NCAA women's hoops final thrilled South Carolina, Mississippi State alums, coaches

The South Carolina Gamecocks won the school's first NCAA women's basketball title on Sunday with a 67-55 over Mississippi State. Carolyn Peck coached Purdue to the 1999 championship. "We got you a ring", Staley said of Coates. Staley was 0-3 in the Final Four as a player - now she has a championship as a coach. "It took that long", Staley said.

Attack mode suits the SC women's basketball team.

The Gamecocks (33-4) beat Mississippi State for the third time this season, and 11th time in a row in the series. He's built a powerhouse over five seasons, with 13, 22, 27 and 28 wins in his first four seasons before the program-record 34 wins this year. Morgan William, who had become the face of the tournament with the game-winner against the Huskies after a 41-point performance against Baylor, was held to just eight points.

SC was led by A'ja Wilson, who scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. When the noise calmed down, the now USC junior forward was asked what it was that swayed her to Dawn Staley's team. We've beaten two No. 1's to get here. (Nineteen African-American men also coach women's teams). The historic win gives the school its first title for women or men in basketball.

Voepel says Vivians has struggled at times this season with her scoring.

It would not be the first visit to the White House for Staley, who went with the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 when George W. Bush was in the White House.

"They pretty much guarded me hard full court", William said. "I've got to repay the debt for what it has given me".

That's up 20 percent from the 2.0 for the 2016 title game in which CT defeated Syracuse 82-51. For 26 years, she's lived with the regret that she never won an NCAA title.

And the victory for SC is also a win for Under Armour.

"She's basically a gym rat and definitely, ball is life for her", Gray said. "She said, 'When you win your national championship, just return it, '" Staley said.

Down to one aircraft carrier following the injury to senior center Alaina Coates, the Gamecocks had to find a new way to make the most of athletic group of players surrounding Southeastern Conference Player of the Year A'ja Wilson. And then beat them ...

"It means that I can check off one of the things that has been a void in my career", Staley said.

In eight seasons, Staley guided the Owls to six appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

  • Julie Sanders