SAN ANTONIO – In the battle for the No. 1 seed in the first semifinal of the women’s final four on Friday, Stanford escaped against South Carolina 66-65 and advanced to the championship game on Sunday.
Haley Jones, who led Stanford with 24 points, hit a jumper and had a wild finish with 32 seconds left to give the Cardinals a point lead.
“I saw the ball spin and most of my team’s hit some bodies to open it. I let it fly and said, ‘Please, Jesus, go inside,’ and it did,” Jones said. “Then we had to go to the next play. There was no time to talk about it. We had to withdraw security.”
When the time was up, South Carolina entered the ball. Alia Boston was blocked by a shot by Cameron Bring, but Ashton Brechtell gave Stanford a stealing ball again.
After a South Carolina foul, the cardinal threw the ball into the brink, but it got away from her and gave the Camcocks a chance to win the basket. Pre Peel missed a shot on the drive to the basket, and continued a setback on the Boston Buzzer, which was also missed.
“Pray had a great shot, Alia, we had to kick her out. She had a great shot. Fortunately, it didn’t go in. We’ve going on Sunday,” Jones said.
Both teams struggled to counter each other’s strong defense, but the Camcocks were particularly vulnerable, finishing 37th out of 11 in the paint. Stanford will travel on Sunday to the third NCAA title of the project.
The Cardinal will face the winner of the Yukon-Arizona game.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.