The No. 1 overall seed Stanford Cardinal will face the No. 5 seed Missouri State Lady Bears for the second-straight time in the Sweet 16 at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday (ABC). The Cardinal have won their last 16 games and the Lady Bears have won 19-straight games.
The Cardinal have won 27 games this by eight points or more with two close losses by five or less. The Cardinal are one of the deepest teams in the nation, with four players averaging in the double figures and another three that score over five points per contest. Senior guard and Wade Trophy finalist Kiana Williams is averaging a team-high 14.4 points this season and has five 20-point games. In the post, All-Pac-12 forward Haley Jones is contributing 12.9 points and 7.4 rebounds and has seven double-doubles.
The Cardinal easily knocked off No. 16 seed Utah State, 87-44, in the first round. In the Round of 32, Stanford outscored the Oklahoma State Cowgirls 25-11 in the second quarter en route to 73-62 victory.
The Lady Bears are the last remaining mid-major in this year’s tournament and are making the fifth Sweet 16 appearance in program history. Missouri State is led by senior guard and 2021 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Brice Calip, who is averaging career highs in points (12.6) and assists (3.8). Calip is also known for her defensive prowess as she was named the 2020 MVC Defensive Player of the year. Junior forward Jasmine Franklin is averaging 12 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 steals and just under one block per game.
The Lady Bears got past No. 12 seed UC Davis with ease, 70-51. In the second round, Missouri State faced the No. 13 seed Wright State Raiders, who had upset the No. 4 seed Arkansas Razorbacks, and won in dominant fashion, 64-39.
No. 5 Missouri State Lady Bears (23-2, 16-0 MVC) vs. No. 1 seed Stanford Cardinal (27-2, 19-2 Pac-12)
When: Sunday, March 28 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX
How to watch/listen: ABC/Radio: 101.3 KWTO (Springfield, MO)
Key to the matchup: The Cardinal are a high-volume 3-point shooting team, averaging 23.8 attempts during the regular season and 29 attempts in two games in the tournament. On the season, Stanford is shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc. While Calip and Franklin get the all the focus, role player Elle Ruffridge has scored in double figures in three-straight games, including 20 points against Wright State. Additionally, Ruffridge has made at least one 3-point shot in 13-consecutive games. Missouri State will put up a fight on the boards, as they have won the rebounding battle in 22 of their 25 games this season.