South Carolina tops UConn to win NCAA women's basketball national championship

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South Carolina came out of the gates hot and stayed that way as the Gamecocks used a dominant first quarter to push past UConn 64-49 to win the NCAA women’s college basketball national championship.

Gamecocks guard Destanni Henderson led the way for South Carolina with 26 points, four assists and three steals in the win. She was 3-for-6 from three-point range and 9-of-20 from the field. 

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South Carolina's Destanni Henderson and UConn's Aaliyah Edwards go after a loose ball during the second half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.

South Carolina’s Destanni Henderson and UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards go after a loose ball during the second half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women’s Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A few assists and a three-pointer from Henderson pushed South Carolina to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter and the team never looked back.

South Carolina would go wire-to-wire for the victory, and while Henderson had the game-high among all scorers, the Gamecocks dominating the glass was a huge factor in the win.

SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM CATCHES FLAK FOR SKIPPING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT FINAL FOUR

South Carolina's Bree Hall battles with UConn's Aaliyah Edwards during the second half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.

South Carolina’s Bree Hall battles with UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards during the second half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women’s Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

South Carolina had 21 offensive rebounds in the game and out-rebounded UConn on the offensive side 21-6. The team out-rebounded the Huskies 49-24.

Aliyah Boston would score 11 points and add 16 rebounds in the win. Zia Cookie also had 11 points and five rebounds.

UConn's Caroline Ducharme tries to get past South Carolina's Aliyah Boston during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.

UConn’s Caroline Ducharme tries to get past South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women’s Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma had been 11-0 when his Huskies had made it to the national title game, but luck was not on the team’s side.

Paige Bueckers was held to 14 points in the loss. She was the only Huskies player to record double-digits in points. South Carolina’s defense held Christyn Williams to only two points. Azzi Fudd only had three points.

South Carolina wins their first championship since 2017. That team defeated Stanford and Mississippi State on their way to a national title. A’ja Wilson and Allisha Gray played a big role in that title run.

UConn's Paige Bueckers looks to get past South Carolina's Aliyah Boston and Bree Hall during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.

UConn’s Paige Bueckers looks to get past South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Bree Hall during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women’s Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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The Gamecocks beat Louisville, Creighton, North Carolina, Miami (FL) and Howard to reach this point.

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