SAN ANTONIO — Sixth-seeded Texas went chilly on the worst attainable second, failing to muster a reputable menace to South Carolina. Louisville had a transparent shot at Stanford, however the top-seeded Cardinal got here again — after which some — within the second half.
Each Stanford and South Carolina, No. 1 seeds in an N.C.A.A. girls’s basketball event subject that has commanded a justifiable share of problem for groups on the prime, moved on to the Remaining 4 on Tuesday evening to hitch one other No. 1 seed, UConn, and third-seeded Arizona.
Stanford claimed the final spot within the nationwide semifinals with a 78-63 defeat of Louisville, after trailing by 12 factors at halftime. South Carolina sailed within the spherical of 8 with a 62-34 win over Texas.
Within the final signal of futility after a run that included upsets of U.C.L.A. and Maryland, Texas scored 0 factors within the fourth quarter — lacking all 15 of its pictures. The Longhorns shot 23 p.c for the sport.
The Gamecocks dominated from the begin to earn their third journey to the nationwide semifinals and their first since successful a nationwide title in 2017.
“After we received knocked down 4 occasions this season, they received again up stronger,” South Carolina Coach Daybreak Staley stated in a tv interview after the sport, referring to the Gamecocks’ 4 losses this yr. “And that’s the mark of a real champion.”
Louisville’s Dana Evans put up 10 of her 24 factors within the first quarter whereas the Cardinals stored Stanford under 28 p.c taking pictures within the first half.
However a 13-0 run towards the tip of the third quarter put the Cardinal forward as they began containing Louisville’s prime scorers. Then, Stanford ran away over the past 10 minutes. Lexie Hull had 21 factors and 9 rebounds whereas Haley Jones had 10 factors and 10 rebounds.
Stanford’s Ashten Prechtel, who completed with 16 factors and made all six of her pictures, opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer that bolstered Stanford’s confidence and sparked a decisive run.
“It was powerful to not play within the first half — and I used to be nervous,” Prechtel stated about Louisville’s lead. At halftime, Prechtel stated Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer “ripped into us a bit of bit” and instructed them they needed to “compete within the second half” in the event that they needed to remain in San Antonio.
“Popping out of halftime, there was urgency to how we had been going to play,” Prechtel stated.
In keeping with the N.C.A.A., two Black girls will probably be head coaches within the Remaining 4 for the primary time: Staley for South Carolina and Adia Barnes of No. 3 Arizona, which can face UConn within the nationwide semifinal.
“There are such a lot of Black coaches on the market that don’t get the chance, as a result of when A.D.’s don’t see it, they don’t see it,” Staley instructed reporters after the sport, referring to athletic administrators. “They’re going to see it within the Remaining 4 on Friday evening.”
“Illustration issues, and its nothing in opposition to anybody else who misplaced to us,” she added. “I hope that the decision-makers — as a result of there are loads of jobs on the market — that you simply give Black girls the chance.”
Staley’s staff weaved by means of Texas’ infamous protection with ease, with Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson repeatedly feeding Victaria Saxton within the paint. Cooke led with 16 factors, and added 6 rebounds and three assists. Henderson had 12 factors and seven assists, whereas Saxton had 12 factors and eight rebounds.
The Longhorns received into gear briefly within the third quarter as an increasing number of Texas followers trickled into the viewers after work hours, bolstering the cheers and outcries that bounced across the cavernous stadium partitions on the Alamodome.
Audrey Warren, who led Texas with 13 factors, scored two of her — and the staff’s — three 3-pointers within the third quarter. And at one level, Texas got here inside 10 factors of South Carolina on a second-chance layup by Lauren Ebo.
However that was as shut because the Longhorns received after South Carolina took an early 15-point lead and scored 14 factors off Texas turnovers. Trying exhausted and downtrodden after Warren scored their closing factors within the third quarter, the Longhorns let South Carolina rejoice early with a giant run whereas they continued to look at their pictures bounce off the rim, not including a single level to their rating within the closing 10-minute interval.
“It was laborious for me to not get too excited,” South Carolina’s Cooke stated of the final quarter in a name with reporters after the sport.
It was the primary scoreless interval of the ladies’s event for the reason that N.C.A.A. switched from halves to quarters in 2016, in response to the group’s information. (South Dakota had beforehand set a file for the lowest-scoring quarter in a event recreation with a 1-point interval in opposition to Oregon within the first spherical.)
“I assumed it was a fairly good defensive efficiency, however I additionally suppose that Texas was a bit of drained,” Staley stated.
“I at all times stay up for taking part in Vic due to what he places into his scouting stories, his game-planning and his scheming,” Staley instructed reporters on Monday.
Even with out the pandemic, Texas went by means of important transition this summer time when Schaefer took over for longtime coach Karen Aston. Gamers recalled struggling to get to know one another and their coaches throughout video calls and restricted practices, and stated that has helped them bond and peak on the proper time inside the managed atmosphere arrange for the event.
It was a comparatively quiet evening for South Carolina sophomore ahead Aliyah Boston and Texas junior heart Charli Collier, who had each averaged double-doubles this event and went head-to-head on Tuesday evening. Boston, who’s up for a number of player-of-the-year awards, had 10 factors and eight rebounds; Collier, who’s projected to be the No. 1 decide within the W.N.B.A. draft, was held to 4 factors after lacking 8 of 10 pictures.
Boston additionally had a gradual begin throughout South Carolina’s round-of-16 recreation in opposition to Georgia Tech however picked it up within the second half the place she scored all 9 factors. However in that recreation her teammates stepped in, led by Cooke on the perimeter with 17 factors in a 76-65 win.
With its powerhouse protection, Texas was additionally in a position to maintain No. 2 seed Maryland to its lowest rating of the season in a 64-61 upset to advance to the spherical of 8 by limiting the Terrapins’ possessions and forcing 11 turnovers.
The followers helped too, Schaefer stated. The college, situated in Austin, is about 80 miles from San Antonio, the hub for the event the place most of its video games have been staged. “I assumed our followers offered an important atmosphere for each groups,” Schaefer stated Monday.
South Carolina will play top-seeded Stanford. On Monday evening, No. 1-seeded UConn and No. 3-seeded Arizona squeezed previous their opponents to arrange the opposite semifinal. Each semifinals are scheduled for Friday evening.