CLEVELAND, OH. – The Gamecocks secured their second National Championship in three years, beating Iowa 87-75. They are the tenth women’s college basketball team of all time to have a perfect season. Head Coach Dawn Staley became the fifth women’s coach to win three or more championships.

NC State Blowout

The weekend began with South Carolina dominating their Final Four game against the NC State Wolfpack. The first half play was a bit iffy, going into halftime with the Gamecocks up 32-31. But South Carolina came out of the locker room looking like a new team. “I’m not trying to lose to this team, and I know y’all aren’t either,” freshman guard MiLaysia remembers saying to her teammates during halftime. They scored 29 points in the third quarter and finished the game 78-59.

Calm, Cool, and Collected

The Gamecocks held an open practice on Saturday after it was determined they would be facing Iowa in the National Championship game. Despite the country rallying around superstar Caitlin Clark, the girls looked completely relaxed at practice, dancing and singing in the middle of shooting drills.

The Revenge Tour

Players and fans referred to this season as the “Revenge Tour” after Iowa handed South Carolina its first loss of the season during last year’s Final Four Game. With five new starters, there were doubts surrounding the women’s basketball team before the season began, but they were quickly diminished when the Gamecocks showed off their depth.

Sophomore Raven Johnson remembers last season’s game against Iowa all too well. Caitlin Clark waved her hand at Johnson as if to say, “I don’t need to guard you.” Johnson took that personally. After Clark scored 18 points in the first quarter, Staley switched Johnson to cover Clark. Johnson held her to just 12 points the rest of the game. Clark also turned the ball over four times with Johnson guarding her. “The revenge tour is over!” belted Johnson into the microphone while confetti rained down on her.

Most Outstanding Player

Senior Kamilla Cardoso was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Cardoso racked up 15 points and 17 rebounds while playing her last game in a Gamecock jersey. She will enter the league a National Champion.

Bright Future

The Gamecocks are only losing two starters next season and have lots of young talent. Freshman Tessa Johnson led the team in points against Iowa with a career high of 19. South Carolina will definitely have lots of eyes on them next season, but as for now “I just need to celebrate tonight… I just kind of need to be in the moment right now,” said guard Bree Hall after the game.

Many celebrities took to X to congratulate Dawn Staley on an amazing accomplishment, including Lebron James, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lil Wayne. New York City even lit up the Empire State Building in garnet and red to celebrate the Gamecocks. Back at home, Capstone also lit up garnet to remind the women’s basketball team of Columbia’s support. Crowds filled Colonial Life Arena for the team’s return, proving just how much this victory means to the school, the city, and the sport.