after the game as her team improved to 6-0 on the season. "I told them it would take our best to win this tournament. . . I'm super proud. They work hard, they believe in each other."

South Carolina opened its week in the Bahamas with an 88-60 win over Buffalo before finishing off its championship run with two top-10 wins, first over No. 9 Oregon, 80-63, and finally over No. 2 UConn. It sealed the win by holding UConn to 1-of-10 shooting in the fourth quarter while limiting star Paige Bueckers -- who scored 31 points in the overtime game in February -- to 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting.

With the win, South Carolina is assured to be No. 1 in the next AP Top 25 women's basketball poll, which will be released Tuesday after it was postponed for just the second time in history so voters could include this game.

UConn and South Carolina will face off at least one more time during the 2021-22 season with a matchup scheduled in Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 27, 2022.