Stanford wins NCAA women’s basketball title for the first time in 29 years

SAN ANTONIO – Stanford drained a 29-year title to end the season, which seemed uncertain to be completed during the coronovirus epidemic, claimed the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship on Sunday with a tough win with Arizona , 54–53.

Stanford led the game very much and started the 3-digit fourth quarter. But Arizona guard Ari Macdonald, who had the most points scored by any player in the tournament before Sunday’s game, began beating Stanford’s stronghold and scoring Arizona’s deficit on a step-back jumper with 3 minutes, 35 seconds left. Stopped at 1.

Haley Jones of Stanford, whose game-winning shot led to the Cardinals’ loss to top South Carolina in the Final Four and who led them with 17 points on Sunday, added a free throw to give the Cardinal a cushion , But McDonald’s was hot. She passed with a free throw, then got the final opportunity after Stanford made it on a shot violation of less than 6 seconds.

His last-second jumper, replaced three times by the Cardinal defenders as a flock, has expired as the time of the rim, giving the Cardinal its third title in program history.

The battle between the teams that topped the Pac-12 Conference, then defeated 62 others in the NCAA Tournament, echoed the tournament’s unusual circumstances. Traditional powers like No. 1-seeded UConn and South Carolina and No. 2-seeded Baylor found themselves watching the title game from afar, and moved more teams to the field of 64 who had a legitimate chance of winning it . She played against the backdrop of a public health crisis and raised questions about women’s basketball’s stature in a tangled college sports industry. But through all of this, Stanford was considered one of the top teams in the game and is claimed with its championship.

“We are excited to win the Kovid Championship,” Stanford coach Tara OneDecker said in an interview on ESPN after the game.

The title game brought together Pac-12 rivals for the first time. It portrayed one of the few black coaches to reach the title game in a game where there is more than 40 percent of players are black. This tournament is a three-week bonanza with the NCAA men’s tournament It was going to end monday night, Became a forum for conversation about Inequalities between men’s and women’s college sports.

It all played out in front of a crowd that was equal parts of cardboard cutouts and mask-wearing humans, amid an epidemic that set off the largest scale in-person incidents compared to the previous year.

The win was Stanford’s first national title since 1992 – all have been won with OneDaker, who began coaching the Cardinal in 1985 and became Most winning coach in women’s college basketball history weather. According to an epidemic environment, he celebrated passing long-term Tennessee coach Pat Summit on a list of career wins with his team and staff practically barren stadium 80 miles northeast of Stanford’s campus, while Local health restrictions prevented him from playing at home.

The tournament, centered as a means of preventing the spread of coronovirus in San Antonio, was not easy for Stanford even before the final game. It was almost knocked out Louisville in round 8 And South Carolina in the Final Four.

But Stanford had to outperform this season, while staying as a nomad for more than two months in Santa Clara County, California, banning contact sports in November. Among the options, the Cardinal began practicing in Las Vegas, staying out of the hotel and playing home games in the beach town of Santa Cruz, a 45-mile trek along a winding road – away from Silicon Valley School .

“I don’t think any other team in this tournament had to stay out of a suitcase, stay out of the hotel for 10 weeks during the season,” Kaina Williams of Stanford, a senior guard from San Antonio, said in a postgame interview. “We had to do this because we wanted to play.

When they were able to play in their home ground again in February, athletes were isolated in their apartments on the outskirts of their training facilities, attending virtual classes and video chatting with loved ones. Was the only means of connecting with people outside his sport. .

Cardinal Bonded on strange shared experience That he saw most of the conference-playing opponents, and he won both the Pac-12 tournament and the regular season titles. VanDuser told reporters before the game that the strength of the conference warmed him up for the national stage. The league had four top-25 schools just before the tournament.

“Playing in the Pac-12, we got better as they got better,” OneDuser said in a postgame interview.

Stanford beat Arizona twice this season, winning by 27 points in January and winning the regular season title by 14. Through previous matches and lessons learned from Arizona’s tournament run, Stanford determined that the key to winning was to suppress McDonald’s, Who led his team to the final by scoring 26 points against Yukon in the national semi-finals. It was her 93rd consecutive game with the longest active double-digit scoring in women’s college basketball. Redshirt senior Anna Wilson, the younger sister of Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson, and fresher Cameron Brink had her locked out for important parts of the game.

McDonald, the Pac-12 player of the year, fought through Stanford’s defense to earn 22 points on 5 of 20 shooting from the field and 4 of 9 from 3-point range.

Arizona coach Adia Barnes said in a postgame interview, “Erie, hands down, no doubt, is the best player in Arizona history.”

The matchup with Arizona marked the first time that two Pac-12 teams faced each other in the finals; Three of the six-conference championships for the national title were between Southeast Conference teams, two were within the Big East and one was in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The last time the Cardinal played at the National Championships – the Almodom in 2010, when he fell to Ucino – was the last time a Pac-12 team did as well. At the time, the league was still the Pac-10, and Stanford was largely its national face. Following the reception of the University of Utah and the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2011, the Pac-12 teams emerged as a staple of the women’s final four, with appearances by Oregon State, Washington, University of California, Berkeley and Stanford.

“This means the Pac-12 is the best conference in the country,” Barnes said. “Start paying attention,” he said, “we have some of the best players in the country.”

Meanwhile, Barnes was fighting to become the third black female coach to claim an NCAA title. That c. Following in the footsteps of Vivian Stringer, Carolyn Peck, Pokey Chatman, and Don Staley, a woman is one of five black women to appear in the Final Four; This year the national semi-final was the first time two black head coaches led teams together.

“We came within the basket to win a national championship,” Barnes said. “I am proud.”

The victory marks the end of teams in a controlled environment in San Antonio, which offered a clear view of the disparities between the men’s and women’s tournaments.

That too, came to mind due to the virus.

VanDuser said in an interview on Thursday that he did not think the spotlight would have remained without inequality in the game. Dual tournaments revealing differences in habitats such as coronovirus tests And facilities for athletes.

“Kovid has finished everything,” OneDuser said in an interview with the New York Times on Thursday. “It has challenged us in ways for which we were really unprepared.”

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