The South Carolina Gamecocks are taking part in their third Women’s Final Four in program history. Four years after their last appearance, in which they won the whole dang thing, the Gamecocks are participating in a star-studded edition of the event in 2021. The field includes underdog Arizona, National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers and the UConn Huskies, as well as fellow 1 seed Stanford, who they’ll face on Friday night.
Stanford is no stranger to the Women’s Final Four as history reminds us. Their appearance this year is their 14th in the program’s history. It’s their first since the above-mentioned 2017 Final Four, in which coincidentally enough, these two programs clashed. Stanford has made six Final Four appearances since 2010 and eight appearances since 2008. They are quite the prestigious program and one that South Carolina will be tasked with taking down. They did so back in 2017, and they’re hoping history repeats itself once again Friday evening.
The ones to watch for in this game for the Gamecocks include Victaria Saxton and Laeticia Amihere. Amihere and Saxton have both averaged double figures in the NCAA Tournament, with Saxton’s 12.8 points per game edging Amihere’s 11 points per game. Aliyah Boston herself has been terrific as well. Boston, who received NPOY honors from The Athletic, and was also a First-Team All-American, has been outstanding. She’s averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game through the first four games of the NCAA Tournament and has provided an extremely strong presence on both ends of the floor.
Meanwhile, Stanford is led by Naismith Coach of the Year recipient Tara VanDerveer. This is the third time that VanDerveer has received the honor in her career, and she helped to command the Cardinal to a Pac-12 regular-season championship for the 24th time in program history. The Cardinal have Kiana Williams, who received Second-Team All-American honors, and Haley Jones, who was an honorable mention in the ALl-American section from the USBWA. Look out for Cameron Brink and Lexie Hull as well, as the duo has been a great complement to Williams and Jones all season long.
Time: 6 p.m. ET
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