comscore Stanford and Arizona meet in all Pac-12 NCAA title game | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Sports Breaking | Top News

Stanford and Arizona meet in all Pac-12 NCAA title game

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Stanford guard Haley Jones shoots over South Carolina guard Brea Beal during the second half.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Stanford guard Haley Jones shoots over South Carolina guard Brea Beal during the second half.

SAN ANTONIO >> It’s been nearly three decades since Tara VanDerveer last won a national championship at Stanford.

She’ll have a chance to win her third title Sunday night when the Cardinal face Pac-12 rival Arizona. The Wildcats are playing in their first championship game ever after knocking off top-ranked Connecticut, 69-59, in the Final Four.

“It’s just I think a credit to how competitive the Pac-12 is,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.

It’s the first meeting of conference rivals in the championship game since South Carolina beat Mississippi State in 2017.

To get to Sunday night’s game the Cardinal got a little bit of luck edging South Carolina 66-65 on a basket by Haley Jones with 32 seconds left tonight. The Cardinal survived two last-second misses by the Gamecocks.

Arizona didn’t need any last-second karma to beat the Huskies. Wildcats All-America Aari McDonald scored 26 points and the team played stifling defense on UConn, holding them to 22 points in the first half and leading by 10. UConn got within five with a minute left, but could get no closer.

The win made Adia Barnes the third coach to lead her alma mater to the championship game, joining Sonja Hogg who guided Louisiana Tech to the first NCAA title in 1982 and was the runner up in 1983 as well as Wendy Larry at Old Dominion.

It’s been quite a year for VanDerveer and the Cardinal. The team was forced on the road for nearly 10 weeks because of the coronavirus. They’ll have spent 86 days in hotels during this nomadic season according to ESPN.

The Cardinal didn’t complain and went about their business. Along the way the Hall of Fame coach earned her 1,099th career victory to pass Pat Summitt for the most all-time in women’s basketball history.

These two Pac-12 teams met twice this season with the Cardinal winning both meetings. Stanford won 81-54 on New Year’s Day and 62-48 on Feb. 22.

The conference, which has had six different teams reach the Final Four since 2013 will be guaranteed its first champion since Stanford won in 1992.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up