Dawn Staley’s message to Caitlin Clark: YOU ARE A G.O.A.T. OF OUR GAME

Dawn Staley’s message to Caitlin Clark: YOU ARE A G.O.A.T. OF OUR GAME on Press Conference: South Carolina vs. Iowa Postgame.

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South Carolina women’s basketball, Dawn Staley beat Iowa for undefeated NCAA championship

South Carolina women’s basketball is the undefeated national champion.

The No. 1 Gamecocks (38-0) became the 10th team to win an NCAA title without losing a game, beating No. 1 Iowa (34-5) 87-75 to claim the third championship in program history.

South Carolina outlasted 30 points from Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who broke the career NCAA Tournament scoring record during the game. After a full year of planning their revenge tour, the Gamecocks completed it by avenging their loss the Hawkeyes last season.

With the win, coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina will raise another banner.

Có thể là hình ảnh về 1 người, đang chơi bóng rổ, áo bóng rổ, đám đông và văn bản

Freshman guard Tessa Johnson led the way on offense with 19 points, while senior center Kamilla Cardoso tallied 15 points and 17 rebounds in her final game with the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks stormed through the second quarter, outscoring the Hawkeyes by 10 points and flipping a deficit into a three-point lead at the break. After Iowa took a lead with less than a minute left in the half, senior guard Te-Hina Paopao drained a 3-pointer and sophomore guard Raven Johnson stole the ball and converted a fastbreak layup to end the half.

South Carolina found themselves in a hole early, down 11 points in the first quarter in one of its largest deficits of the season. After a timeout halfway through the quarter, the Gamecocks chipped the lead back to two points.

Iowa took a 27-20 lead into the second quarter, however, behind a tournament-record 18 first quarter points.

South Carolina takes over in middle quarters

After Iowa dominated for most of the early portion of the game, it was South Carolina’s turn to counter. Its punch lifted it to a halftime advantage and into the third quarter.

The Gamecocks outscored the Hawkeyes by 16 points in the second and third quarters, thanks to vastly improved shooting and much better defense. Clark only scored seven points to follow up 18 in the first quarter and the Gamecocks shot 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in those quarters.

Caitlin Clark’s first quarter shooting sets records

Clark was the story in the first quarter, scoring a tournament-record 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including three 3-point baskets.

The Gamecocks didn’t have an answer for the sport’s all-time leading scorer early, as she drained several shots from deep to help Iowa build a quick lead. South Carolina slowed her down in the second quarter, allowing just three points, but she still finished the night with 30 points.

Evan Gerike covers South Carolina women’s basketball for the Greenville News. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanGerike.

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