Kentucky stuns No. 1 South Carolina to win SEC women’s title

Kentucky stuns No. 1 South Carolina to win SEC women’s title

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Dre’una Edwards hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds left, and the Kentucky Wildcats rallied from 15 points down to upset top-ranked South Carolina 64-62 on Sunday to win their first Southeastern Conference women’s tournament championship since 1982.

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Kentucky hadn’t even reached this game since 2014. These seventh-seeded Wildcats (19-11) won their 10th straight game with this the biggest yet after knocking off sixth-ranked LSU and No. 18 Tennessee to get to this championship.

Kentucky's Rhyne Howard, right, drives against South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso, center, and Aliyah Boston (4) in the first half of the NCAA women's college basketball Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.

Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard, right, drives against South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso, center, and Aliyah Boston (4) in the first half of the NCAA women’s college basketball Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Wildcats not only snapped South Carolina’s 18-game winning streak this season, they also ended the Gamecocks’ search for a third straight SEC tournament title for the regular season champs with Kentucky’s fourth win in as many days.

South Carolina (28-2) led 45-30 with 4:45 left in the third quarter seemingly minutes away from cutting down the nets again. But the Gamecocks didn’t score after Aliyah Boston’s jumper with 5:04 remained that put them up 62-53.

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The Wildcats closed the game on an 11-0 run. Rhyne Howard lost the ball with no foul called when she went down in the lane with 18.3 seconds left, giving the ball back to South Carolina. Zia Cooke missed both free throws with 16.4 seconds left to set up the final shot.

After Kentucky took the lead Destanni Henderson threw the ball just past mid-court and hit just right of the rim, setting off a wild celebration by Kentucky.

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