By WVUA 23 Web Writer Tyler Tucker
Last night’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship finals were a rematch of the SEC tournament: South Carolina vs. Mississippi State.
The Gamecocks took home the trophy, outscoring the Bulldogs in three of four quarters of play for a final score of 67-55. South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson put 23 of those points on the scoreboard herself.
This was South Carolina’s very first women’s title. Head coach Dawn Staley became the second African-American coach to win the national championship. After the game, Staley was asked if athletic directors should hire more African-American coaches.
“I’m not one that looks at race. Basketball has been faceless and colorless and genderless when I approached it. I grew up in a city in which guys allowed me to play and hone my skills as a basketball player. You know, I think athletic directors need to hire what’s best for them,” she said.
“You know, if it’s an African-American male or female, then that’s who they should hire. If it’s somebody else who they feel can take their program to the next level, it has to be the best fit for them and not necessarily color-based,” she said.
This year’s Final Four All-Tournament Team featured A’ja Wilson and Allisha Gray of South Carolina, Morgan William and Victoria Vivians of Mississippi State, and Gabby Williams of Connecticut, who was narrowly beaten in the semifinals by the Bulldogs.