Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Baylor, Notre Dame advance to women's NCAA championship game

DENVER — One win from perfection.

Brittney Griner was constantly hounded and double-teamed, scoring one basket in the second half. So the Baylor supporting cast jumped in and carried the unbeaten Bears to the national championship game.

Griner finished with 13 points and nine rebounds to lead Baylor to a 59-47 win over Stanford on Sunday night and into the NCAA final against Notre Dame.

"We're not the Brittney Griner show," Bears coach Kim Mulkey said. "Brittney Griner is the face of women's basketball, and she deserves to be, but this team is bigger than Brittney. She will tell you that. Brittney Griner double- and triple-teamed allows other players on her team to have opportunities."

Baylor (39-0) is one win from becoming the seventh team to finish undefeated and the first in NCAA history to win 40.

The top-seeded Bears faced the Irish in the preseason WNIT final, with Baylor winning in Waco 94-81 on Nov. 17.

"It's going to be a good game," Griner said. "We beat them earlier in the season, but we've got to get ready because this is the game they really want. So it's going to be laid out on the floor."

Stanford (35-2) fell short in the Final Four for the fifth straight season, ending a school-record 32-game winning streak.

Cardinal players refused to let the 6-foot-8 Griner beat them, collapsing on her in the paint. The strategy worked for 20 minutes before the other Bears started making shots.

Trailing 31-29 early in the second half, the Bears went on an 11-1 run keyed by Jordan Madden. The junior guard had an acrobatic three-point play then a layup that made it 40-32. Griner followed with her only basket of the half, hitting a tough baseline turnaround that capped the burst.

The Cardinal could only get within six the rest of the game despite Nnemkadi Ogwumike's best efforts. The senior led Stanford with 22 points and nine rebounds. Coach Tara VanDerveer took her out with about 30 seconds left and gave her a long embrace.

The 6-foot-2 forward did all she could to keep the Cardinal in the game but got little help. Her younger sister, Chiney, who had such a strong sophomore season, was ineffective. She fouled out midway through the second half with just four points.

NOTRE DAME 83, UCONN 75 OT: The Irish are back in the title game thanks to Skylar Diggins' steady leadership and Brittany Mallory's clutch shooting.

Diggins scored 19 and Mallory hit two big 3-pointers in overtime for Notre Dame (35-3). The two hooked up for a game-turning play in overtime when Diggins stood her ground on a fast break, blocked the shot to prevent the Huskies (33-5) from retaking the lead, then fed Mallory for her second important 3.

"That was game-saving. That was huge," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "That would have turned it around if they made that layup. She sprinted the floor, made that huge play. It gave us such a big momentum lift, and Britt hitting that 3 made it a huge play."

Notre Dame also beat Connecticut in the semifinals last year but stumbled 48 hours later, losing to Texas A&M in the title game in Indianapolis.

Baylor, Notre Dame advance to women's NCAA championship game 04/01/12 [Last modified: Monday, April 2, 2012 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip

    Blogs

    After spliting the four-game series with the Angels to log a winning homestand and get back to .500 at 25-25, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day, country-crossing road trip against the surprising Twins.

    The Twins are leading the AL Central with an impressive 25-18 record, though they have not played …

  2. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety

    Bucs

    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  3. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  4. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  5. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.