NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

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Grace Hall, Writer

 

On April 4, 2021, the NCAA Women’s championship game took place. It was the Stanford Cardinals lead by Hailey Jones against the Arizona Wildcats led by Aari McDonald. Stanford was the #1 seed and had just squeaked into the championship by winning their final 4 games against fellow #1 seed South Carolina. The story is different though, for Arizona, they were the #3 seed and had to beat #1 UCONN with rising star Paige Bueckers, and surprisingly beat the Huskies by 10 whole points sending them to play against Stanford.

 

Arizona’s top players Aari McDonald and Trinity Baptist were both seniors and this was going to be their last college game in their career. Stanfords two starting guards Anna Wilson and Kiana Williams were seniors as well and were ready to give their all. This championship game meant a lot to both of these programs. Arizona had never won the NCAA championship before and Stanford hadn’t won since 1992.

 

The starters for Stanford were freshman Cameron Brink, junior Lexie Hull, sophomore Hailey Jones, senior Kiana Williams, and senior Anna Wilson. These ladies were lead by their coach Tara VanDerveer. This starting lineup is a powerhouse and is ready to take anyone down anyone who gets in their way. They have shown this to be true because, throughout their whole season, they have only had 2 losses this year.

 

The starters for Arizona were senior Aari McDonald, senior Trinity Baptist, junior Cate Reese, junior Bendu Yearney, and senior Sam Thomas. They were lead by their coach Adia Barnes. Although they had never been to an NCAA wbb (women’s basketball) championship before, they had shown that they could take down some of the hardest competition when they beat UCONN and many other hard teams in the tournament and regular season.

 

Stanford had played Arizona 2 times in the regular season this year and beat them both times. Arizona was out for vengeance but Stanford wouldn’t let up. 

 

It was a very tense game, Stanford had just run the shot clock out and they were up by 1 point. There were 6.1 seconds left on the shot with Arizona’s ball, Aari McDonald was hot all night and Stanford knew that that’s who they were going to get the ball to so they double-teamed her. She got the ball but couldn’t get it up in time to win the championship.

 

With the national champions now being Stanford and their two starting point guards leaving, you might think Stanford might not be as well next year but they have many promising guards ready for action, these include Jana Van Gytenbeek and Jenna Brown.

 

With Arizona barely falling short in the championship game against Stanford and their two best players leaving, Arizona is going to have to find some great new prospects or keep working on their bench to get where they were with Aari McDonald and Trinity Baptist but I believe in them to find more players based on their performance this season.