South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley was emotional as the final buzzer sounded and her team wrapped up another national championship on Sunday.

This time, the team took down a red-hot Caitlin Clark and her Iowa Hawkeyes, 87-75. The Gamecocks held Iowa to 29 points in the second half.

Staley met with ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the postgame handshake. She was visibly emotional.

“We serve an unbelievable God,” Staley said as she praised her coaching staff and her resilient team for coming back strong to finish the season undefeated and as champions.

“This is the unlikeliest group to do it. And sometimes, I mean, God is funny like that. He’s funny. He rips your heart out, and He makes you believe. He makes you believe the unimaginable.”

Dawn Staley gets the trophy


The Gamecocks lost in the Final Four to Iowa last season. Clark and the Hawkeyes then ran into a talented LSU team in the national championship and lost as well. South Carolina, which lost four starters to the WNBA, regrouped and relied on talented freshmen to help.

Tessa Johnson scored 19 points and MiLaysia Fulwiley added nine points. South Carolina’s bench outscored Iowa’s bench 37-0.

Dawn Staley gets the confetti

It is the third women’s basketball national championship for the Gamecocks, all under Staley. The first came in 2017 over Mississippi State, while the latest was two seasons ago in a win over UConn.

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