Gov. Henry McMaster recognized head coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecock women’s basketball team for their national championship title. Photos by Téa Smith.

Lawmakers from the South Carolina House and Senate rose to their feet Wednesday to applaud the NCAA national champion Gamecocks women’s basketball and their head coach Dawn Staley.

“Thank you for representing our great state with class and style and making us all proud to be South Carolinians,” House Speaker Jay Lucas said.

The Gamecocks defeated UConn 64-49 Sunday night in Minneapolis to claim their second national title in five years.

Female members of the Senate gathered on the chamber floor, looking proudly upon the team and highlighted what the win means to the university and women’s sports across the nation.

“From the bottom of my heart, y’all give a whole new meaning to the phrase girl power,” Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Richland, said.

The team joined Gov. Henry McMaster in his office, where he congratulated them on their stellar season and handed out commemorative memorabilia.

Brea Beal, a member of the Gamecock women’s basketball team, stopped to sign an autograph at the State House.