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Stanford’s Haley Jones named Most Outstanding Player of 2021 NCAA Tournament

Sophomore forward raised her play in key moments for Cardinal.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Louisville at Stanford Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford Cardinal sophomore forward Haley Jones was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, after she led the team to the national championship with a nail-biter victory over Arizona in the title game in San Antonio, Texas.

Jones led Stanford in scoring with 17 points against Arizona, to go with eight rebounds. That followed up her outstanding display against South Carolina in the semifinal, when she hit 24 points in 29 minutes.

The Santa Cruz native was the No. 1 recruit in her class, and after suffering a knee injury in her first season at Stanford, she came on stronger and stronger as the 2020-21 season wore on. Named an AP All-American Honorable Mention this season, she saved her best play for the NCAA Tournament, and then raised it even more in the Final Four as Stanford had to knuckle down in the toughest games of the season. As a “point forward” who can post up and is a rebounding savant, Jones truly has a special skillset.

Jones was one of two Stanford players to make the All-Tournament Team, alongside forward Lexie Hull, who was also masterful for Stanford in the final three games of the tournament in particular.

Congrats to Haley, to Lexie, to all of the Stanford team and of course, to the Cardinal fans who got to see the nomads of 2020-21 reach the top of the mountain by season’s end.