For South Carolina, defense wins the championship

(Bri Lewerke/Just Women's Sports)

South Carolina took down UConn 64-49 on Sunday night to win the NCAA women’s basketball championship, and it did so in commanding fashion. Here’s a breakdown of the Gamecock’s win by the numbers.

Key Numbers


With Sunday’s victory, South Carolina becomes just the eighth program in NCAA women’s basketball history to win multiple championships. The program joins UConn (11), Tennessee (8), Stanford (3), Baylor (3), Notre Dame (2), USC (2) and Louisiana Tech (2).


The Gamecocks (35-2), who lost just two games all season, are the 12th team to finish the regular season the wire-to-wire No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and then go on to win it all in the postseason.


Setting a career-high 26 points in the final performance of her collegiate career, Destanni Henderson became the first player since 2000 to set a career high in scoring in the national championship game. She also added four assists and two rebounds while helping hold UConn star Paige Bueckers to just 14 points – and zero in the first quarter.

“I really didn’t even know I had a career high, to be honest with you,” Henderson said postgame. “But when people spoke about it and let me know that — it’s just even more of a blessing and just an honor to do it in this moment, a special moment that all of us are going to remember forever.”


Named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, junior forward and National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston recorded her 30th double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 16 rebounds.


Defense wins championships. South Carolina finished the tournament allowing just 45.5 points per game, the second-lowest mark by a national championship against tournament opponents.

The Gamecocks are also the first national champions since 2000 to win after ranking outside of the top 25 in points per game during the regular season. South Carolina had the lowest scoring average by a national champion in Division I history.

They stuck to their defensive mindset against UConn. In the first quarter, they out-rebounded the Huskies 12-3. Overall, the Gamecocks destroyed the Huskies on the boards 49-24, the second-highest rebound differential in a championship game in women’s NCAA tournament history.