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University of South Carolina Wins National Championship - Defeats University of Iowa 87-75

Alan Kornspan

Believeland Media

(Alan Kornspan/Believeland Media)

Oh what a weekend here in Cleveland, Ohio! And the fun continues on Monday with the Eclipse and the Cleveland Guardians home opener.

(Alan Kornspan/Believeland Media)

On Sunday afternoon, the basketball world's attention was on Rocket Mortgage Arena in Cleveland, Ohio where the University of South Carolina Gamecocks took on the University of Iowa Hawkeyes in the NCAA Women's Basketball Division I National Championship.

(Alan Kornspan/Believeland Media)

The contest started out close in the first half as the Gamecocks took a 49-46 lead into halftime.

However, the Gamecocks pulled away in the second half and defeated the Hawkeyes 87-75 to claim the National Championship.

Afterward, University of South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley said that she was excited to share this incredible accomplishment with her team.

“I'm super excited to share this moment with our team,” said Staley.
“They are incredible human beings and young people who trusted, believed and figured out a way to help each other learn and grow, and ultimately become champions.”

Staley also acknowledged how much the University of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark has done for women's basketball.

“Just really wanted to say congratulations to Iowa and Caitlin for making it back to the national championship game," Coach Staley said.
"Obviously they're a formidable opponent that took everything that we had to win the basketball game."
“But just don't want to not utilize this opportunity to thank Caitlin for what she's done for women's basketball. Her shoulders were heavy and getting a lot of eyeballs on our game. And sometimes as a young person, it can be a bit much, but I thought she handled it with class. I hope that every step of the ladder of success that she goes, she's able to elevate whatever room she's in.”

In the post-game press conference Clark said that she was proud of her team for all that they accomplished this season. She emphasized how special this season was and how much belief the team had that they could be successful.

“It's certainly been a special year,” said Clark.
“To be honest, after last year I was kind of, like, how do we top doing what we did last year? Somehow, some way, every single person in our locker room believed. To be honest, this year was probably more special than last year.”
“The teams we had to go through to get to this point, we won the Big Ten Tournament. We lost two players that were three-year starters for our program, and to be back in this position and come out here and battle -- I mean, South Carolina is so good. There's only so much you can do.”
“I'm just proud of our group. We never backed down, and we gave it everything we've got.”
“I'm sad we lost this game, but I'm also so proud of myself, I'm so proud of my teammates, I'm so proud of this program. There's a lot to be proud of.”

For the contest, freshman Tessa Johnson came off the bench to lead the Gamecocks with 19 points.  

Also leading the Gamecocks offensively were Kamilla Cardoso (15), Te-Hina Paopao (14), and Chloe Kitts (11).

The Hawkeyes were led by Caitlin Clark who had 30 points, 8 rebounds, and five assists in the final game of her collegiate basketball career.  

Also, scoring in double figures for the Hawkeyes were Kate Martin (16 points), Sydney Affolter (12), and Hannah Stuelke (11). In addition, Ohio native Gabbie Marshall added six points for the Hawkeyes.



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