South Carolina defeats UConn to win 2022 national title: Updates and highlights

Destanni Henderson in the 2022 women's basketball national championship game
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On Sunday night, South Carolina defeated UConn to win the 2022 women’s basketball national title.

Both UConn and South Carolina’s women’s basketball teams entered tonight’s game at the Target Center undefeated in NCAA national championship games (UConn with 11 titles, South Carolina with one). That said, no player on either UConn or South Carolina’s roster had ever competed in a national championship game.

Throughout the game, On Her Turf provided live updates and highlights. See below to relive how the 2022 national championship game unfolded.

Live Updates: South Carolina vs. UConn – 2022 National Championship Game

UConn starting lineup:

  • Aaliyah Edwards
  • Paige Bueckers
  • Christyn Williams
  • Olivia Nelson-Ododa
  • Azzi Fudd

South Carolina starting lineup:

  • Zia Cooke
  • Destanni Henderson
  • Aliyah Boston
  • Victaria Saxton
  • Brea Beal

South Carolina vs. UConn: Live updates from the first quarter:

9:38 1Q: And the 2022 women’s basketball national championship game is underway! South Carolina gets on the board first with a three-pointer from Destanni Henderson.

6:35 1Q: Geno’s expression says it all. Less than four minutes in, South Carolina leads 11-2, due in part to FIVE(!) offensive rebounds, three from Aliyah Boston.

2:52 1Q: Zia Cooke looks so confident. She has eight points so far in tonight’s championship game, including a nice layup just now to put South Carolina up 17-4.

0:00 1Q: Wow. At the end of the first quarter, South Carolina leads UConn 22-8. Stat of the game so far: rebounding. South Carolina currently has a 12-3 advantage with rebounds, including 7 offensive rebounds to zero from UConn.

As Geno Auriemma just told ESPN’s Holly Rowe, “We either rebound, or it’s going to get worse than this.”

South Carolina vs. UConn: Highlights from the second quarter:

6:57 2Q: Paige Bueckers with some really pretty dribbling to make it a…. 14-point game (video below).

03:58 2Q: With Aliyah Boston subbed out, UConn is able to make a bit of a dent. Carolina Ducharme makes it 21-32 just now.

1:25 2Q: Aliyah Boston is back in, but UConn is on a nine-point run! Evina Westbrook cuts South Carolina’s lead to seven points.

0:00 2Q: At the end of the first half, South Carolina leads UConn with a score of 35-27. The Huskies actually outscored the Gamecocks during the second quarter, 19-13.  That includes nine points from Paige Bueckers, who didn’t record a point during the first quarter.

Also of note: Azzi Fudd started the game for UConn, but subbed out five minutes into the first quarter and hasn’t gone back in. According to the ESPN broadcast, she missed shootaround earlier today due to illness.

South Carolina vs. UConn – Third quarter live updates:

10:00 3Q: Azzi Fudd is back in. ESPN’s Holly Rowe reports that “a bug” has been going around the UConn team, and notes that Evina Westbrook was seen limping at halftime. UConn already has a short roster, with just 10 players dressed tonight compared to 15 for South Carolina.

9:00 3Q: Interesting stat from basketball expert Howard Megdal, founder and editor of The Next:

7:40 3Q: Uh, can we talk about this block from Paige Bueckers?

1:30 3Q: Back-to-back three-pointers for UConn, first from Caroline Ducharme, then from Evina Westbrook (video below). It’s a six-point game; South Carolina leads with a score of 43-37.

1:18 3Q: If UConn manages to come back and win, it will mark the largest comeback in national championship history. While it’s currently a six-point game, the Huskies trailed by 18 earlier tonight.

0:24 3Q: Beautiful play from Destanni Henderson just now (video below). With 14 points so far, Henderson currently leads all scorers in tonight’s championship game.

0:00 3Q: At the end of the third quarter, South Carolina leads UConn with a score of 46-37.

South Carolina vs. UConn – Live updates from the fourth quarter:

8:02 4Q: Destanni Henderson is ON FIRE. While she hasn’t yet declared, the senior is making a pretty solid case for herself one week ahead of the 2022 WNBA draft (April 11).

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4:18 4Q: Can you imagine scoring a career high in the national championship game? And oh, by the way, you’re a senior? Hello, Destanni Henderson! Wow wow wow. She has 24 points so far tonight.

0:00 4Q: What a performance from South Carolina. The Gamecocks defeat UConn 64-49 to win the 2022 national title. Destanni Henderson finishes the night with 26 points. Aliyah Boston recorded 16 rebounds. It’s the second national title for the program, both coming under the leadership of head coach Dawn Staley (2017, 2022).

