- Will Stein
The Evolution of Women's College Basketball continues to the Final Four.
The Women's Final Four came howling to Minneapolis to prepare for the next National Champion in Women’s College Basketball. Between South Carolina, Louisville, Stanford, and UConn you were in for a treat tonight with both games showcasing the upcoming talent of Women's basketball. The first game was a battle between Louisville and South Carolina fighting for the opportunity to represent their programs in the National Championship game.
Jeff Walz, the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, has built that program from the ground up since accepting the position of Head Coach in 2007. His opponent Dawn Staley, the Head Coach of South Carolina, happened to be selected for the Women's College Coach of the year. It wasn’t an easy task for either team as both teams had impressive resume coming into tonight’s game. South Carolina came out hot scoring the first seven points of the game to give them a touchdown lead right out of the gates. Hailey Van Lith and the rest of the Louisville offense simply couldn’t keep up as the game was progressing throughout the night. The biggest blow of the game for Louisville was when Emily Engstler fouled out with about 5 minutes to go in the game. South Carolina was ready to make up from last years loss to Stanford with the return to the Final Four in the bitter cold of the Upper Midwest. Aliyah Boston, the Women’s Player of the year, was on a mission to reach the National Championship game. Her performance didn’t disappoint the fans in attendance tonight as she had 23 points and 18 points to lead the Gamecocks to an undeniable victory 72-59 as they anxiously awaited their next opponent between UConn and Stanford. The second game of the night was howling with excitement as the UConn Huskies played in the house of the wolves against Stanford. Paige Bueckers, the hometown star, was the main attraction for the second game tonight. You could hear the excitement of the crowd from across the river every time her name was called. Tara VanDerveer and Geno Auriemma are no strangers when it comes to coaching against one another especially in big-time games. It was a instant classic again between the two schools as the winner would have a date with South Carolina on Sunday Night. Paige Bueckers lead the Huskies to a clutch win over Stanford as all four schools showed why they were Final Four worthy. UConn seemed like they were attempting to give the game away in the final three minutes as Stanford had no quit in them to make it a game. Cameron Brink and Haley Jones fought to the bitter end in a scrappy defensive game, however it wasn’t enough to overcome the heroic efforts of Bueckers and Evina Westbrook from UConn. UConn escapes 63-58 With the jam packed crowd of over 18,000 at Target Center, it was certainly a treat to see these student athletes perform at their top level. The next wave of Women’s College Basketball should be beaming with excitement as there were many acts of greatness that were performed tonight. As we prepare to crown a National Champion on Sunday night, can the hometown kid outduel the National Player of the year? We will find out on Sunday Night from Minneapolis.