Aliyah Boston had 23 factors and also 18 rebounds to support her AP National Gamer of the Year honor and also lug South Carolina to the NCAA national championship
MINNEAPOLIS– Aliyah Boston had 23 factors and also 18 rebounds to support her AP National Gamer of the Year honor and also lug South Carolina to the NCAA national championship with a 72-59 success over Louisville in the semifinals on Friday evening.
Brea Beal matched her period high with 12 factors and also aided hold Cardinals star Hailey Van Lith to 9 factors on 4-for-11 capturing as the Gamecocks (34-2) supplied one more suppressing protective efficiency. The Dawn Staley-led Gamecocks will certainly deal with the Connecticut-Stanford victor on Sunday evening at Target.
Destanni Henderson racked up 11 factors on 3-for-6 capturing from 3-point variety and also had 4 helps for South Carolina, which enhanced to 13-0 this period versus AP-ranked challengers.
Emily Engstler led Louisville with 18 factors and also 9 rebounds, as the Cardinals went 1 for 8 from 3-point variety and also were never ever able to discover a rhythm in the fifty percent court versus the No. 1 total seed in this event.
Kianna Smith and also Olivia Cochran each racked up 14 factors for the Cardinals (29-5), that were the only group in this Last 4 without a title. This was their 4th journey to the nationwide semifinals in train Jeff Walz’s 15 periods.
The Cardinals, among the 3 No. 1 seeds in this Last 4, made it out of the Wichita Area with no difficulty. Van Lith, the ruthless student guard with the constantly tumbling blonde pigtails, struck the 20-point mark in each of their very first 4 event video games.
Van Lith fulfilled her suit with Beal, that had a four-inch elevation benefit and also tailed her throughout the court as she commonly does to the challenger’s most hazardous gamer. Van Lith, whose very first basket began a knifing drive for a layup with 1:43 left in the 2nd quarter, had actually 2 jumpers obstructed by Beal and also 3 turn overs in the very first fifty percent.
The Gamecocks, that were the wire-to-wire No. 1 group in the AP survey this period, pressed their very first 4 event challengers in the Greensboro Area to a stark standard of 41.2 factors on their method to a 4th Last 4 in the last 7 years.
Engstler, the tough-as-nails transfer from Syracuse, aided Louisville maintain Boston from obtaining as well comfy in the paint while Olivia Cochran aided with the muscle mass. Physical play can include a rate, however, and also with 4.2 secs left in the 3rd quarter Boston attracted Engstler’s 4th nasty on a putback layup and also extended the bring about 57-48 with the and-one cost-free toss.
Engstler fouled out with 4:56 to go and also had her head hidden in her clenched hands on the bench as her colleagues attempted to console her.
After installing 28 factors and also 22 rebounds in the Dessert 16 versus North Carolina, Boston showed she had actually plenty left for the Last 4.
South Carolina, which won the title in 2017, was shateringly ousted in the semifinals last period by one indicate ultimate champ Stanford when Boston’s putback effort jumped off the edge at the buzzer. The 6-foot-5 junior from the united state Virgin Islands has actually jumped right back a year later on.
Using her acquainted vivid pigtails in a bright-pink-and-purple mix, Boston aided the Gamecocks established a powerful tone early with an 11-2 lead. The Cardinals missed out on 7 of their very first 8 shots from the flooring.
Louisville appreciated a 12-0 run early in the 2nd quarter to take a brief three-point lead, yet South Carolina just had a lot even more to provide afterwards.
The whole South Carolina group remained off the court throughout the nationwide anthem, maintaining with the Gamecocks’ method all period. Last period, a number of gamers took a knee throughout the vocal singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Extra AP insurance coverage of March Chaos: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and also https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and also https://twitter.com/AP—Top25