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South Carolina defeats UConn in national championship game

Dawn Staley lifted the league trophy high, knelt around the pitch and paused for a brief dance of victory. He handed over the material to the South Carolina student camp and then returned to the center of the field for more fun. The Gamecocks achieved all the right notes this season and finished with a masterpiece. Staley’s team clung to the defense and dominated the glass, beating UConn 64-49 on Sunday night to end the Huskies’ unbeaten streak in the title race. Destanni Henderson had a career-high 26 points, Aliyah Boston added 11 points and 16 rebounds and the Gamecocks gave Geno Auriemma’s Huskies their first defeat in 12 NCAA title games. “We played every occupation as if it were our last occupation,” Staley said. , the first coach of Black men or women with two category I titles. “They were determined to become champions today.” A year ago, South Carolina lost in the Final Four when Boston lost a lay before the buzzer. “Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this since last season. Everyone had a picture of me crying,” said Boston, who was the Final Four’s most important player. “Today, we’re national champions and I’m crying.” With Staley shouting the shots in a Louis Vuitton letter jacket, South Carolina took UConn to school on the boards and closed the cable-to-cable transition to the No. 1 team in the country in the Associated Press poll. the tournament in 2017 with A’ja Wilson leading the way, this time with Boston – AP Player of the Year – and her fellow South Carolina players dominating the game’s biggest stage. 49-24, including 21-6 on the offensive board. “We knew tonight that if we did not keep ours on the board, it would be a very bad night for us,” Auriemma said. “And that’s exactly what happened.” “They deserved it 100%,” said Auriemma. “It was the best team of the year. It was South Carolina’s night from the start. (35-2) previous They were 11-2, taking almost every rebound on both ends of the floor. They led 22-8 after a quarter, much to the delight of their fans, who made the trip to Minneapolis to be part of the crowd that had sold out. , started. After just one shot in the first quarter, he scored nine points in the second to take the Huskies to 35-27 at halftime. Finished with 14. An 8-2 streak to start the third quarter lifted South Carolina 43-29 before the Huskies finally started tying behind the bow. UConn lost their first eight attempts by 3 points until Caroline Ducharme made one wing and Evina Westbrook followed another to bring the Huskies to 43-37. That’s as close as they can get to Henderson. The senior guard had a three-pointer. game points to close the third quarter and then had the first four points of the team in the fourth to regain the double-digit lead. The Huskies could not recover. “My teammates believed in me once again. “We worked so hard from day one and it finally paid off, all my hard work, all my focus,” Henderson said. “I trust the process. I trust in God. “It just put me in a position to be great, and today, we national champions.” This was UConn’s first trip to the league since 2016, when the Huskies won the last of four consecutive titles. Since then, the team has suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the national semifinals, losing twice in overtime, before stopping Stanford on Friday night. The Huskies were trying to win their 12th title in the same city they won their first in 1995. Auriemma said on Saturday that when his team had won each of the 11 titles, the Huskies entered the Game as the best team. It certainly was not Sunday. “They just weren’t enough for us,” he said. “They were very good to us.” It was one of the most demanding seasons of Auriemma’s Hall of Fame. UConn overcame the loss of eight players in at least two games due to injury or illness, including Bueckers, who missed nearly three months with a left knee injury in early December. She returned in late February, but was not at the same level that earned her the AP Player of the Year award as a freshman last season. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS Gamecocks have been strong defensively all season, finishing third nationally with 50.5 points per game. They were even sharper in the NCAA tournament, keeping their opponents at 44.8 points entering Sunday’s final. Henderson had three steals, Boston blocked two shots and South Carolina made 15 errors. Gamecocks’s plus-25 rebound margin was the second largest in a title game.

Dawn Staley lifted the league trophy high, knelt around the pitch and paused for a brief dance of victory. He handed over the material to the South Carolina student camp and then returned to the center of the field for more fun.

