- Cade Crenshaw
Gamecocks miss last second shot, fall to Stanford in Final Four
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS --- There are chances at the end of a game, and then there are the very rare second chances. South Carolina had both in the final seconds of their national semifinal game against Stanford but came just one bounce of the basketball away from a win.
In their third Final Four appearance in school history, the Gamecocks would fall to Stanford 66-65.
With 39 seconds left in the game, trailing by two points, South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson took one crossover dribble and sank a three-point shot from the right side to give the Gamecocks their first lead since the first quarter.
Stanford would respond however with a second-chance jumper, a common theme throughout the night, to retake the one-point lead.
South Carolina would turn the ball over on the ensuing possession and give Stanford possession with just 13 seconds left to play.
Then Dawn Staley’s team got their unlikely chance. On an inbounds pass from the sideline, Aliyah Boston came away with a steal and passed it up the floor to Brea Beal for what would be the go-ahead layup. Beal’s shot was too strong off the glass and came off the front rim.
Seemingly with luck on their side, the Gamecocks got an improbable second chance.
As Beal’s shot came off the front rim, Boston was there to grab the offensive rebound and shoot a put back shot as the buzzer sounded. That would be where the luck would seemingly swiftly go away. Boston’s shot bounced off the back rim, the shot was no good.
"One or two moments like that don't define who (Boston) is as a player," said South Carolina head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley. "I do feel like (Boston) is one of the best players in our game and I'm proud of her."
South Carolina sophomore guard Zia Cooke would lead the Gamecocks with 25 points, followed by Destanni Henderson who scored 18 points of her own.
Regardless of the last shot, Boston played an all-around for South Carolina. The sophomore center would notch yet another double-double performance with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
With a very young team that is only losing one senior in LeLe Grissett, who did not play in the NCAA Tournament due to injury, Gamecock fans should have plenty to look forward to next season.
South Carolina’s 2020-21 season comes to a close with a 26-5 overall record that included a 14-2 mark in the SEC.