Cardinal rallies from 16 points down to win
STANFORD 76, NOTRE DAME 75
lexington, ky.» Even after Alanna Smith and Stanford pulled off a huge rally to put Stanford in position to reach the Final Four, there still was work to do.
That’s when Erica McCall stepped up and blocked Notre Dame’s path.
Smith’s layup with 23 seconds left capped Stanford’s comeback from a 16-point deficit in the second half, McCall swatted a last-second shot and the Cardinal edged top-seeded Notre Dame 7675 Sunday for its first Final Four trip since 2014.
The Irish had the ball under their own basket with 2.2 seconds left, and there was a series of timeouts before play resumed. Akire Ogunbowale caught the inbounds pass and drove to the basket, and McCall blocked the shot from behind.
“She took a dribble, and I’m like, I’m going for it whether I get the foul or not,” McCall said. “I got a nice clean block off of it. We get the win. Whew, so I’m excited.”
Brittany McPhee scored 27 as the second-seeded Cardinal won its eighth in a row overall. This was the third straight year Stanford and Notre Dame have met in the NCAA Tournament.
Stanford’s Alanna Smith battles Notre Dame’s Jackie Young, left, in their regional title game Sunday in Lexington, Ky. Timothy D. Easley, The Asssociated Press