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No. 11 Utah vs. No. 1 South Carolina women’s basketball: How to watch, listen to or stream the game

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Utah Utes forward Alissa Pili (35) looks one way and goes the other on BYU Cougars forward Lauren Gustin (12) as Utah and BYU women play at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

Utah Utes forward Alissa Pili (35) looks one way and goes the other on BYU Cougars forward Lauren Gustin (12) as Utah and BYU women play at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

No. 11 Utah (8-1) vs. No. 1 South Carolina (8-0)

2023 Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase

  • Tip: 12:30 p.m. MST.
  • Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, Connecticut).
  • TV: ESPN.
  • Livestream: Watch ESPN.
  • Radio: 700 AM.
  • Series: First meeting.

The trends

For Utah: The Utes have won six straight games over largely overmatched competition, while their two most impressive victories have come in their past two games, against BYU and Saint Joseph’s. Utah’s lone loss came at then-No. 21 Baylor.

For South Carolina: The Gamecocks haven’t lost yet this season — that impressive start to the year has included three victories over ranked opponents in Notre Dame, Maryland and North Carolina. The season-opening 29-point win over the Fighting Irish was especially impressive, as it’s No. 14 Notre Dame’s only loss.

What to watch for

Utah has the nation’s top-scoring offense, averaging 96.2 points per game. The Utes also lead the country in assists per game (26.3), field-goal percentage (54.8%) and made 3-pointers per game (13.9).

Sunday’s game will be Utah’s second without junior guard Gianna Kneepkens, who suffered a season-ending injury against BYU last weekend. 

South Carolina, meanwhile, is fifth nationally in scoring (93.5) and leads the country in scoring margin, averaging plus-43.4 points per game — Utah is second, at 40.7.

The Gamecocks lead the country in rebounding, averaging 52.7 rebounds per game, as well as blocks (9.9), while giving up just 50.1 points per game, 46.1 less than Utah’s scoring average.

Key players

AP23310677399980.jpg

South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) is defended by Notre Dame forward Maddy Westbeld (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in Paris. Cardoso had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as No. 6 South Carolina opened in style with a 100-71 victory over No. 10 Notre Dame in the NCAA’s first-ever game in Paris.

Thibault Camus, Associated Press

Kamilla Cardoso, C, South Carolina: The 6-foot-7 Cardoso is making the most of her first year as a starter after two years as a reserve for the Gamecocks. She is averaging a double-double at 14.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, along with 3.3 blocks per contest.

Alissa Pili, F, Utah: Pili spearheads the Utes’ attack and more will be asked of her with Kneepkens’ injury. She is coming off a 31-point effort against Saint Joseph’s and is averaging 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 73.6% from the floor, second nationally.

Quotable

“We’ll throw everything at them, and then see where we’re at.” — Utah coach Lynne Roberts.

“If you allow them to play at the speed and the pace and play advantageous basketball on the offensive side, they’re going to make it a long night for everybody.” — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.

Next up

Utah: at Southern Utah on Dec. 16.

South Carolina: vs. Presbyterian on Dec. 16.