The South Carolina Gamecocks reigned victorious on April 3, beating out the UConn Huskies 64-49 during the 2022 women’s college basketball national championship.
The team worked together to secure Sunday’s big win, with Destanni Henderson scoring 26 points and Aliyah Boston shelling up 11 points and 16 rebounds. This was the team’s second championship appearance since losing to Stanford during last year’s Final Four competition, and they certainly redeemed themselves.
“I don’t want to get too personal, but they used a sad photo to describe March Madness when I don’t think that should be the case,” Boston told EPSN about losing the competition last year during post-game interviews, according to CBS Sports. “Yes, there are emotions, but when you use a video of me crying for a long time period of time, that is going to fuel my fire … I don’t want anyone to use a video of me crying ever again as a weak point. Now you have a smile.”
Henderson hunkered down on defense, especially in the third quarter, where she delivered a three-point play inching the team toward their big win.
“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 God. She just put me in a position just to be great, and today, we national champions.”
After the Gamecocks blazed through the court, the team’s head coach, three-time Olympic gold medalist, Dawn Staley, hoisted the championship trophy on the court as crowd goers cheered from the stands.
“We played every possession like it was our last possession,” said Staley of her player’s determination and hard work, AP News noted. “They were determined to be champions today.”
The former Temple University Owls coach added:
“We didn’t have dominating performances all of our games, but part of being dominant is being able to win when you are not playing to the best of your abilities. You find a way to win.”
Overall, South Carolina dominated the season with a 35-2 record, ranking No. 1 in the country.
Congrats to the Gamecocks!