Stanford defeated Arizona in the N.C.A.A Women’s basketball championship final to win the prestigious tournament for the third time, their first since 1992, thus ending a 29-year title drought.
It was a close win over Arizona with a 54-53 scoreline. Arizona’s most accomplished player Aari McDonald who has scored the highest points in the tournament was everywhere on the court. All the defenses of Stanford were going haywire only to stop McDonald from scoring.
The match started with Stanford leading right from the go. In the fourth quarter, Stanford built up a nine-point lead, before Arizona cut it down to a single point (51-50). Thanks to McDonald.
Haley Jones of Stanford, who has been an integral part of the team, was seen combating McDonald on all avenues, but she was just too hot to handle.
The battle between the two teams was a treat to watch. It topped the Pac-12 Conference and defeated 62 others; thanks to the adrenaline rush all over the basketball court.
The No. 1 seed UConn and South Carolina and No.2 seeded Baylor had already lost and were forced to watch the final while sitting in the audience.
The final match brought all the rivals together for the first time.
The match was played in a closed arena with cardboard cutouts and a mask-wearing audience because of the pandemic.
An ecstatic Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer claimed after winning the title, ‘we’re excited to have won the COVID-19 struck championship and deliver this win in such trying circumstances.
This was the first national title win for Stanford since 1992 with coach Tara VanDerveer, who has been coaching the Cardinals since 1985.
Stanford was not the ultimate choice of the analysts to win the title. It was almost knocked over by Louisville in round 8 and later on by South Carolina while fighting for a place in the Final Four.
Stanford won both the Pac-12 tournament as well as the season title.