The No. 1 seed South Carolina Gamecocks and the No. 1 seed Stanford Cardinal will meet on Friday in the first of the Final Four matchups. The two teams last met in the 2017 Final Four, with South Carolina getting the win on their way to a National Championship. Both teams have been quite impressive in the tournament so far, each winning every game so far by double digits. Stanford enters the game as 3 point favorites.
What You Need to Know
Date: Friday, April 2nd
Game Time: 6:00 PM ET
Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Stanford defeated the Louisville Cardinals 78-63 in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four. Despite a shaky first half against the Cardinals, Stanford regained their composure and came out in the second half as the dominant team they’ve been all season. The team is averaging 78.9 points per game and has the second-best field goal percentage defense in the league.
Kiana Williams is a key player to watch in this game for Stanford. Williams is Stanford’s go-to-shooter, averaging 14.5 points per game and 2.6 three-pointers per game. She is the team’s best shooter from deep. Haley Jones has also been a real difference-maker for Stanford, averaging 12.7 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.
𝗥𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗚 🔥@Kiana__W with the long ball!
— Stanford Women’s Basketball (@StanfordWBB) March 31, 2021
South Carolina Preview
South Carolina cruised through the Elite Eight, defeating the Texas Longhorns 62-34. The Gamecocks are averaging 75.8 points per game, and have an impressive shooting percentage of 44.1%. In games when South Carolina shoots above this average, they have gone 14-0. The Gamecocks’ biggest issue all season has been turnovers. In order to beat a disciplined Stanford team, South Carolina will have to limit the number of times they give the ball to them.
On the Gamecock squad, a key player to watch in this game is Zia Cooke. Cooke leads South Carolina in scoring and is averaging 15.6 points per game and 1.4 three-pointers per game. Destanni Henderson has been as dependable as they get for South Carolina, averaging 5.1 assists and 12 points per game, and Aliyah Boston has locked down the boards all season long, averaging 11.4 per game.
Both teams have cruised through the tournament so far, and tonight will be the first real challenge for both the Gamecocks and the Cardinal. You can expect this game to be a high-scoring battle, and it will ultimately come down to which team can play a better defensive game.