After picking up her 1,000th career victory earlier this season Stanford Women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer has led her team to the 2017 Final Four. The Cardinal defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 76-75 after trailing by as many as 16 points earlier in the game.
The Cardinal trailed big in the first half when they were outscored in the second quarter 23-7. The team began their comeback in the third quarter outscoring the Irish 24-12 in the frame. By the time the fourth quarter began it was a 1-score game where it would stay for virtually the entire fourth quarter.
With 52 seconds left in the game and Stanford trailing 72-73 Alanna Smith hit a layup to give the Cardinal the lead. All of 13 seconds later Lindsay Allen hit a jumper for Notre Dame to retake the lead for the Irish.
With 36 seconds to go Tara VanDerveer called a timeout to talk it over with her team. Out of the timeout it was Alanna Smith again sinking another layup to put the Cardinal up 76-75.
The Irish would setup for the last shot. Lindsay Allen would went for the jumper to give Notre Dame the victory but Alanna Smith made another clutch play this time on the defensive side. The ball was blocked out of bounds and Notre Dame would maintain possession down one with roughly 2 seconds to go. This time Arike Ogunbowale would take the shot for the Irish but Stanford’s Erica McCall was there to knock it away securing the victory for the Stanford women’s basketball team.
Brittany McPhee was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points. Guard Karlie Samuelson put in 15 points for the Cardinal and Alanna Smith scored 15 points off the bench including the final four points for Stanford.
This will be Stanford Women’s basketball’s 13th trip to the Final Four. The Cardinal will take on either Florida State or South Carolina on Friday.