Last Updated 11:03 PM, December 21, 2021

No. 1 South Carolina gets Final Four revenge over No. 2 Stanford, 65-61

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Dawn Staley crashes Destanni Henderson's interview after South Carolina's win over No. 2 Stanford
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1:30 am, December 22, 2021

Final: No. 1 South Carolina gets its Final Four revenge over No. 2 Stanford, 65-61

Sweet, sweet revenge! 

The Final Four battle back in March carried over its same intensity into tonight's rematch. But tonight, South Carolina walks away victorious this time around, 65-61, protecting its No. 1 throne and undefeated record. The Gamecocks are now 6-0 over ranked opponents in the 2021-22 season. 

It was a back-and-forth battle down the stretch as South Carolina and Stanford traded the lead. Destanni Henderson found Aliyah Boston down low to go to work over Fran Belibi to take the lead, 61-60. From there, Stanford went scoreless for the rest of the way up until a free-throw by Hannah Jump in the final seconds. Littleton called ball-game with two crucial free throws to seal the deal. 

Henderson was the hero for South Carolina in the second half. South Carolina's floor general carried the momentum on both ends of the floor she created in the third into the final frame. Henderson finished with 17 points and seven assists and steals. 

Stanford was plagued with 20 turnovers, while South Carolina scored 26 points off of its mistakes, including 10 massive blocks.

1:17 am, December 22, 2021

End of 3Q: No. 1 South Carolina 50, No. 2 Stanford 49

Destanni Henderson. 

That was the difference-maker in the third quarter. South Carolina's floor general got seven quick steals and turned them into offense to create a shift in energy for the Gamecocks to storm back in the third. South Carolina forced Stanford into 15 turnovers and scored 18 points off of its mistakes. Henderson currently has 10 points and Boston leads with 13. 

Brea Beal knocked down a crucial three to steal the lead from Stanford, 50-49, heading into the final frame. 

1:07 am, December 22, 2021

South Carolina comes out blazing out of the locker room🔥

We have a ball game! How about a 10-0 run out of the half by South Carolina to climb back in the third quarter, 47-40. 

12:30 am, December 22, 2021

Halftime: No. 2 Stanford 42, No. 1 South Carolina 28

What a second half, all-around performance from Stanford to take the lead, 42-28, heading into the locker room. This gives the No. 1 team in the country its largest deficit in the last three seasons. 

On offense, Lexie Hull set the tone with 14 points for Stanford, but sat out in the second due to early foul trouble. Stanford continued the momentum in Hull's absence with a team effort. The Cardinal have 12 assists off of finding the open man on backdoor cuts by being patient and finding the extra pass. 

Stanford has also had a night beyond the arc, knocking down six three's in the first half. However, South Carolina has struggled, shooting 11% from beyond the arc. 

On defense, hats off to Stanford for creating pressure and playing smart defense, including swatting away nine clean blocks. Stanford has done a phenomenal job smothering South Carolina's paint, which is where the Gamecocks' thrive. Boston scored South Carolina's first two buckets, but was held quiet up until the 4.27 mark in the second quarter. Boston is currently leading the Gamecocks with 10 points.  

12:18 am, December 22, 2021

End of 1Q: No. 2 Stanford 21, No. 1 South Carolina 13

Stanford's Lexi Hull owned the first quarter with 14 of Stanford's 21 points to end the first quarter. There's no hiding the fact that Hull has the hot hand and her teammates have done a great job finding her. But Hull has also done a great job creating for herself, scoring inside and out, shooting 60 percent from the floor and 2-for-3 beyond the arc. 

Defense has also been impressive in the paint from Stanford, containing South Carolina's front court with six blocks. It is worthy to note that Stanford did not go to the free-throw line. 

12:11 am, December 22, 2021

Stanford leads 12-11 at the first media time out

Stanford's offense looks polished and efficient, so far. The Cardinals are shooting 5-for-8 from the floor and a flawless 2-for2 from beyond the arc. That's thanks to deep three's from Hannah Jump and Lexie Hull. 

South Carolina is shooting 4-for-14 from the floor, but only trails by one point at the first media timeout. 

12:05 am, December 22, 2021

Henderson is back!

After missing the last three games, South Carolina's floor general Destanni Henderson is back in the starting lineup. Henderson is not expected to have any minute restrictions tonight against Stanford. 

Unfortunately, Lele Grissett will not be in the front court for South Carolina due to health and safety protocols. 

