In a thrilling showdown, the South Carolina Gamecocks emerged victorious over the Iowa Hawkeyes, securing their third national championship under coach Dawn Staley and capping off a flawless 2023-24 season. The Gamecocks avenged their only loss from the previous season, defeating Iowa 87-75 in a hard-fought battle.

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Last season’s stunning defeat to Iowa in the semifinals served as a motivating factor for South Carolina, driving them to reclaim the national title and end their season on a high note. The victory also marked the end of an illustrious college career for Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, who, despite her remarkable achievements, fell short in the championship game once again.

Freshman guard Tessa Johnson emerged as a standout performer for the Gamecocks, surpassing her scoring average with a stellar display throughout the tournament. Johnson’s stellar performance, coupled with contributions from key role players, propelled South Carolina to victory, despite a valiant effort from Iowa’s Clark.


Clark, playing her final game for the Hawkeyes, showcased her scoring prowess with 30 points on 10-of-28 shooting. However, South Carolina’s relentless defensive effort limited her effectiveness, ultimately tipping the scales in favor of the Gamecocks.

“I wanna personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport, she carried a heavy load,” Coach Staley said. “When she’s the number 1 pick in the WNBA draft she’s gonna lift that league up as well. So Caitlin if you’re out there you are one of the GOATS.”

The Gamecocks’ dominance extended beyond the scoreboard, as they asserted control in various aspects of the game, including rebounding, second-chance points, and bench scoring. South Carolina’s relentless defensive effort limited Iowa’s offensive opportunities and paved the way for their triumph.

With a remarkable season culminating in an unbeaten national championship, South Carolina solidified its status as a powerhouse in college basketball. The victory not only secured Coach Staley a significant bonus but also highlighted the team’s resilience and determination to achieve greatness on the court. As celebrations ensued, the Gamecocks basked in the glory of their triumph, marking a historic moment in their basketball legacy.