Home ENTERTAINMENT Raven Johnson Wins A National Title And Gets Revenge Against Caitlin Clark

Raven Johnson Wins A National Title And Gets Revenge Against Caitlin Clark

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On Sunday April 7th at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, sophomore guard Raven Johnson helped her South Carolina Lady Gamecocks win a national title, and during the process, Johnson got her revenge against Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark. At the start of the 2023-2024 season, the South Carolina team labeled their new journey the revenge tour. Raven Johnson wanted revenge for how last season ended and payback for an embarrassing moment that went viral.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Raven Johnson attended Westlake High School where she helped her team win four straight state titles. Johnson was twice named Miss Georgia Basketball, she was a McDonald’s All-American selection, and ESPN HoopGurlz ranked her the No.2 overall recruit for the class of 2021.Johnson was recruited by several elite college basketball programs, but when it was time to sign on the dotted line, she chose the University of South Carolina. In the third game of her collegiate career, Raven Johnson suffered a major knee injury that caused her to miss the remainder of the season.

Since she only played in three games during the 2021-2022 season, Raven Johnson was able to use her redshirt to preserve a year of eligibility. Despite her absence, South Carolina was able to dominate during the regular season, make a run in the NCAA tournament, then defeat UConn in the championship game. The following season Raven Johnson was healthy, and in a role as a reserve, she was ready to help her team in their quest to repeat as national champions. The Lady Gamecocks cruised through the regular season and the NCAA tournament.

 With a record of 36-0, the No.1 ranked South Carolina Lady Gamecocks were set to face the Iowa Hawkeyes in The Final Four. With three minutes to go in the opening quarter, Raven Johnson had an embarrassing moment that became popular on social media.

As Johnson dribbled the basketball near the 3-point line, Caitlin Clark was standing 10 feet away, and decided to leave Johnson unguarded. Clark proceeded to disrespectfully wave her hand and basically dared Johnson to shoot the ball. Instead of taking the shot, Johnson passed the ball to her teammate. South Carolina would go on to lose the game by the score of 77-73. Everyone who idolized Caitlin Clark viewed the wave off as an iconic moment. They looked at it as Caitlin being Caitlin. After seeing the clip several times, Raven Johnson cried in her room and wanted to quit playing basketball. 

Turning to her faith and receiving support from her teammates, helped  Raven Johnson continue her basketball career. With five new starters, South Carolina breezed through the 2023-2024 season and entered the NCAA championship game with a record of 37-0.

In the opening quarter of the rematch against Iowa, Caitlin Clark was unstoppable. Clark scored 18 points, and at the end of the first quarter, Iowa held a 27-20 advantage. In the second quarter, Raven Johnson became the primary defender on Clark as a drastic change occurred.

Early in the second quarter, Clark drove to the basket, but Johnson blocked the shot. Johnson consistently guarded Clark the full length of the court. Utilizing her lateral quickness, Johnson made Clark feel uncomfortable.

With 1:29 left to go in the second quarter, Raven Johnson stole the ball from Caitlin Clark and then she passed it to Chloe Kitts for the transition layup. On Iowa’s next possession, Clark drove to the basket and once again Johnson was able to block the shot. Johnson was in a defensive zone as she had Caitlin Clark on lockdown. With 12 seconds left to go in the second quarter, South Carolina held a 47-46 lead. As Clark dribbled passed the half court line, Johnson stole the ball and scored the easy layup.

In the second half of the NCAA championship game, Raven Johnson continued to apply the defensive pressure. South Carolina took control of the game, but Iowa made one last push. With 52 seconds left to go in the contest, Raven Johnson sealed the deal when she stole the ball from Caitlin Clark. South Carolina got their redemption as they defeated Iowa by the score of 87-75 and won the national title. When Johnson was the primary defender, Clark only made 3 out of 11 shots for a total of seven points. Johnson’s stellar defensive play helped her team win a title and she also was able to get her personal payback.

“Because of what happened last year, this was an apology to my teammates, my coaches, and myself,” Johnson stated. “Like I said, it was a revenge tour. And there’s no better way then to play them in the championship and beat them.” 

 

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