Thrillers: Wildcats put away UConn, Stanford escapes So. Carolina


The NCAA Women’s Final Four DID NOT disappoint. Stanford survived South Carolina’s frenetic comeback and a wild scramble in the game’s final possession. Then Arizona’s “Bear Down” defense shackled UConn and Aari McDonald helped the Wildcats to a wire-to-wire upset of the tournament’s top seed.

The dramatic doubleheader at the Alamodome set up an All-Pac-12 national championship game for the first time in NCAA history, Sunday. The title game will be called live on Westwood One Sports with Ryan Radtke and Debbie Antonelli calling the action.

Here’s a look at national semifinal highlights from each game.

South Carolina led early, but Stanford scored 11 straight points to regain the lead and take control until late in the fourth period. Jones paced the Cardinal with 24 points including the game-winner, and Lexie Hull contributed 18 points and 13 boards. The Gamecocks got a 3-pointer from Destanni Henderson with 39 seconds remaining to capture their first lead, 65-64, since the opening moments. But Jones’ baseline jumper seven seconds later provided the final margin as Stanford escaped a wild finish on South Carolina’s final possession.

Arizona said, “don’t count us out,” and proceeded to knock out heavily-favored UConn, 69-59. Aari McDonald netted 26 points on 7-of-17 shooting and four 3-pointers. More important, the Huskies were held to a season-low 22 points at intermission and shot just 35 percent for the game. The Wildcats led by as many as 14 points in the second half. UConn cut the margin to five in the final quarter, but couldn’t get closer.

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