NCAAW: No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks meets No. 2 Stanford Cardinal

One of the most exciting showdowns in NCAA women’s basketball comes on Sunday when the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks meets the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal. Both teams have won every game they play so far this season and Sunday’s game will be their 63rd face-to-face game and the seventh time they play in November.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is looking forward to the game, which she describes as a “win-win” no matter what. As VanDerveer said Associated Press, “No matter what happens in the game, you will learn more about your team, people have to do the right thing. It’s kind of a tournament game, I mean 1-2 matchup, it’s great.

South Carolina comes fresh after their 12th straight win after beating the Clemson Tigers 85-31. Freshman Ashlyn Watkins brought the Heat on, scoring 14 points in a game that saw the Gamecocks lead 46-16 at halftime.

The Cardinal celebrated his own crucial win on Wednesday as the team defeated Cal Poly 80-43. Hannah Jump stormed ahead of the pack with 24 points, all of which came on 3-pointers — the second-highest 3-pointers in Stanford history. Jump was expertly assisted by freshman Lauren Betts, who added 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The Gamecocks and Cardinal narrowly missed the duel at the 2022 NCAA tournament, where both teams made the Final Four alongside Louisville and Connecticut, the latter ultimately knocking out Stanford before losing to South Carolina.

Both teams will bring some of the best names in NCAA women’s basketball to the court Sunday. The Gamecocks’ Aliyah Boston has been open about her goal this season: One more time. When speaking to Fighting cocks online in October 2022, Boston stated, “Everyone here has a goal of winning another national championship. We have three people in our squad this year who couldn’t have that. It would be great and special for them to have that with us this year. That is the plan. We’re just going to work hard every time we hit the ground and make sure we’re doing things off the ground that will get us where we want to be.

Haley Jones and Cameron Brink lead the Cardinals, and both women have racked up points and made headlines since the start of the season. sports illustrated reported that Jones alone had 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the team’s Monday game against Portland.