SAN ANTONIO — In a battle of No. 1 seeds in the first semifinal of the Women’s Final Four on Friday, Stanford survived 66-65 against South Carolina to advance to Sunday’s championship game.
The Cardinal will face the winner of the UConn-Arizona game.
Haley Jones, who led Stanford with 24 points, got the winning basket with 32 seconds left in a game that packed plenty of drama the rest of the way.
After a timeout, South Carolina inbounded the ball and Aliyah Boston had a shot blocked by Cameron Brink, but got her own rebound before a steal by Ashten Prechtel gave the ball back to Stanford.
After a South Carolina foul, the Cardinal inbounded the ball to Brink, but it got away from her and the Gamecocks had a chance at the winning basket. Brea Beal missed the shot on a drive to the basket, and Boston followed with a putback at the buzzer that also missed.
Both teams struggled inside in facing each other’s strong defense, but it really hurt the Gamecocks, who finished 11 of 37 in the paint. Stanford will go for the program’s third NCAA title on Sunday.