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South Carolina starter Saxton says she’s returning

April 6, 2022 GMT
South Carolina's Victaria Saxton cuts the net after a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament against UConn Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. South Carolina won 64-49 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
South Carolina's Victaria Saxton cuts the net after a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament against UConn Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. South Carolina won 64-49 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
South Carolina's Victaria Saxton cuts the net after a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament against UConn Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. South Carolina won 64-49 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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South Carolina's Victaria Saxton cuts the net after a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament against UConn Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. South Carolina won 64-49 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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South Carolina's Victaria Saxton cuts the net after a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament against UConn Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. South Carolina won 64-49 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina starter Victaria Saxton said she’s returning for a final season with the national champion Gamecocks.

Saxton announced her intention on social media Wednesday, saying she didn’t want to miss an opportunity to take her game “to another level.”

Saxton started all 37 games on the way to an NCAA Tournament title. The 6-foot-2 forward from Rome, Georgia, who was honored on the team’s Senior Day on Feb. 20, averaged 5.8 points and 5.8 rebounds. Her rebounding average was second on the team to consensus national player of the year Aliyah Boston.

With Saxton’s decision, South Carolina will have four of its five starters back next year as it tries for a second straight national title and third since 2017.

Point guard Destanni Henderson, who had a career-high 26 points in South Carolina’s 64-49 win over UConn on Sunday night, is the only starter who won’t be back next season.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25