Staley proud to be 2nd African-American coach to win title

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley

Students crowded into the fountain in front of the Thomas Cooper Library on campus chanting "U-S-C" and "Gamecocks", while S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the raising of the USC flag over the Statehouse dome on Sunday evening, a tradition extended to Clemson University for its national football championship in January and Coastal Carolina after winning the college baseball title past year. However, Staley, the University of SC head women's basketball coach, knew something was missing from her resume.

"I'm very proud. Very proud". It goes to show the commitment on that side of the ball. We just had a couple kids that didn't quite have the energy that we needed today.

The victory over the Bulldogs was the third of the year for SC. A'Ja Wilson had three straight layups for the Gamecocks, turning a 60-52 lead into a 66-52 lead with 1:40 left. We got in so late Friday night.

Yes, it's hard to beat a team three times -- but there are a number of reasons why the Gamecocks could do that with Mississippi State.

A'ja Wilson, the tournament's deserving MOP (Most Outstanding Player), led the Gamecocks' fourth quarter surge that put the game away.

"I knew we were playing for something", Wilson said.

The Gamecocks had a smaller edge in second-chance points - 13-6 - but their aggressiveness put the Bulldogs back on their heels and set the tone for most of the game.

Riding some leftover momentum from their upset of UConn, the Bulldogs quickly gained a 7-1 lead.

Wilson, who grew up in SC, blocked a shot on one end of the court and then hit a short jumper in the lane that started a 12-2 run to put the game away.

The Bulldogs, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, got within 54-50 with 6:54 left and still had possession before they took two bad shots and followed that with an unforced turnover. After twenty minutes of Championship basketball, the Gamecocks would lead by ten, 36-26. That brought a huge cheer from the thousands of Mississippi State fans who made the 8-hour trip from Starkville, Mississippi.

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MSU coach Vic Schaefer credited SC, which earned its third victory this season against his team. "Obviously we've had hard times dealing with them this season and today was no different".

Even if the Bulldogs contain Wilson, South Carolina can rely on offense from shooting guards Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis and defense.

Late Friday night, Morgan William made history with the shot that reverberated from Texas to CT.

An email from a television viewer during Sunday's final round alerted officials to the violation committed Saturday, and the LPGA Tour confirmed it with video review. We just weren't executing offensively. Schaefer said he made it clear in the postgame locker room that he doesn't expect much - if any - dropoff. The Gamecocks' 67-55 win in the title game Sunday was South Carolina's third - and most convincing - win over the Bulldogs this season. Twice in the game's final 12 minutes, Mississippi State cut the deficit to four, but each time, the champions answered.

"It wasn't our best day". Last season, the Gamecocks lost at home to CT 66-54 - the team's only regular season defeat.

A'ja Wilson scored 23 points to help coach Staley get her first title.

Guard Victoria Vivians led Mississippi State with 12 points, and guard Dominique Dillingham added 11.

Here's what happened: a total of 10 flags are being flown over the State House.

It's official: The state of SC is now the Camelot of collegiate sports.



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