After finishing the season unbeaten with a 38-0 record, the South Carolina Gamecocks won the NCAA trophy, becoming just the 10th Division I women’s basketball team to do so.

Caitlin Clark’s stellar collegiate basketball career, which fell short of winning the championship, comes to a close with the victory.

Iowa was defeated by South Carolina at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, 87-75.

With 30 points, Clark led both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the contest in scoring. With 19 points off the bench, Tessa Johnson led the way for the Gamecocks.

Coach Dawn Staley of South Carolina was sobbing uncontrollably after her Gamecocks won that she was unable to articulate her joy for her unbeaten squad.

Staley spoke of the previous year’s tournament, in which Iowa defeated South Carolina in the Final Four, saying she is“so incredibly happy for our players” and that “it doesn’t always end the way you want it to end,”

Regarding the victory, Staley explained that “We hope we can erase whatever pain they had last year.”

She described the victory as “awesome” and “unbelievable,” adding that she is “extremely proud” of the fans and her team’s efforts.

“You have to let young people be who they are. You have to guide them and navigate them through this world,” Staley explained. “When young people lock in and have a belief and trust … this is what can happen.”

“They etched their names in the history books,” Staley explained of her team. “This is the unlikeliest group to do it.”

One of the key players in South Carolina’s championship game triumph, Te-Hina Paopao, talked with ESPN following the game and highlighted the Gamecocks’ remarkable unbeaten streak in spite of starting a whole new team and not having high expectations going into the season.

“We’ve come a long way, this is a long journey,” Paopao told ESPN. “I’m just so proud of this team.”

With just over a minute remaining, Paopao, who finished with 14 points, became the third-leading scorer for the Gamecocks. She also made the final two free throws to effectively end the game.

The previous two times South Carolina has won the title were in 2017 and 2022.

On Sunday, Iowa and Caitlin Clark were unable to win their first NCAA title. Last year, the Hawkeyes advanced to the championship game but fell to LSU, 102-85.

Since 2016, South Carolina has been the only women’s Division I basketball team to complete a season flawlessly. As they entered the NCAA title game this season, South Carolina had a perfect 37-0 record. In the 41-year history of the women’s Division I basketball tournament, the Gamecocks’ victory marks their tenth consecutive perfect season.

The UConn Huskies in 2016 became the last club to achieve a flawless season that included postseason play.

There have only been four universities recognised by the NCAA as having nine consecutive perfect seasons in Division I women’s basketball: Baylor, UConn, Tennessee, and Texas. Each of the other teams had one, while UConn had six.


Topics #38-0 record #Caitlin Clark #championship #Completes #Lowa #South Carolina Wins