All-America center Kamilla Cardoso scored 22 points and unbeaten South Carolina avoided a second straight stumble in the women’s Final Four, surging past North Carolina State 78-59 on Friday night.

The talented and tenacious Gamecocks (37-0) led by one at halftime before putting their full arsenal on display in the third quarter. They outscored the Wolfpack 29-6 to turn what had been a tense matchup into another blowout.

South Carolina advanced to Sunday’s championship game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, where it will meet the winner of the second semifinal between Iowa and UConn — a matchup featuring stars guard Caitlin Clark and Paige Bueckers that has created a buzz across America.

Aziaha James scored 20 points for No. 3 seed N.C. State (31-7), which knocked off a No. 1 and a No. 2 seed to get to Cleveland.

The Wolfpack had no shot against the Gamecocks, who were a unanimous No. 1 most of the season in the AP Top 25 and are aiming to become the first undefeated national champion since UConn in 2016.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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