For the second straight year Texas saw its NCAA Women’s Tournament run end in the Elite Eight as the Longhorns fell to the Stanford Cardinal, 59-50, in the Spokane Region final on Sunday.
Texas (29-7) fell to South Carolina in last year’s Elite Eight. The Longhorns beat Stanford in a previous meeting in November in the season’s first weekend, 61-56.
Stanford (32-3), the defending national champions, won its 24th straight game and will play the winner of the NC State-UConn game, to be played on Monday. Stanford joins South Carolina in the Final Four, which starts on Friday in Minneapolis.
Stanford forward Cameron Brink had a huge third quarter with 10 points, three rebounds and three blocked shots as Stanford built on a 45-40 lead. Brink finished with 10 points, six rebound and six blocked shots.
Stanford’s free-throw shooting — and Texas’ trouble at the line — was a bit part of the Cardinal’s win, too. Stanford went 18-of-22 from the line, led by Haley Jones.
The All-American and the Most Outstanding Player of last year’s tournament, had 18 points, 12 rebounds and went 11-of-12 from the line. Lexie Hull, who had 20 points, went 4-of-6 from the line.
Texas, meanwhile, shot just 11-of-20 from the line. Instead, Texas hit their season average for 3-pointers — five — by the third quarter, and Stanford had a horrible night from the arc, normally a source of strength. The Cardinal was just 3-of-17 from distance.
Joanne Allen-Taylor left the game with a team-leading 15 points, while Rori Harmon had 14 points and Audrey Warren added 11. Allen-Taylor and Warren were part of last season’s Elite Eight run.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.