The Gamecocks achieved all the right notes this season and finished with a masterpiece.

Staley’s team clung to the defense and dominated the glass, beating UConn 64-49 on Sunday night to end the Huskies’ unbeaten run in the title games. Destanni Henderson had a career-high 26 points, Aliyah Boston added 11 points and 16 rebounds and the Gamecocks gave the Geno Auriemma Huskies their first defeat in 12 NCAA title games.

“We played every possession as if it were our last possession,” said Staley, the first black or women coach to win two Division I titles. “They were determined to become champions today.”

A year ago, South Carolina lost in the Final Four when Boston lost a lay before the buzzer.

“I honestly have been thinking about this since last season. “Everyone had a picture of me crying,” said Boston, who was the Final Four’s most important player. “Today, we are national champions and I am in tears.”

With Staley shooting with a Letterman Louis Vuitton jacket, South Carolina took UConn to school on the boards and shut down a series of cable-to-cable as the No. 1 team in the country in the Associated Press poll. The Gamecocks also won the championship in 2017 with A’ja Wilson leading the way.

This time it was Boston – the player of the year in the AP – and her colleagues in South Carolina post players who dominated the biggest stage of the game. The Gamecocks beat UConn 49-24, including a 21-6 lead on offensive boards.

“We knew tonight that if we did not keep ours on the boards, it would be a very bad night for us,” said Auriemma. “And that’s exactly what happened.”

They also repelled star Paige Bueckers and the Huskies in defense, as they did all season.

“They deserved it 100%,” Auriemma said. “It was the best team of the year.”

It was South Carolina’s night from the beginning. The Gamecocks (35-2) led 11-2, taking almost every rebound on both ends of the floor. They led 22-8 after a quarter to the delight of their fans, who made the trip to Minneapolis to be part of the crowd that had sold out.

UConn (30-6) was 16 points behind in the second quarter before Bueckers, a native of Minnesota, started. After just one shot in the first quarter, he scored nine points in the second to take the Huskies to 35-27 at halftime. Finished with 14.

An 8-2 streak at the start of the third quarter lifted South Carolina 43-29 before the Huskies finally started tying behind the bow. UConn lost the first eight three-pointers until Caroline Ducharme made one wing and Evina Westbrook followed another to bring the Huskies 43-37.

They are as close as they could get because of Henderson.

The senior guard had a three-point game to close the third quarter and then had the team’s first four points in the fourth to restore the double-digit lead. The Huskies could not recover.

“My teammates believed in me once again. “We worked so hard from day one and it finally paid off, all my hard work, all my focus,” Henderson said. “I trust the process. I trust in God. “It just put me in a position to be great, and today, we national champions.”

This was UConn’s first trip to the league since 2016, when the Huskies won the last of four consecutive titles. Since then, the team has suffered heartbreaking defeats in the national semifinals, losing twice in overtime, before holding on to Stanford on Friday night. The Huskies were trying to win their 12th title in the same city they won their first in 1995.

Auriemma said on Saturday that when his team had won each of its 11 titles, the Huskies came into play as the best team. It certainly was not Sunday.

“They just weren’t enough for us,” he said. “They were very good for us.”

It was one of the most demanding seasons of Auriemma’s career at the Hall of Fame. UConn overcame the loss of eight players for at least two games with injury or illness, including Bueckers, who missed nearly three months with a left knee injury he suffered in early December. She returned in late February, but was not at the same level that the AP Player of the Year earned her as a freshman last season.

THE DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Gamecocks have been consistent in defense throughout the season, finishing third nationally with 50.5 points per game. They were even sharper in the NCAA tournament, keeping their opponents at 44.8 points entering Sunday’s final.

Henderson had three steals, Boston blocked two shots and South Carolina made 15 errors. Gamecocks’s plus-25 rebound margin was the second largest in a title game.

South Carolina defeats UConn in national championship game Source link South Carolina defeats UConn in national championship game

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