Williams, Collier lead UConn to 100th win in a row
Williams had a career-high 26 points to go with 14 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots despite going up against either 6-foot-5 A'ja Wilson or 6-foot-4 Alaina Coates for most of the game.
"You can't explain Gabby Williams ever having any expectations of ever being Maya Moore and with a Maya Moore performance tonight exactly when she needed it exactly when it needed to be done," Auriemma said. "Did we know when it was going to happen but we just know when we recruit kids, it is going to happen and they believe it because it is expected."
It just so happened that Moore was one of the alumni sitting behind the bench. Williams' former teammates Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck were among the UConn alumni row.
"It felt great especially with the alumni there especially with Stewie and Tuck there because I think those guys have kind of watched me grow," Williams said. "This game was won by effort, I am really proud of how tough and composed we were today."
Collier finished with 18 points and nine rebounds as she teamed with Williams to outscored South Carolina's All-American frontcourt tandem of Wilson and Coates 44-27 they also had 23 rebounds, three more than Coates and Wilson combined for.
The Huskies wrapped up the non-conference portion of the schedule with a perfect 13-0 record playing eight ranked teams and another that would be ranked after the Huskies played them. Four games remain in the regular season beginning with Saturday's game at Tulane.
Kia Nurse only played in six minutes due to a tender ankle. She wanted no part of discussing her health after the game but she did see some time late in the game as she hit a key 3-pointer late. With Nurse scoring just three points and Katie Lou Samuelson finishing with a season-low six points, the Huskies still emerged with a hard-fought victory.
"Sometimes it is just meant to be, it is the best thing I can say," Auriemma said. "I didn't go into tonight's game with as much confidence as in the Maryland game, at Notre Dame and some of those other games. I thought tonight was going to be a really difficult game for us to win under the best of circumstances because I could see happening what happened. I've been saying to anybody who was following our team all year long that we are one injury, a couple fouls away from just being average at best but it was meant to be. You could see the signs, Saniya took two charges, that is like (seeing) Haley's Comet, Lou got an offensive rebound and got fouled. That is the biggest phenomenon I've seen so things were happening out there that you can't explain."
Another key part to the win was freshman Crystal Dangerfield's 30 quality minutes as she had a game-high seven assists. There will be more on her coming up in Wednesday's paper.