The South Carolina No.1 (12-0) beat No.2 Stanford (8-3) 65-61 at home Tuesday night in a rematch of their meeting in the 2021 NCAA Final Four The Gamecocks came back from an 18 point deficit in the first half, the biggest comeback in program history.
“It’s pretty cool to be part of history,” said senior forward Victaria Saxton. “I have a feeling that without the coach that we have we wouldn’t be able to go out there and run the business like we did.”
South Carolina’s victory is the team’s fifth victory against a top-10-ranked team and its second of the season against the nation’s second-ranked team. South Carolina are the first team to win multiple No.1-No.2 clashes since Baylor did so in 2011-12.
“It’s hard to compete with us because we’re going to fight whenever we get the chance to get the four quarters,” said Destanni Henderson. “We are not going to give up.”
Junior Aliyah Boston hit the go-ahead with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter to give the Gamecocks a one-point lead, which they wouldn’t give up. She finished the night with a double-double, scoring 18 points on 8 of 20 shots and catching 11 boards, in addition to her 5 blocks and 4 interceptions.
“I would be interested to see how many miles she has covered in this particular game,” said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley. “She was everywhere.”
South Carolina scored 26 points on 20 Stanford turnovers, led by defensive pressure from Henderson. She sparked the Gamecocks’ return in the third quarter with five interceptions during the period, helping Stanford maintain their lowest-scoring quarterback (seven points) all season. Henderson finished the game with 17 points, 7 assists and 7 steals. It was his first comeback after missing the last three with a leg injury.
“They are very different with her,” said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. “If she could have waited for a game I would have been happy. It was a one-person press.”
Head guard Lexie Hull led Stanford with 17 points and seven rebounds. Defensively, the Cardinal was anchored by junior Ashten Prechtel who had nine rebounds and had five blocks.
The Gamecocks are returning to the field to open the SEC conference on Dec. 30 against Missouri. Stanford opens its conference season against Pac-12 foe Washington on December 31.