Notre Dame women heading to Elite Eight
The Associated Press
CHICAGO — Arike Ogunbowale scored a career-high 34 points, Jessica Shepard added 24 points and 14 rebounds, and defending national champion Notre Dame beat Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year, 87-80 on Saturday.
Ogunbowale scored 12 in the final 6:45 to help the top-seeded Fighting Irish (33-3) advance to the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in nine years. They will play No. 2 seed Stanford or 11th-seeded Missouri State in the Chicago Region final on Monday.
Ogunbowale, the Irish’s career scoring leader, surpassed her previous high of 32 points. Shepard dominated down low, and Notre Dame got a sweet repeat to go with its 12th straight win.
Chennedy Carter led Texas A&M (26-8) with a season-high 35 points in another impressive NCAA performance. The sophomore guard came in averaging just over 30 points in five career tournament games and came out connecting again, nailing 7 of 12 3-pointers.
Kayla Wells scored 18. But it was an all-too-familiar result against Notre Dame for the fourth-seeded Aggies.
Baylor 93, South Carolina 68: Baylor reached the Elite Eight for the fifth time in six years with another dominant performance, leading by as many as 30 points in a victory over South Carolina in the Greensboro Regional semifinals. Didi Richards scored a career-high 25 points, and Lauren Cox added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the No. 1 overall seed in the women’s NCAA Tournament. The Bears shot 52 percent to win their 26th straight game and blow out South Carolina for the second time this season. Te’a Cooper scored 17 points and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan added 16 for the fourth-seeded Gamecocks (23-10).
Iowa 79, N.C. State 61: Megan Gustafson had 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Iowa past North Carolina State in the Greensboro Regional semifinals. Hannah Stewart added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Gustafson, who averages a Division I-best 28 points while also ranking second in rebounding, finished with her 33rd double-double to match the NCAA’s single-season record. She made 10 of her 13 shots. They helped the second-seeded Hawkeyes (29-6) earn their first Elite Eight appearance since 1993. Freshman Elissa Cunane had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Kiara Leslie had 16 points and DD Rogers added 12 points for the third-seeded Wolfpack (28-6), who shot just 35 percent.
Stanford 55, Missouri State 46: Alanna Smith and Stanford outlasted Missouri State for a victory, sending the cold-shooting Cardinal back to the Elite Eight for the third time in four years. Stanford shot a season-low 25 percent (17 for 68) in one of its worst offensive performances of the season. But Smith and Anna Wilson supplied just enough scoring, and the Cardinal used their superior length to hold the 11th-seeded Lady Bears to 25.4 percent shooting (16 for 63), also a season low for the last double-digit seed left in March.Danielle Gitzen had 14 points and eight rebounds for Missouri State, which had won seven in a row. Jasmine Franklin finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. It was Missouri State’s first appearance in the Sweet 16 since Jackie Stiles led the Missouri Valley Conference team to the Final Four in 2001.