No.1 Stanford Cardinal Alyssa Jerome (10), Lexie Hull (12) and Anna Wilson (3) are all smiles after their defeat over the Louisville Cardinals
By Barbara Mason
Tuesday night Stanford Cardinal (29-2) Ladies Basketball took on the Louisville Cardinals (26-4) in hopes of punching their ticket to the Final Four. They are led by Kiana Williams and a host of other talented players. Williams is currently shooting 47 percent three pointers and shows no signs of slowing. The entire team has been playing lights out basketball and stopping them will be a challenge for any team. The Louisville Cardinals are gunning to be the victors in this Elite Eight matchup.
Louisville will have to bring their defense big time in this game and not allow Stanford to get into a rhythm. There are seven players on the Cardinal team that shoot the three so this is a big challenge for Louisville. All eyes will be on Dana Evans who shot 29 points in the Louisville Sweet Sixteen win. How will Evans and team mates handle the lethal offense of Stanford is one pressing question.
Stanford’s Ana Wilson will be facing Evans and that will be the matchup to watch in this game. It will have a lot top do with the outcome of this game.
Things did not go at all the way that Stanford had hoped for in the first quarter. Louisville led 21-13 and had forced a lot of turnovers coupled with three 3-pt plays. When Stanford’s Williams started to force the ball it was time to slow it down and get into the rhythm that we are used to seeing on this team. In the quarter Louisville really put the stops on the Stanford offense while at the same playing brilliant offense themselves.
The second quarter was a tough one for Stanford as well. Kiana Williams struggled mightily throughout the half. She had eleven misses to start the third quarter. The score \was 38-26 in favor of Louisville at halftime. The Cardinal ladies had a lot of work ahead of them in the second half.
The third quarter saw a Kiana Williams revival coupled with some great rebounds and after trailing by 12 points Stanford had narrowed the Louisville lead to 1 point. At 2:11 left in the quarter Stanford took the lead 46-45. As the third quarter came to an end the Louisville Cardinals had a two-point lead 50-48.
The Stanford ladies really turned it on in the fourth quarter offensively and defensively. They were unstoppable as Louisville struggled at both ends of the court. After a slow start Stanford looked every bit like the overall top seed. The final was 78-63 in favor of Stanford. Hull finished with 21 points, Williams with 14 and Jones with 10. Prechtel finished with 16 off the bench for Stanford. Louisvilles Dana Evans had 24 points.
It was an incredible turnaround as now Stanford moves onto the Final Four to take on South Carolina.