South Carolina Gamecocks, led by head coach Dawn Staley and their solid defensive pressure, won their second national championship, choking UConn for a 64-49 win Sunday night that ended the Huskies’ undefeated streak in title games.
South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson and forward Aliyah Boston were the stars of Sunday’s game. Henderson finished the game with 26 points and Boston with 11.
“I’ve been thinking about it since last season, everyone had a picture of me crying. But today we’re national champions and I’m in tears,” Boston said, referring to last year’s Final Four loss to Stanford.
It was South Carolina night from the start. The Gamecocks (35-2) took an 11-2 lead, grabbing almost every rebound on either end of the court. They led 22-8 after one quarter, much to the delight of their loyal fans, who traveled to Minneapolis to be part of the sold-out crowd.
This was UConn’s first trip to the championship game since 2016, when the Huskies won the last of four straight titles. Since then, the team has endured heartbreaking defeats in the national semifinals, losing twice in overtime before taking on Stanford on Friday night.