4/3/22 MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the UConn Huskies 64-49 in the National Championship Game to win their second national title in school history.
National Coach of the Year, Dawn Staley, ends head coach Geno Auriemma's undefeated streak of 11 consecutive wins in National Title games. Destanni Henderson led South Carolina in scoring with her career-high 26-points.
"My teammates believed in me once again. We've been working so hard since Day 1, and it finally paid off, all my hard work, all my focus," Henderson said. "Me trusting the process. Me trusting in God. She just put me in a position just to be great, and today, we national champions."
Her teammate Aliyah Boston recorded her 30th double-double to lead the NCAA this season with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Paige Bueckers led UConn with 14-points and six rebounds.
"Honestly, I've been thinking about this since last season. Everyone had a picture of me crying," said Boston."Today, we're national champions and I'm in tears."
South Carolina's with their first possession, Henderson knocked down a three-pointer from the right side of the court to get the Gamecocks on the board first, leading 3-0.
UConn trailed South Carolina 5-2 after Aliayah Edwards made a layup. For the second consecutive game, the Gamecocks jumped to an early 13-2 to lead with 5:15 remaining in the first quarter with scores from four of their five starters.
The Gamecocks would end the first quarter leading 22-8 on an 11-4 run. Bueckers would get hot in the second quarter scoring on the first three UConn possessions cutting their deficit to 14-points trailing South Carolina, 30-16.
The Huskies would cut the lead to single digits, 32-23, with a layup by Caroline Ducharme after going on an 8-2 run, preventing the Gamecocks from scoring for 4:39.
South Carolina would end that drought with a layup by Henderson, which extended their lead to 34-25. After trailing by 17 points to start the second quarter, the Huskies were only down 35-27 at halftime.
Henderson led the Gamecocks in scoring in the first half with 11-points, 3-3 from the three-point line, and Bueckers led the Huskies with 9 points.
The Gamecocks started the second half by scoring the first eight points to give them a 43-27 lead.
Bueckers would respond with a jumper to end the 8-0 run with the Huskies trailing by 14 points, 43-29, with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter.
UConn would go on a 10-0 run with consecutive three-pointers by Caroline Ducharme and Evina Westbrook, forcing South Carolina to call a timeout as they trailed, 43-37.
Henderson would end the run with a layup to give the Gamecocks a 46-37 to end the third quarter.
The closest the Huskies would get in the fourth quarter was seven points, 46-39, with a jumper by Edwards.
The Gamecocks would not let their foot off the pedal ending the game on a 7-2 run defeating UConn, 64-49.
"I know our players were exhausted, but they were determined to be champions today," said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.
South Carolina is on top of NCAA Women's basketball once again by winning its first national title since 2017. For more photos of this game, click on the gallery link below. #ncaanationalchampionship #ncaawbb #southcarolinagamecocks #uconnhuskies #ncaa #uconnhuskieswomensbasketball