South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title

South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title

(CNN)The South Carolina Gamecocks won their second national championship in five years Sunday after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 64-49.

The name of the game Sunday was defense and offensive rebounds for the Gamecocks, who controlled the game from the start with a 13-2 lead in just the first six minutes of the game. It was the fewest points the Huskies had scored in a quarter this season. The Gamecocks outrebounded the Huskies 49-24 in the win.

    The Huskies went on two runs — a 9-0 run in the second quarter and a 10-0 one in the third — but the Gamecocks kept the lead the entire game.

      South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson and forward Aliyah Boston were the stars of Sunday’s game. Henderson ended the game with 26 points and Boston with 11. Read More”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. Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSouth Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, right, celebrates with teammate Victaria Saxton after the Gamecocks defeated UConn in the national championship game on Sunday, April 3.Hide Caption 1 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSouth Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, center, celebrates with her team as Boston lifts the trophy.Hide Caption 2 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleBree Hall savors the big win.Hide Caption 3 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleThe Gamecocks celebrate after the final buzzer.Hide Caption 4 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleGamecocks guard Destanni Henderson, right, had a game-high 26 points.Hide Caption 5 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleBoston blocks Evina Westbrook’s shot in the fourth quarter.Hide Caption 6 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSouth Carolina players celebrate a basket during the game.Hide Caption 7 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSouth Carolina’s Zia Cooke is defended by UConn’s Christyn Williams during the first half. South Carolina led 35-27 at halftime.Hide Caption 8 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSaxton and UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards hit the floor for a loose ball.Hide Caption 9 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleUConn guard Paige Bueckers takes a shot. Bueckers, last year’s Naismith Player of the Year, finished the game with a team-high 14 points.Hide Caption 10 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleBoston is swarmed by a group of UConn defenders.Hide Caption 11 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleStaley, this season’s Naismith Coach of the Year, reacts to a play.Hide Caption 12 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleEdwards tries to box out Cooke.Hide Caption 13 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleBoston and UConn’s Caroline Ducharme wrestle for the ball.Hide Caption 14 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleEdwards defends Saxton in the first half.Hide Caption 15 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleUConn head coach Geno Auriemma reacts during a tough first half for the Huskies. They were outrebounded 20-10 and had nine turnovers.Hide Caption 16 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleEdwards shoots a layup in the first quarter.Hide Caption 17 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleBoston and UConn’s Olivia Nelson-Ododa go after a loose ball during the first quarter.Hide Caption 18 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleThe South Carolina bench reacts to a play in the first half.Hide Caption 19 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleNelson-Ododa and Saxton compete on the opening tip.Hide Caption 20 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSouth Carolina’s starters prepare to be introduced before the game.Hide Caption 21 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleEdwards and Nelson-Ododa are introduced to the crowd at Minneapolis’ Target Center.Hide Caption 22 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleThe UConn band plays before the game.Hide Caption 23 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title Photos: South Carolina wins second national titleSouth Carolina takes part in pregame warmups.Hide Caption 24 of 24South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleSouth Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball titleThe Gamecock defense held off the star trio of guards for the Huskies — Paige Bueckers, Christyn Williams and Azzi Fudd. Both Williams and Fudd did not score until late in the fourth quarter and Bueckers ended the game with 14 points.

        “I know our players were exhausted, but they were determined to be champions today,” said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.UConn was 11-0 in national championship games before Sunday, which all came under head coach Geno Auriemma.Sunday’s title game was a rematch. South Carolina beat UConn 73-57 in November in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, relying on 22 points from Boston and a stifling defense that held the Huskies to just 3 points in the fourth quarter.UConn, the premier women’s basketball program for almost three decades, finds itself in the odd position of underdog. A 2-seed in the tournament, UConn had 11 starting lineups this season due to a mix of injuries and Covid illnesses.Still, UConn reached the Final Four by topping 1-seed NC State in an epic 91-87 win in double-overtime, the first time in women’s NCAA tournament history a game in the Elite Eight or beyond needed double overtime. They followed that up with a 63-58 win over another 1-seed in Stanford on Friday night to reach the title game.South Carolina has been the top-ranked team since the preseason and is 34-2 on the year, with each of its losses coming by 2 points or fewer.South Carolina defeats UConn to win the NCAA women's basketball title UConn to play South Carolina in NCAA women's basketball championship gameThe Gamecocks reached the Final Four by beating 10-seeded Creighton 80-50 and then dropping 1-seeded Louisville 72-59 on Friday to reach the title game. In the win over Louisville, Boston and her pink and purple braids scored 23 points and snagged 18 rebounds, the 29th double-double of her stellar season.This was UConn’s 14th consecutive Final Four appearance stretching back to 2007.

          South Carolina has made the Sweet 16 every year since 2014 and won its first national championship in 2017. They were the top-ranked team in the country in 2020 when the tournament was canceled due to Covid-19 and last year lost in the Final Four.The two teams last played in the NCAA tournament in 2018, when UConn beat South Carolina 94-65 to go to the Final Four.