When the South Carolina Gamecocks and Yukon Huskies both won their women’s Final Four games, they prepared themselves for the release of their much-anticipated exit in 2021.
It also introduces some of the best stories in women’s college basketball: 2021 AP Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Page Bookers vs. 2022 AP Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Alia Boston.
Zeno Ariema, one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time, vs. Don Staley, who insisted that his hat is also in the ring for one of the greatest of all time and how he developed South Carolina as a competitor to disrupt the dynasty that UConn once had.
Staley’s side proved irresistible in the final, despite pressure on their title hopes from the Yukon 10-0 in the third quarter, but the Gamecocks were able to win Staley’s second title in six years.
Here is the takeaway of the South Carolina and Yukon’s Women’s March Madness finals as the Gamecocks beat the Huskies 64-49.
Henderson puts on a show
Although Don Staley’s side have shown championship form because of how well they have scored, it is clear that the national title would not have come back to Colombia without Destiny Henderson.
The senior guard was the difference on both sides of the ball – an incredibly flashy defense game that played a huge role in Yukon’s turnover and stealing, enough time for quick swaps to beat the Huskies off the floor for easy baskets and being a sharpshooter. Out of pressure
Watching the bookers on the defensive end, one of the toughest defensive assignments in the game, Henderson was not afraid to play the switch despite standing at 5’7 and physically fight against some of UConn’s big players. Henderson also removed Carolina’s offense from the points, adding four assists on top of his total of 26 points in the game, the highest of his career.
While Alia Boston was defensively shutting down as the South Carolina engine, Henderson proved to be a key part of the win, and within a week of the WNBA draft coming to the fore, viewers noticed what he was capable of doing.
South Carolina’s pressure proved irresistible
There is talk that the offense will win the game but win the defense championship, and South Carolina has proved from the jump that they put pressure on UConn and held them to just eight points in the first quarter and are 22-8 ahead to start the game and when UConn Chip in the lead at the time, they never stopped South Carolina.
Gamecox has a 46-game streak that keeps their opponents below their average points per game and with Defensive Player of the Year Boston in their squad, it’s not a shock that they forced Yukon to make 15 turnovers.
One of the biggest differences – and the undisputed part of Yukon’s game in the game – was that South Carolina completely controlled the boards on both sides of the court, out-rebounding 41-20 and controlling their fortunes in the offense to get those second chance points in the match.
Yukon was horrified by Gamecox’s rapid pace and as a team committed 21 fouls, fouled in the final quarter and put South Carolina on a line that doubled their already double-digit lead in the final minutes of the game that would seal their fate. .
UConn shows life in the third quarter
Although South Carolina controlled the game from him, Oriemar Yukon did not go down without a fight and finally gained some momentum in the third quarter, although this proved to be not enough to keep up with the physical and fast gamecox.
The Bueckers were forced to do things like the Bueckers – and when he was placed on 14 points and six rebounds in the game, he led the Huskies in both divisions and was the only player to score in double digits.
Senior Christine Williams held just two points, while newcomer Azzi Fad was held to just three points, while Alia Edwards and Caroline Ducherme relaxed with eight and nine points, respectively. Olivia Nelson-Ododa was also placed on just four points and two rebounds for four fouls.
Evina Westbrook also added a triple to the Yukon 10-0 as part of her seven points and four rebounds at the rate, and the Huskies were able to hold South Carolina to just 11 points in the quarter, but as a Bookers-Food trio. Williams was held to just 19 points, the rest of the Yukon did not match the level of play that South Carolina had on the floor to pick up a win.
The efforts of the entire team proved successful for Gamecocks
While Henderson’s performance was undoubtedly the reason South Carolina was able to control the game from start to finish, something that made the team so special and why they were the country’s number one team this season is the deepest star.
Boston, while attracting a lot of attention defensively, was still able to record his 30th double-double at 11-points, a 16-rebound performance with 11 rebounds which shows why he is one of the toughest players to box out against Paint. When it comes to South Carolina transition, and the Final Four MVP earns respect for his efforts.
Jia Cook was already one to watch the game – which made it so difficult for South Carolina to defend, as they had so many versatile scoring options that could have an impact on the game. The way shots for Cook did not fall from outside the arc against Louisville and UNC in the tournament, he was able to contribute 11 points and five rebounds, all of which were defensive.
Senior Victoria Saxton, who recorded six points and five rebounds in the win, was instrumental in putting pressure on the Huskies defensively and managing two of her own steals, just as Henderson was able to get points for running in the playoffs. Occupy offensive boards to get gamecocks and other game launches.
Staley made history with the championship win
After winning his first title with A’ja Wilson, who will go on to become a WNBA star in 2020 and win the league’s MVP, Staley made history again in 2022 with his second title.
This time around, Staley’s victory is historic because he is the only coach to beat Ariema in the national title game – at the time of entering the game, the Yukon head coach was 11-0 up in the national title game.
She also became the first black coach to win two national championships in men’s or women’s Division I college basketball with this victory.