South Carolina defeats UCLA, advances to Elite 8

South Carolina faces UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen of the Women's NCAA basketball tournament.
South Carolina faces UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen of the Women's NCAA basketball tournament.(Nell Redmond | AP)
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 1:50 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - It was a battle of defensive juggernauts in South Carolina’s 59-43 victory over UCLA.

Neither team shot higher than 40% from the floor, with the Bruins shooting just 16.7% from the three-point line.

Gamecocks Senior Aliyah Boston had herself a game with 8 points and 14 rebounds. It was the scoring touch of guard Brea Beal that elevated South Carolina.

Beal scored 10 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists in the win while SEC Sixth player of the year, Kamilla Cardosa, had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists for the reigning national champions.

The game was a low-scoring affair for both teams during the first half until the Gamecocks extended their lead by 20 points in the third quarter. South Carolina never trailed during the game.

UCLA star forward Emily Bessoir was not as impactful as the Bruins would have liked, just scoring 6 points and having 4 fouls. While senior guard Charisma Osborne had 14 points but it was not enough to overcome the Gamecocks stifling defense.

Next Up: South Carolina plays Maryland on Monday, March 27.

Live game recap

4th quarter

South Carolina defeats UCLA 59-43.

The Bruins went a 5-0 run before a Laeticia Amihere tip-in. UCLA’s defense worked on South Carolina, holding the Gamecocks to less than 15 points scored in the quarter.

The last period of play started off in a back-and-forth defensive effort. the first score did not come until the 7:23 mark of the quarter, two made free throws by UCLA’s Londyn Jones.

3rd quarter

The Gamecocks went up 20 to end the quarter with a 6-0 run and a 50-30 lead. UCLA scored double digits for the first time in a quarter this period.

Bruins’ Osborne responded to the Gamecocks’ run with a three-pointer, bringing UCLA to within 12 points, but Cardosa responded with a layup to keep the lead secure.

South Carolina scored on three straight trips down the court, extending the lead to 37-22 thanks in part to scores from Fletcher, VictoriaSxton, and Boston.

The Gamecocks started to pull away at the 6:36 mark of the third quarter with Kierra Fletcher scoring an and-1 lay and making the free throw.

UCLA tried speeding up their offense, however, multiple Bruins possessions ended with a turnover.

The Bruins scored the first points of the quarter with a layup by Charisma Osborne.

This was the lowest-scoring half for both teams in the first two quarters this year.

2nd quarter

The quarter ended with South Carolina leading 25-15.

The South Carolina defense held UCLA to just five points in the quarter while the turnovers continued to mount for the Bruins, in the closing minutes of the quarter, UCLA had three straight turnovers.

The Gamecocks started to pull away when Kamilla Cardosa scored an and-1 basket, giving the team new life, and extending South Carolina’s lead by nine points. Beal followed that basket with another three, finally capitalizing on the open three-point attempts the Bruins had given the Gamecocks.

The second-chance opportunities for the Gamecocks seemed endless but South Carolina continued to struggle to score.

The quarter was a match-up of defensive finesse with both teams causing turnover with neither capitalizing on the momentum.

UCLA started to show life by scoring the first points of the period. The Bruins forced the Gamecocks to shoot from outside and they could not convert.

South Carolina shot just 31% from the floor during the 1st quarter.

1st quarter

The period was a low-scoring affair, with South Carolina leading 14-8. South Carolina had trouble finding the basket against the Bruins, with the team still trying to figure out how to solve UCLA’s defense.

Offensive rebounds also helped the Gamecocks in the first quarter, with South Carolina having an advantage over the Bruins.

South Carolina jumped out to a 10-3 lead, the Bruins just could not find a bucket for the majority of the quarter with South Carolina’s height giving trouble to UCLA.

Brea Beal responded with a three of her own. Like the case it has been all season, it was South Carolina’s defense that gave them the edge early on by creating turnovers and with the Gamecocks capitalizing off UCLA’s mistakes.

South Carolina won the tip-off to start the game. The Gamecocks scored the first basket with an Aliyah Boston bank shot. UCLA responded with a three-pointer by Emily Bessoir making it a 4-3 game.


The Gamecocks face the Bruins in a rematch from their regular season game when South Carolina beat UCLA, 73-64 on Nov. 22, 2022.

Stick with WIS as we deliver live updates of the game.

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