Women can be so defensive

Stanford star Cameron Brink blocks a shot in the Cardinal’s 78-37 win over Montana State.

Stanford star Cameron Brink blocks a shot within the Cardinal’s 78-37 win over Montana State.
Image: AP

Montana State had a great season. The Bobcats have been 14-6 within the Big Sky, ending second within the league, and gained the convention match with out an excessive amount of issue after regular-season champion Idaho State obtained knocked out within the quarterfinals.

This wasn’t some fluke journey to the NCAA Tournament for a bunch of girls who obtained on a heater to clinch an automated bid. They may need misplaced by 22 to the one ranked staff they performed this season, BYU, however Montana State actually deserved to be within the subject.

But no one deserves what occurred to Montana State on Friday evening, because the No. 16 seed within the Spokane Regional needed to journey to Stanford to face the defending nationwide champions, a Cardinal program that hasn’t misplaced to something however a No. 1 seed in March since 2016, and has been in each Sweet 16 since 2008.

Serving discover to the remainder of the nation about how they’re getting into this match, the Cardinal made historical past of their first-round recreation, and the Bobcats have been the unlucky staff that occurred to be on the opposite finish of it.

Stanford gained the opening tip, however Kola Bad Bear stole the ball from Cameron Brink, and… that was pretty much as good as issues obtained for Montana State. Brink blocked a Darian White shot, made a layup on the different finish off an help from Lexie Hull, and the Cardinal have been off and working. By the tip of the primary quarter, it was 20-0 – the primary time in match historical past {that a} staff pitched a shutout in a recreation’s opening quarter. Stanford made it 23-0 earlier than the Bobcats lastly obtained on the board with a Taylor Janssen shot, 43 seconds into the second quarter, and the remainder of the sport was only a march (together with a Francesca Belibi dunk) to the inevitable Stanford victory, with a remaining rating of 78-37.

South Carolina was the primary staff to carry a match opponent scoreless for 1 / 4, blanking Texas within the remaining body of their Elite Eight matchup final yr. And the Gamecocks set their very own defensive report to start out this yr’s match, holding Howard to 4 first-half factors en path to a 79-21 rout in one other 1-16 recreation.

The SEC champions ought to have at the least a bit extra resistance within the second spherical of the Greensboro Regional on Sunday towards No. 8 Miami, whereas Stanford additionally will get its area’s No. 8, Kansas.

Aside from the toss-up 8-9 and 7-10 video games, the ladies’s match featured just one upset on its opening day, as Kierstan Bell scored 22 factors to steer No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast to an 84-81 overcome No. 5 Virginia Tech within the Spokane Region. Up subsequent for the Eagles might be Friday’s highest-scoring staff, Maryland, a 102-71 residence winner over Delaware.

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