Gamecocks Claim First Women's Hoops Title

Sports Associated Press

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Dawn Staley finally has her first NCAA women's basketball championship after coaching South Carolina to a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State at Dallas.

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   Staley had reached the Final Four three times as a player and once previously as a coach without capturing a title. She watched as A'ja Wilson scored 23 points to give the Gamecocks their first championship.

   South Carolina saw a 14-point, second-half lead cut to 54-50 before Wilson following her blocked shot with a short jumper that started a game-clinching, 12-2 run.

   South Carolina handled a Bulldogs squad that ended Connecticut's 111-game winning streak Friday on Morgan William's buzzer-beating basket in overtime. William was held in check by the Gamecocks, scoring just eight points.