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How South Carolina reached the 2022 NCAA women’s basketball national championship game

The Gamecocks were a No. 1 seed in the tournament and will take on No. 2 UConn in the 2022 NCAA women’s basketball national championship.

South Carolina Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston shoots the ball past Louisville Cardinals forward Olivia Cochran in the first half in the Final Four semifinals of the women’s college basketball NCAA Tournament at Target Center. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks will be playing in their second women’s championship game in program history on Sunday, April 3rd. Head Coach Dawn Staley has turned the basketball program around since 2008 and is looking to cut down the nets again for the first time since 2017. In 2021, the Gamecocks were upset by Stanford in the semi-finals, but this year they took down No. 1 Louisville to cement their place in the 2022 NCAA Women’s Championship Game.

Regular season

South Carolina went 29-2 in the regular season with their second loss being in the SEC Championship game. Their first loss came against Mizzou in overtime on December 30th, 2021. When you only have two losses, they become overanalyzed while the great wins fall out of focus. The Gamecocks had big wins over NC State, South Dakota, Oregon, Maryland, Duke, Stanford and UConn during the regular season.

The Gamecocks took on UConn on November 22nd and came away with the 73-57 victory. Forward Aliyah Boston put on an early display of the double-double threat she would become as she finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

NCAA Tournament

The Gamecocks started the NCAA women’s tournament with a 58-point win over No. 16 Howard. Yes, it was a No. 1 seed over a No. 16 seed, but the dominance was noteworthy because the score at halftime was 44-4. They had a tougher test in the second round against No. 8 Miami, but South Carolina showed that they could adjust their game style to whatever their opponents threw at them.

That adaptability helped them pick up the 69-61 victory over No. 5 North Carolina in the third round. Their Elite Eight matchup was against No. 10 Creighton and they rolled to a 30-point victory. They are heading into the national championship game after taking down fellow No. 1 seed Louisville 72-59 in the Final Four.

Key players

F Aliyah Boston (17.0 points per game, 12.4 rebounds per game)
G Destanni Henderson (11.1 ppg, 3.9 assists per game)
G Zia Cooke (10.7 ppg, 1.7 assists per game)