Stanford almost blows second half lead, but hangs on to defeat Arizona 54-53
Los Angeles- Stanford stops Aarion McDonald with four seconds left in regulation to hold off Arizona and win their first National title since 1992.
Stanford's offense came alive in the first half. Lexie Hull and Haley Jones was giving Arizona problems in the interior. Both players combined for 10 points, as well as help their team build a double digit lead. It looked like Stanford was going to run away with the game, because Arizona did not have an answer for stopping second chance opportunities on the boards, as well as stopping Stanford's bigs. At the end of break, the Cardinals had a 31-24 lead.
What happened in the second half was a complete meltdown. Stanford turned the ball over six times in the third, which gave Arizona the spark they needed. Arizona went on a 12-6 run and took the lead briefly. Despite McDonald's horrific shooting night, she hit some crucial shots towards the end of the game.
Back and forth both teams went in the fourth. With under .26 seconds left in regulation and the lead, Stanford held the ball for much longer than they should. They got into their offensive set late and Arizona forced a turnover. With a one point lead, the Cardinal's defense came up big on the next possession. Arizona gave the ball to their superstar McDonald and three defenders got in her way and forced her to take a wild shot that hit the back iron of the basket as time expired.