11:50 pm, December 21, 2021

It's almost time for tip-off!

Grab your popcorn!

It's time for a top-2 matchup. Tip-off is @ 7 pm ET on ESPN2. Will No. 1 South Carolina get its Final Four revenge over Stanford or will the defending champs look to regain its throne? Tune in to find out. 

7:03 pm, December 21, 2021

Week 6's Power 10 rankings

NCAA.com's Autumn Johnson breaks down her Power 10 rankings for Week 6 of women's college basketball, which includes South Carolina and Stanford in the top-2. 

Women's basketball rankings: NC State falls, Michigan enters Power 10
2:53 am, December 18, 2021

Latest AP Top 25 rankings

Below is the most recent AP Top 25 women's basketball poll, updated on Monday, Dec. 20. South Carolina is No. 1, as it has been all season, while Stanford is up one spot to No. 2.

RANK

TEAM

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS

1 South Carolina (29) 11-0 725 1
2 Stanford 8-2 678 3
3 Louisville 10-1 643 6
4 Arizona 10-0 642 4
5 NC State 11-2 616 2
6 Maryland 9-3 517 9
7 Tennessee 9-1 504 7
8 Indiana 9-2 500 10
9 Michigan 11-1 498 13
10 Baylor 9-2 487 5
11 UConn 6-3 457 7
12 Texas 8-1 435 11
T-13 Georgia 10-1 381 17
T-13 Iowa State 11-1 381 12
15 Iowa 6-2 273 14
16 Duke 9-1 270 15
17 Georgia Tech 9-2 225 18
18 South Florida 8-3 219 16
19 BYU 9-1 152 20
20 Notre Dame 10-2 137 21
21 LSU 9-1 130 22
22 Kentucky 7-3 127 19
23 Texas A&M 9-2 82 23
24 Ohio State 8-2 68 24
25 North Carolina 10-0 66 25
2:54 am, December 18, 2021

Preview: No. 1 South Carolina vs No. 2 Stanford

Zia Cooke

The moment has finally come! It's time for a Final Four rematch: No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 2 Stanford. This is a matchup we all circled on our calendars when teams released their schedules.

We all remember the heartbreaking loss South Carolina suffered against Stanford back in March. Only one point stood between South Carolina advancing to the championship round. Instead, a missed layup from Brea Beal and putback from Aliyah Boston allowed the Cardinal to go on and become the 2021 NCAA women's basketball tournament champs. That game is still fresh on the Gamecocks' mind.

South Carolina is bringing back all players from its Final Four squad and Stanford returns all but Kianna Williams from its championship team. Since then, head coach Tara VanDerveer and Dawn Staley have revamped their teams with more depth and scoring weapons. 

South Carolina will suit up on Tuesday, Dec. 21 to avenge the loss that sent them home early with home court advantage in Columbia, South Carolina. So far, the Gamecocks are undefeated, including 5-0 against unranked opponents — NC State, Oregon, UConn, Maryland and Duke. Can they add Stanford to this list? 

On the other side, Stanford is 8-2 with both of its loses coming from ranked opponents — Texas and South Florida. However, the Cardinal are on a hot, four-game winning streak, recently taking down then-No. 7 Tennessee in its previous matchup on Dec. 18. Stanford has also picked up massive wins over ranked Big Ten foes, Maryland and Indiana, while they competed in the Bahamas during Thanksgiving.

2:49 am, December 18, 2021

Stat breakdown and team comparison

Both teams are well-equipped with versatility and depth, bringing back its entire Final Four squads while adding more key pieces to its arsenal. Here's how South Carolina and Stanford compare, by the numbers:

South carolina stat Stanford
 (11-0 SEC)  Record (conference games)  (8-2 Pac-12)
1 Current AP poll ranking 2
Final Four 2021 NCAA tournament finish Champions
72.6 Points Per Game 73.2
.461 Field Goal % .447
.339 3-point % .313
.647 Free-throw % .617
46.7 Rebounds Per Game 43.5
14.5 Assists Per Game 15.0
16.2 Turnovers Per Game 15.2
7.1  Steals Per Game 8.9
8.8 Blocks 6.0
12:00 am, December 18, 2021

Aliyah Boston's numbers so far this season with South Carolina

There's no doubt that South Carolina's Aliyah Boston is the frontrunner for National Player of the Year. Here's a look at some numbers the double-double machine has put up, so far, in her last four games: