No. 1 South Carolina to play South Dakota State at Pentagon

June 30, 2022

Paul Heinert
Sanford Health Media Relations
605-366-2432 /

South Carolina, the 2022 NCAA women’s basketball national champions, will take on South Dakota State, the 2022 WNIT champions, at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the Sanford Pentagon.

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 13. A broadcasting partner will be announced later.

“The defending national champions are going to be playing the defending WNIT champions on Heritage Court – this will be a landmark game in the history of our building and the history of this state,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of Sanford Sports. “These are the caliber of teams that compete at the Sanford Pentagon, and we’d like to thank Coach Staley, Coach Johnston and Complete Sports Management for making this match-up a reality for basketball fans in South Dakota and across the country.”

This is the fourth time South Carolina will play at the Sanford Pentagon. The Gamecocks won both games during the 2020 Women’s Crossover Classic, defeating Gonzaga 79-72 and South Dakota 81-71. South Carolina returned to the Pentagon during their championship season in 2021 for a rematch against South Dakota in The Invitational. Future WNBA draft pick Destanni Henderson scored a team-high 15 points in the 72-41 victory.

“We are excited to be back at the Sanford Pentagon this season,” said Dawn Staley, South Carolina head coach. “As I’ve said every year, the way this event is run, the great arena and the incredible fan support make it an easy decision for us to come back and play in Sioux Falls.”

This is the third trip to Heritage Court for South Dakota State, members of the Summit League. The Jackrabbits, finished the 2021-22 season with a 29-9 record, defeating Seton Hall 82-50 in the finals of the WNIT, capping off a tournament run that featured wins over Minnesota, Alabama and UCLA.

“We could not be more excited for another opportunity to showcase high-level women’s basketball in our state. South Carolina is an elite program and will be a great midseason test for our players,” said Aaron Johnston, South Dakota State head coach. “We are enormously grateful to the Sanford Pentagon for the work they put in to host a game like this in a prime location for Jackrabbit Nation.”

This will be the second all-time meeting between South Carolina and South Dakota State. The two teams met in the second round of the NCAA Tournament – a 74-52 South Carolina victory on March 23, 2013, in Boulder, Colorado.

“Complete Sports Management is honored to be partnering with Sanford Sports on bringing the reigning national champion South Carolina Gamecocks to play at the Sanford Pentagon for the third year in a row against the reigning WNIT champion, the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits,” said Lea Miller-Tooley, president, Complete Sports Management.

Since opening in 2013, the Sanford Pentagon has hosted 38 Division I men’s college basketball games. On December 2, Gonzaga will face Baylor in a rematch of the 2021 men’s national championship game. The Pentagon has also hosted 16 NCAA Division I women’s college basketball games including a double header last season featuring eventual national champion South Carolina, Final Four participant Louisville, Sweet 16 participant South Dakota and NCAA Tournament qualifier Arizona.

About the Sanford Pentagon
The cornerstone of the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the Sanford Pentagon, a 160,000-square-foot, five-sided facility featuring nine basketball courts, including the 1950s/1960s-inspired Heritage Court. The venue combines state-of-the-art amenities—including high-definition video boards and executive suites—with period-specific finishes that are a nod to the nostalgic days of basketball.

The 3,200-seat Pentagon is home to Sanford POWER Basketball Academy, Sanford POWER Volleyball Academy, the NBA G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, Augustana University men’s and women’s basketball, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s and Men’s Basketball tournaments and the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame. For more information, visit