2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Game Recap
Flashback to the 2021 Women’s Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, South Carolina Gamecocks’ sophomore forward Aliyah Boston missed a putback at the buzzer to beat the Stanford Cardinals in the National Semifinal.
Tears streamed down her face as the moment sunk in of their dream falling short. However, head coach Dawn Staley and her squad regrouped to take care of “unfinished business.”
Fast forward to this year’s Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you’ll see how the Gamecocks would not be denied the confetti falling for them this time around.
The No. 1 seed South Carolina Gamecocks took down the No. 2 seed juggernaut that is the UConn Huskies 64-49 on Monday night.
South Carolina got out early to start, using its suffocating, high intensity defense. From there, the Gamecocks forced 15 total turnovers against Geno Auriemma’s team and turned those opportunities into points.
The Gamecock’s success was in part not with the usual culprit of Boston, but with the guard play of senior Destanni Henderson. She ended the night with 26 points on 45% shooting from the floor and 50% shooting from beyond the arc.
Boston did fulfill her role for Staley as she posted 11 points and 16 rebounds on the night, making it her 30th double-double of the season. With that, she was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player to compliment her National Player of the Year award she earned earlier this season.
Rounding out the double figure scorers for South Carolina is the junior guard Zia Cooke. Her contributions of 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting helped the Gamecocks hoist the trophy.
On the other side of the court, it was a one-woman show, with sophomore guard Paige Bueckers being the only double-digit scorer for the Huskies with 14 points with six rebounds playing 39 out of the 40 minutes in the game.
Freshman guard Azzi Fudd was dealing with a stomach bug during the game, only limiting her to 17 minutes total, with 12 of those minutes coming in the second half. She finished the night with only three points, well below her season average.
The struggles leaked over to the other players as well, especially the third head of UConn’s monster, senior guard Christyn Williams. She ended the night with two points, which came in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
The two teams played earlier in the season in the Bad Boy Mowers Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis championship during Feast Week. South Carolina, ranked No. 1, took down the No. 2 UConn Huskies 73-57. Boston led all scorers with 22 points for South Carolina, and Bueckers had 19 points for the Huskies.
This marks the second national championship in program history for South Carolina, both under Staley. The Gamecocks are the eighth team in women’s collegiate basketball to win multiple championships with the trophy hoisting in Minneapolis.
South Carolina was the 12th team in history to be preseason No. 1 and win the national championship. With returning a good chunk of the core, their business remains unfinished.
Jonathan Draeger is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Third Year / Broadcast Journalism