Women: Tennessee survives; UConn upset
TAMPA, Fla. ó Alexis Hornbuckle’s only basket of the game was enough to get Tennessee back in the championship game.
Hornbuckle’s putback with seven-tenths of a second left lifted the Lady Vols to a 47-46 victory over LSU in Sunday night’s national semifinal. It was the lowest scoring game in Final Four history.
Candace Parker did all she could with her bum shoulder, scoring 13 points and grabbing 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Vols.
Tennessee (35-2) moved within a win of its eighth national championship. To do it, the Lady Vols will have to beat Stanford, which stunned Connecticut 82-73 in the other semifinal.
The Lady Vols are looking to become the first repeat champions since the Huskies won three straight titles from 2002-04.
Meanwhile, LSU’s Final Four drought continued. The Lady Tigers, who have been a Final Four staple the last five seasons, again failed to make it to the championship game. LSU, only the second team to play in five straight Final Fours matching the feat accomplished by Connecticut from 2000-04, has lost all five appearances.
All-American Sylvia Fowles did all she could to avoid losing her fourth straight Final Four. She scored 24 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to lead LSU (31-6), but it wasn’t enough.
Stanford 82, Connecticut 73
Candice Wiggins refused to let Stanford lose to Connecticut. Not again.
The Cardinal star continued her electrifying run through the NCAA tournament, scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds while getting some timely help from Kayla Pederson and JJ Hones as Stanford shocked Connecticut 82-73 in Sunday night’s national semifinals.
Back in the Final Four for the first time in 11 years, the Cardinal (35-3) avenged an early season loss to the Huskies (36-2) and advanced to Tuesday night’s title game, where they’ll put a 23-game winning streak on the line against Tennessee.
Wiggins typically leads the Cardinal through emotional, loud pregame huddles. Her message this time focused on her teammates’ smarts and how far they had come since the first meeting between the teams.
“We failed the midterm, but we’re going to take this final,” guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude recalled Wiggins saying.