City of Columbia to host USC basketball parade Sunday

07 April, 2017, 07:01 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • The Gonzaga basketball team on a camping trip

"It took that long", Staley said.

A'ja Wilson scored 23 points to help coach Dawn Staley and SC win their first national championship with a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State on Sunday night.

McDonald, who has been following the women's team since she moved to Columbia for graduate school in 2011 when Dawn Staley's squad started its rise, said it was nice to finally see the Gamecocks take home the title. And two years ago she led the Gamecocks to the semifinals, but lost out to Notre Dame.

"I really can't put it into words how much it means to win this game for coach after all she's done for us", said A'ja Wilson, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. "Something I wanted to do". "It's one of two opportunities that I saw women play when I was younger: national championship games and Olympics". Those were things that I held dear and near to me growing up. "They know I was dealing with a lot of things". "For some reason, it feels like an SEC championship, I guess, because we played Mississippi State". Staley had to roll her sleeves up to get where she is today.

She is clearly one of the best coaches in women's basketball - despite having thought she'd never even want to be a coach. I visited my mother and put it around her neck.

"I have her (name) tattooed on my wrist and she really helped me".

"She committed to impacting the game by picking Morgan William up", said head coach Dawn Staley. "You're so close. I was anxious waiting all day to get to this moment", Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said. The coach also expects his players will be accessible to fans.

After ending Connecticut's 111-game winning streak, the Mississippi State women faced SC in an SEC showdown for the National Championship on Sunday evening.

"We'd just be the underdogs who got lucky".

"I'm just happy. Really happy", Staley said.

Staley spent eight seasons coaching at Temple University without ever seeing a national championship. Carolyn Peck won a NCAA crown for Purdue in 1999. It's the first trip for Mississippi State, which ended UConn's record 111-game winning streak in the semifinals.

If South Carolina emerges as the next great power, then this triumph over an SEC rival will be remembered for where it all began. Allisha Gray tied the game at 14-14 and four free throws later, SC was up 18-14 going into the second.

For Mississippi State, Victoria Vivians led with 12 points and four rebounds.

The celebration for the Gamecock women's basketball team was postponed until this weekend, due to severe weather. It was the Carolina defense that again shifted momentum, as Wilson knocked in a mid-range jumper 12 seconds after recording a block on the other end.

The All-American walked off the floor with tears streaming down her face and sat on the bench and cried into a towel as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Do they Gamecocks have what it takes to repeat in 2018?

"You nine that are now sitting here, we're good enough", Schaefer said. She guarded Mississippi State point guard Morgan William, the Bulldogs star of the tournament, who hit the shot at the buzzer to beat UConn. You'll often hear Coach Staley say the team is where they are now because of those who laid the foundation.

"Coach Schaefer has us up in the stands hugging babies, kissing babies, hugging people", Dillingham said.


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