Post-game highlights:

Can we talk about this moment when Aliyah Boston – after being named “Most Outstanding Player – shouted out Candace Parker? A few minutes earlier, Boston could be overheard on the mic saying “That’s my idol over there!”

Love this video of Dawn Staley dancing with the national championship trophy… and former Gamecocks player A’ja Wilson filming the moment!

Dawn Staley has another netlace!

Need a refresher? Here’s a story from the archives: Dawn Staley sends piece of 2017 championship net to every Black women’s basketball coach

How to watch UConn and South Carolina in tonight’s women’s basketball national championship game:

Teams Time (ET) TV Channel Location
South Carolina vs. UConn 8 p.m. ESPN Minneapolis, Minnesota

2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: March Madness results and scores

What’s at stake for UConn women’s basketball:

  • While this is UConn’s 14th straight Final Four appearance, this is the first time the Huskies will compete in the NCAA women’s basketball championship game since 2016. That year, UConn won a fourth straight NCAA title.
  • UConn will be aiming to win its 12th women’s basketball national title in program history, all earned under head coach Geno Auriemma, beginning in 1995.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Aliyah Boston powers South Carolina to 2022 title gameUConn defeats Stanford to make first championship appearance since 2016

History on the line for the South Carolina Gamecocks:

  • Tonight will mark South Carolina’s second time in the women’s basketball national championship game. The Gamecocks emerged victorious in their only other appearance (2017), defeating Mississippi State 67-55. Head coach Dawn Staley led that team, too.

RELATED: Dawn Staley aims for ‘generational impact’ ahead of South Carolina’s fourth Final Four appearance

What they’re saying ahead of the UConn vs. South Carolina national championship game:

Dawn Staley on South Carolina (1-for-1) and UConn (11-for-11) both being undefeated in national championship games:

“We can talk about the numbers, but the numbers give them no edge. The numbers aren’t going to give us an edge. Our season, the great season that we’ve had, it’s not going to give us an edge tomorrow. We’ve got to play it. They’ve got to play it because we’re not going to be thinking about — (Geno) is not going to be thinking about, oh, we’re 11-0. We got the 12th one in the bag. We’re not going to think, oh, here’s UConn. We’re going to automatically win. You can’t go into games thinking that way. You’ve got to play. And we’re going to play off of this year. We’re not going to play their history.”

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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma on coaching against Dawn Staley and the two teams’ undefeated records in national championship games:

“I think her team has a great chance to win a National Championship. I think my team has a chance to win a National Championship. But in terms of me personally or Dawn personally, I don’t think either of us — at least I don’t. I don’t want to speak for Dawn. But I feel like once this game starts, once you get to tip-off, you kind of relinquish about 80% of the control to the players, and they now have the ability to win it or they don’t. And you can coach the best game of your life and lose. You can make the most mistakes you’ve ever made coaching a game, and your team will find a way to win.”

Geno Auriemma on UConn’s game plan to contain Aliyah Boston:

“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that she might be the hardest person in America to guard. She scores if there’s one, two, three, four people on her. It doesn’t matter. She’s able to carve out the space she wants. She gets the ball on the rim whenever she wants. She rebounds whichever ball she goes after. She just has a knack.

“And I think when you can anchor your team with that, then you can go into every game as a coach pretty confident that you might not have other pieces working that day, but you got that piece working. That’s the most important. I think she’s the most important person in the country in terms of what she does for her team.

“How do we guard her? I don’t know. I’m open for suggestions.”

Aliyah Boston on what it was like to play in front of 18,000 fans at the Target Center during Friday’s Final Four game:

“You think about people on social media and they always have something to say about women’s basketball. Nobody watches it, nobody really cares.

“I mean, 18,000 people last night for March Madness was amazing. Looking at the little girls in the stands, it’s like, wow, we are really helping young girls. Because, I mean, we were in those stands. I remember being in the stands watching the Final Four games.

“To be playing and girls coming up to me after games asking me to sign something or take a picture, it’s like we’re really making an impact and women’s basketball is something that’s going to continue to grow.”

RELATED: Aliyah Boston on South Carolina’s record-breaking defense: ‘We take pride in that’

Paige Bueckers on how UConn has evolved since losing to South Carolina, 73-57, in the Bahamas in November:

“I think we’re a lot more confident team. I think we’re more a team that understands their roles and I think different people have had to step up. I think we’re a team that’s going to use their depth more and we’re much more confident team. Everybody knows their roles and what they have to deal with. I think we’re a completely different team than the first time we played.”

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC