Notre Dame vs Stanford Live : Notre Dame and Stanford will meet in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years when they face off in the Chicago Region final on Monday night. The women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday at Wintrust Arena.Notre Dame’s defense bared its teeth early and often on Saturday night in South Bend.
Senior Danielle Gitzen scored 14 points for Missouri State, the Cinderella of the tournament as a No. 11 seed playing for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight. “We had to work really hard to beat (Missouri State), and now we can look forward to playing Notre Dame,” VanDeveer said.
“It was not just the jump shots we were missing, it was layups, too, VanDeveer said. “I can’t remember a Stanford team struggle so much to score. I believe we were a lot better than that.” The Cardinal gets the chance to prove it Monday night in Chicago.
Stanford led 16-10 after one quarter, but seven of those points came at the free-throw line. The lead was only six points despite the fact Missouri State did not score until 4:25 of the first quarter. Missouri State scored only one point in the final 5:51 of the second quarter, but Stanford did not take advantage, missing 11 of its last 12 shots in the half and going 1 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half.
Smith and center Shannon Coffee played the second half with foul trouble, and VanDeveer had to play eight players at least 20 minutes each to get through it. The Cardinal made only 3 of 29 shots from 3-point range. They did manage to pull down 20 offensive rebounds but rarely managed to take advantage of the second chances. Missouri State coach Kelli Harper pointed out her team held Stanford to its second-lowest point total of the season, but also noted “we had our season low in points as well.”
Saturday’s Sweet 16 game against Missouri State was not a pleasant time for Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer. “That was an absolute root canal,” VanDerveer said following the Cardinals’ 55-46 victory over upstart Missouri State at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The victory puts Stanford in the Elite Eight for the third time in the past four years, and it sets up yet another regional matchup against Notre Dame, which beat Texas A&M 87-80.
Stanford and Notre Dame have played each other four times in the past five years in the regional round of the tournament, not including last year, when Notre Dame won the national title. Stanford won the last matchup in 2017.
Neither team could put the ball into the basket consistently. For the game, neither team managed to shoot better than 25 percent, with both teams missing easy chances. “But when we needed to score, we did,” said junior guard Anna Wilson, who was one of two Cardinal players to reach double digits. Wilson scored 11 points off the bench, and senior Alanna Smith scored 13.
With 8:40 left in the game, Stanford finally built a double-digit lead on free throws by Wilson, and a frantic effort by the Lady Bears failed to turn the tide. “I honestly feel that we, as a team, weren’t worried,” said Smith who was in foul trouble most of the game. “No one was freaking out. We kept each other in the game.”