The No. 1 overall seed Stanford Cardinal received clutch play from Ashten Prechtel and many others and came back to defeat the Louisville Carindals 78-63 on Tuesday night in San Antonio to advance to the Final Four.
The Cardinal led by at least eight after a Prechtel triple that made it 66-54 Stanford with 4:51 to play. It was part of an incredible fourth for the Cardinal that saw them take a 58-50 lead on a Kiana Williams three that circled in soon after a Louisville timeout.
Prechtel (16 points) hit a huge three to open the fourth and put Stanford up one. At the time she was 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from distance. She finished 6-of-6 and 3-of-3, respectively. A couple possessions later, the Cardinal led 55-50 and forced the Louisville timeout.
Lexie Hull led the Cardinal with 21 points and added nine rebounds. Williams had 14 points, five assists and four steals.
An 8-0 Stanford run from 5:50 to 3:43 left in the third cut Louisville’s lead to four. Haley Jones (10 points, 10 rebounds) made a clutch mid-range shot during the stretch to cut it to 45-39 and that was followed by a Prechtel layup that forced Louisville to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, Stanford extended the run to 13-0 with a Prechtel three that cut it to one and a Williams floater that gave the Cardinal the lead. It was Williams’ fourth field goal on her 15th attempt. Louisville bounced back and took a two-point lead into the fourth.
The Cardinals had extended their lead to 14 on an Evans three with 7:07 to go in the third.
A 11-2 Louisville run from 4:42 to 23 seconds left in the first highlighted the opening frame and gave the Cardinals a 10-point lead. Louisville wasn’t able to push its lead much past 10 and was up by 12 at the break. The Cardinals were outshooting the Cardinal 51.6 to 27.8 percent from the field and had six threes to Stanford’s one through the first two quarters.
Dana Evans scored 24 points in defeat. Stanford will face South Carolina in the Final Four.