The South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball program is headed to the Final Four after taking care of Vic Schaefer and the Texas Longhorns.
South Carolina women’s basketball is back in the Final Four after dominating Texas, 62-34 behind an all-around team effort.
In the 16th meeting between Dawn Staley and Vic Schaefer, there was a ton on the line. Both head coaches were vying for a Final Four spot for their respective teams but only one could move on. It ended up being Staley’s squad that prevailed in a convincing fashion.
The game was billed as a battle of the bigs between projected WNBA No. 1 pick Charli Collier of Texas and Aliyah Boston, a candidate to win the Player of the Year. The two led the nation in double-doubles but neither was at their best. But South Carolina had the depth to overcome a night when their star was not at her best while the Longhorns didn’t.
It was a dominating performance from South Carolina from the opening tip to the final quarter where they didn’t allow a single point to Texas in the fourth quarter. Dominance.
South Carolina reaches third Final Four under Dawn Staley
3. Victaria Saxton got South Carolina going early
Junior forward Victaria Saxton scored the first eight points for South Carolina to give the Gamecocks an early lead that Texas would never recover from. Despite being a little undersized in the paint, Saxton put in work in the post, forcing Schaefer to throw bigger bodies at her.
She finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, missing only twice in the contest.
2. Zia Cooke’s handle helps South Carolina advance
Zia Cooke led all scorers in the matchup with 16 points. The sophomore guard was slicing through the lane for easy buckets all night, going 7-of-15 from the field and adding six rebounds and three assists. Watch as she skips through two Texas defenders for a smooth scooping layup with the left.
1. Destanni Henderson was dropping dimes all night
One of the most impressive performances of the night came from Gamecocks guard Destanni Henderson. She finished the game with 12 points and seven assists, some of which you had to look twice to catch.
Watch as she gets the hedge she was seeking and finds her teammate for the easy bucket.
It’s too easy for Staley’s group, obviously.
It’s the third Final Four appearance for Staley and the team’s first since they won it all in the 2016-2017 season. The Gamecocks very well could have won the championship as a No. 1 seed last year if the tournament wasn’t canceled due to COVID-19.
South Carolina will play the winner of Stanford-Louisville on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET.
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