PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Aliyah Boston had 22 points and 15 rebounds to help No. 1 South Carolina beat second-ranked UConn 73-57 on Monday to win the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis tournament championship.

This was the 61st meeting between the top two teams in the women’s AP Top 25 poll and the sixth time it has happened in November. The No. 1 team holds a 38-23 advantage. The last meeting of the top two teams before Monday was between these same squads back in February. UConn was the No. 2 team and won 63-59 in overtime.

The Gamecocks (6-0) wouldn’t let the Huskies (3-1) beat them in the Bahamas, outscoring them 16-3 in the final quarter.

“Our players are determined. They are resilient,” South Carolina Coach Dawn Staley said. “We knew exactly what we had to do especially on the defensive side of the ball. We had to disrupt.”

Trailing by 52-50 late in the third quarter, South Carolina turned up its defense, holding UConn without a field goal for 7:38 spanning the final two periods. By the time Evina Westbrook hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 5 minutes left, the Huskies trailed 63-57. They got no closer. Destiny Littleton quickly answered with a 3 on the other end to restore the comfortable margin.

She had hit a 3-pointer late in the third period to give the Gamecocks a 57-54 advantage heading into the fourth.

South Carolina, which outrebounded UConn 42-25, held the Huskies to just three points in the fourth quarter.

Paige Bueckers, UConn’s sophomore sensation, had 19 points to lead the Huskies, who had won nine of the 10 previous meetings between the schools.

With the championship game taking place around the same time the poll is released each Monday, the AP decided to delay the poll for a day so it will reflect the outcome – only the second time since the poll began in 1976 that it has been delayed. The only other time also involved UConn. The second-ranked Huskies were playing No. 1 Tennessee on Jan. 16, 1995, in the first meeting of their storied rivalry. The Huskies pulled off the upset victory and moved to No. 1 for the first time in school history.

This was the third win over a top-10 team for the Gamecocks. They’ve already beat No. 5 North Carolina State and ninth-ranked Oregon .

UConn has been involved in 26 of the 1-vs-2 games and has gone 22-4 in those contests, winning the previous nine before Monday’s loss.

(13) MICHIGAN 69, OAKLAND 58: Naz Hillmon scored 12 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter after Michigan (5-0) gave up most of an 18-point lead and  pulled away from visiting Oakland (2-3).

(23) SOUTH FLORIDA 71, (9) OREGON 62: Elisa Pinzan had a career-high 26 points to go with 10 assists and South Florida (4-2) scored 28 points off turnovers to beat Oregon (3-2) in the third-place game at the inaugural women’s Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Sydni Harvey added 22 points for the Bulls, who repeatedly got their hands in passing lanes for deflections that kept interrupting the Ducks’ attempts to establish any kind of rhythm.

Sydney Parrish scored 15 points to lead Oregon, which committed a season-high 25 turnovers.


(2) UCLA 75, BELLARMINE 62: Peyton Watson had 19 points, Johnny Juzang added 13 and UCLA (5-0) beat Bellarmine (0-5) in the Empire Classic at Las Vegas.

Watson shot 9 of 12 and had four rebounds, easily outpacing his 3.3 points average through four games this season.

David Singleton added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting for the Bruins, who will face No. 1 Gonzaga in a rematch of last season’s Final Four on Tuesday night.

(10) KENTUCKY 86, ALBANY 61: TyTy Washington Jr. scored 20 points for the second straight game, Keion Brooks Jr. added 17 points and  Kentucky (4-1) beat Albany (0-5) for its fourth consecutive victory.

The Wildcats led throughout but played at a slower pace than usual in building a 46-35 advantage early in the second half. A few spurts, including an 8-0 run to make it 61-39 with 8:28 remaining, put the game out of reach.

(12) HOUSTON 70, BUTLER 52: Fabian White Jr. scored 21 points and Houston (4-0) rode a dominating first half to beat Butler (3-2) in the opening round of the Maui Invitational at Las Vegas.

The Cougars overwhelmed Butler early, scoring the game’s first 17 points while building a 21-point halftime lead.

CINCINNATI 71, (14) ILLINOIS 51: Mike Saunders Jr. scored 20 points, Jeremiah Davenport added 19 and Cincinnati (5-0) overcame an early 15-point deficit to blow out Illinois (2-2) in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Classic at Kansas City, Missouri.

The Bearcats trailed 23-8 in the opening minutes before charging back to take a 34-31 lead at the break. They piled on from there, pushing the advantage past 20 by the midway point of the second half as they coasted into the championship game.

OHIO STATE 79, (21) SETON HALL 76: Meechie Johnson Jr. made a winning 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left as Ohio State (4-1) beat Seton Hall (3-1) in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

Seton Hall guard Jamir Harris stole it and raced for a fast-break layup to tie it at 76 with 15.9 seconds left. Ohio State elected not to call a timeout and Johnson made his team’s 11th 3-pointer – from NBA range.

Seton Hall got it to Tyrese Samuel for a decent look at the buzzer but it bounced hard off the backboard.

AP POLL: Gonzaga and UCLA continued their hold on the top two spots in The Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll on Monday, setting the stage for their highly anticipated showdown this week, while Purdue and Duke barged their way into the top five.

The Bulldogs (4-0) had an easy week with wins over Alcorn State and Bellarmine and received 55 first-place votes from the 61-person medial panel that regularly covers college basketball. The Bruins (4-0) received five first-place votes after blowing out Long Beach State and North Florida last week to head to Las Vegas with some momentum.

Gonzaga played Central Michigan and UCLA faced Bellarmine on Monday night in the Good Sam Empire Classic. Then, the nation’s top two teams will square off Tuesday night in a Final Four rematch of a game won by the Bulldogs in overtime.

Purdue received the only other first-place vote and leapfrogged Kansas into third in the Top 25 following the Boilermakers’ win over then-No. 5 Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament. The Jayhawks were fourth and the Blue Devils were fifth.

Defending national champion Baylor jumped to sixth after running roughshod over Central Arkansas and Stanford, while the Wildcats dropped only to seventh thanks to beating then-No. 12 Tennessee before losing to Purdue. Texas and Memphis were next, with Kentucky and Alabama in a tie for 10th in the second regular-season poll of the season.


NEBRASKA: Quarterback Adrian Martinez will miss the Cornhuskers’ season finale against Iowa because of a shoulder injury, Coach Scott Frost announced.

Frost said redshirt freshman Logan Smothers would start Friday against the 17th-ranked Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten).

UMASS: UMass is bringing back Don Brown as head coach in the hopes that the struggling football program can return to the time of its greatest success.

Brown led the Minutemen to a 43-19 record in the Football Championship Subdivision from 2004-08. Since moving up to the FBS in 2012, UMass has gone 20-91 and never had a winning season.

Brown has spent the last 13 years as a defensive coordinator for major programs, most recently at Arizona. He previously worked at Maryland, UConn, Boston College and Michigan. Over the last 10 years, 29 of his players have been drafted by the NFL.

Brown has a 94-45 record as a head coach at UMass, Plymouth State and Northeastern, with five conference championships and six playoff appearances.

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