South Carolina and Stanford Round Out Women’s Final Four

SAN ANTONIO — 6th-seeded Texas went chilly on the worst imaginable second, failing to muster a reputable danger to South Carolina. Louisville had a transparent shot at Stanford, however the top-seeded Cardinal got here again — after which some — in the second one part.

Each Stanford and South Carolina, No. 1 seeds in an N.C.A.A. girls’s basketball event box that has commanded a justifiable share of problem for groups on the peak, moved directly to the Ultimate 4 on Tuesday evening to sign up for every other No. 1 seed, UConn, and third-seeded Arizona.

Stanford claimed the remaining spot within the nationwide semifinals with a 78-63 defeat of Louisville, after trailing by way of 12 issues at halftime. South Carolina sailed within the around of eight with a 62-34 win over Texas.

Within the final signal of futility after a run that incorporated upsets of U.C.L.A. and Maryland, Texas scored Zero issues within the fourth quarter — lacking all 15 of its pictures. The Longhorns shot 23 p.c for the sport.

The Gamecocks ruled from the begin to earn their 1/3 shuttle to the nationwide semifinals and their first since profitable a countrywide identify in 2017.

“Once we were given knocked down 4 occasions this season, they were given again up more potent,” South Carolina Trainer Crack of dawn Staley stated in a tv interview after the sport, regarding the Gamecocks’ 4 losses this 12 months. “And that’s the mark of a real champion.”

Louisville’s Dana Evans submit 10 of her 24 issues within the first quarter whilst the Cardinals saved Stanford underneath 28 p.c taking pictures within the first part.

However a 13-Zero run towards the top of the 1/3 quarter put the Cardinal forward as they began containing Louisville’s peak scorers. Then, Stanford ran away over the past 10 mins.

Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson again and again fed Victaria Saxton within the paint, weaving thru Texas’ infamous protection very easily. Cooke led with 16 issues, and added 6 rebounds and three assists. Henderson had 12 issues and seven assists, whilst Saxton had 12 issues and eight rebounds.

The Longhorns were given into equipment in short within the 1/3 quarter as an increasing number of Texas enthusiasts trickled into the target market after paintings hours, bolstering the cheers and outcries that bounced across the cavernous stadium partitions on the Alamodome.

Audrey Warren, who led Texas with 13 issues, scored two of her — and the group’s — 3 Three-pointers within the 1/3 quarter. And at one level, Texas got here inside of 10 issues of South Carolina on a second-chance layup by way of Lauren Ebo.

However that was once as shut because the Longhorns were given after South Carolina took an early 15-point lead and scored 14 issues off Texas turnovers. Taking a look exhausted and downtrodden after Warren scored their ultimate issues within the 1/3 quarter, the Longhorns let South Carolina rejoice early with a large run whilst they persevered to look at their pictures jump off the rim, no longer including a unmarried level to their rating within the ultimate 10-minute length.

“It was once exhausting for me not to get too excited,” South Carolina’s Cooke stated of the remaining quarter in a decision with journalists after the sport.

It was once the primary scoreless length of the ladies’s event because the N.C.A.A. switched from halves to quarters in 2016, in step with the group’s information. (South Dakota had simply set the file for the lowest-scoring quarter in a championship recreation with a 1-point length in opposition to Oregon within the first around.)

“I believed it was once a sexy just right defensive efficiency, however I additionally assume that Texas was once just a little drained,” Staley stated.

The Longhorns and Gamecocks had no longer up to now met since 2016, then again Texas Trainer Vic Schaefer and Staley have — together with for the nationwide identify in Dallas in 2017, when Schaefer was once training Mississippi State. The Bulldogs ended UConn’s 111-game profitable streak to get there, however South Carolina got here out on peak for its handiest championship. Staley beat Schaefer in 12 out in their 15 conferences whilst they had been Southeastern Convention foes.

“I all the time look ahead to enjoying Vic as a result of what he places into his scouting reviews, his game-planning and his scheming,” Staley advised journalists on Monday.

Even with out the pandemic, Texas went thru important transition this summer time when Schaefer took over for longtime trainer Karen Aston. Avid gamers recalled suffering to get to grasp every different and their coaches throughout video calls and restricted practices, and stated that has helped them bond and top on the proper time inside the managed setting arrange for the event.

It was once a quite quiet evening for South Carolina sophomore ahead Aliyah Boston and Texas junior middle Charli Collier, who had each averaged double-doubles this event and went head-to-head on Tuesday evening. Boston, who’s up for a couple of player-of-the-year awards, had 10 issues and eight rebounds; Collier, who’s projected to be the No. 1 select within the W.N.B.A. draft, was once held to four issues after lacking eight of 10 pictures.

Boston additionally had a gradual get started throughout South Carolina’s round-of-16 recreation in opposition to Georgia Tech however picked it up in the second one part the place she scored all nine issues. However in that recreation her teammates stepped in, led by way of Cooke at the perimeter with 17 issues in a 76-65 win.

With its powerhouse protection, Texas was once additionally ready to carry No. 2 seed Maryland to its lowest rating of the season in a 64-61 disenchanted to advance to the around of eight by way of restricting the Terrapins’ possessions and forcing 11 turnovers.

The enthusiasts helped too, Schaefer stated. The college, positioned in Austin, is set 80 miles from San Antonio, the hub for the event the place maximum of its video games had been staged. “I believed our enthusiasts supplied a really perfect setting for each groups,” Schaefer stated Monday.

South Carolina will play both top-seeded Stanford or Louisville, a No. 2 seed, within the Ultimate 4. The Cardinal (a unique connection with Stanford’s pink colour) and the Cardinals (pluralized for Louisville’s chook mascot) had been scheduled to play Tuesday evening for the remaining spot within the nationwide semifinals. On Monday evening, No. 1-seeded UConn and No. Three-seeded Arizona squeezed previous their warring parties to arrange one semifinal. Each semifinals are scheduled for Friday evening.

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