South Carolina women beat Stanford 62-53 in Final Four

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 2, 2017

Gonzaga, which has allowed 60.9 points per game, has kept three of its four opponents under 60 points in the NCAA Tournament, while South Carolina's scrambling zone has kept its opponents off balance and out of sync.

In a gritty matchup with No. 2 seeded Stanford in the Final Four at American Airlines Center on Friday night, top seeded SC bested the Cardinal 62-53, marking the first time ever the program has made it to a national title game.

UConn's record 111-game winning streak came to a startling end when Mississippi State pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in women's basketball history, shocking the Huskies 66-64 on Morgan William's overtime buzzer beater in the national semifinals Friday night.

1 seed Gonzaga (7-5) has a slight edge over No. 1 seed North Carolina (8-5) to win the national title. The two teams met back on February 13, when the Huskies won 66-55 in the midst of their current 111-game winning streak.

South Carolina's Duane Notice shoots during a practice session for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Friday, March 31, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina (15.2 percent) is the only program to survive and advance to the Final Four.

The victory kept up a big run by the SC basketball teams. "The politics of this in North Carolina are obviously very, very hard".

Erica McCall had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinal, but made only 7 of 19 shots. They were big. Anyone see LSU?

The Ducks have two starters taller than 6-foot-4 and were 114th nationally in clearing off defensive rebounds.

Two words likely to be heard from OR coach Dana Altman a lot: "Box out!"

The first game will feature the Gonzaga Bulldogs taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Few took over the following season and led Gonzaga to the Sweet 16 as double-digit seeds in each of his first two seasons in 2000 and 2001. He's also an adept passer who picks apart double teams and has great footwork for maneuvering in the paint. Who has done the best job this season?

"Their bigs are huge", South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell said.

Martin counters inside with 6-9 Chris Silva and 6-10 freshman post Maik Kotsar, who has been playing well, including hitting a late mid-range jumper that was key to holding off Florida. The total has gone over in eight of Oregon's last 11 games.

The Ducks are often thought of as a fast-paced, high-flying team.

Martin is a former high school math teacher, which he says has helped him keep things in perspective.

FOCAL POINT: The distractions of the Final Four are everywhere for the players, from media commitments to fans being there every time they turn around.

Roy Williams, North Carolina. He gets to the free throw line a lot.

Gonzaga from 3, SC guarding it. South Carolina's perimeter defense.

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - South Carolina and Gonzaga have a lot more in common than just being in their first Final Four.

The Gamecocks are rated No. 2 in the kenpom defensive stats, just behind Gonzaga.

Gonzaga has scored 807 of its 3,080 points this season (26 percent) on 3-pointers, though it does shoot 37 percent from the arc. Guard Nigel Williams-Goss is a veteran backcourt leader playing well, senior Przemek Karnowski is a force in the middle and forward Zach Collins is a possible National Basketball Association lottery pick. He practiced Friday and is expected to play Saturday. "We just never could get it".

Wilson, who averages almost 18 points a game, entered the half with just four points on 2 of 5 shooting, while the Gamecocks scored a paltry six points in the second quarter, to Stanford's 17.

I don't think they're nervous as much as excited.

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