Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut Huskies are no longer undefeated in the NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Game.
The No. 2 Huskies entered Sunday’s matchup against the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks with an all-time record of 11-0 in the title game, with Auriemma at the helm for each contest. It was the most wins without a loss in the national championship game in both men’s and women’s college basketball. Legendary UCLA men’s head coach John Wooden now has the top spot with a clean 10-0 mark.
However, Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks spoiled Auriemma’s perfect record with a 64-49 win. South Carolina’s size down low proved to be too much for UConn. The Gamecocks came into the match rebounding 47% of their misses. Led by National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston and Victaria Saxton, South Carolina hoarded 21 offensive rebounds out of the team’s 49 total on the night. By comparison, UConn pulled down just six.
After the game, Twitter poked fun at Auriemma, with some pointing how both he and Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski lost big games in consecutive days:
ended by a carolina
— mike taddow (@MikeTaddow) April 4, 2022
Geno and Coach K both losing in the same weekend is even better than I imagined.
— Brian Rice (@briancrice) April 4, 2022
Not much Geno Auriemma hasn’t seen by now.
The losing locker room after a title game will be a first — UConn will fall to 11-1. Incredible.
South Carolina was better all night. More aggressive, more physical and deserving champions. #NCAAWBB
— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) April 4, 2022
You know what the N in Geno Auriemma stands for?
No longer undefeated in National Championship games.
— Jeannette (@jayher17) April 4, 2022
On the other bench, Staley moved to 2-0 in the national title game after the Gamecocks last hoisted the trophy in 2017. Twitter gave Staley her flowers after another strong coaching display:
Dawn Staley is going to be one of the greats of all time. And she is going to do it with style. Iâm a fan. A big fan.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) April 4, 2022
Give Dawn Staley all the national championships. She seems like an unbelievable coach to play for.
— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) April 4, 2022
The last 6 minutes of that game was the passing of the torch. You could see it in Genoâs face every time they showed him, He had a good team, but he KNEW â¦ they werenât good enough and the better team was going to win. Itâs a new era.
— William Gunter (@WilGunter) April 4, 2022
Such an impressive win by South Carolina. They were more physical and aggressive than UConn, and led from start to finish. Congrats to @dawnstaley for winning her second national title.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 4, 2022