South Carolina Defeats Mississippi State to Win Women’s Title
South Carolina Women’s Basketball Wins National Championship
The South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team took home their first national championship in program history on Sunday when they defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 67-55. NESN.com’s Courtney Cox tells you how A’Ja Wilson lifted the Gamecocks to victory.
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DALLAS — In the final seconds on Sunday, Dawn Staley gave a group hug to her assistant coaches. As confetti showered South Carolina’s first women’s basketball title winners, she put on a championship cap she had waited a career to wear.
Later, she wore a net like a necklace.
The 67-55 win over Mississippi State, a fellow member of the Southeastern Conference, was a victory that represented a diversity of opportunity, both for coaches and for teams playing for a championship.
Staley became the second African-American coach to win a title since the N.C.A.A. began sponsoring a women’s basketball tournament in 1982. (Carolyn Peck coached Purdue to the 1999 championship.) And for the first time in five years, a program not named Connecticut won a national title.
After Peck won her championship, she gave Staley a piece of the net that Purdue cut down in celebration that night, telling her to return it when she won her own title. For years, Staley kept the strand of net in her wallet.
“I’m going to have to pass a piece of my net on to somebody else, so they can share it and hopefully accomplish something as big as this,” Staley said.