Current champions Stanford Cardinal have one more hurdle to compete for their first repeat title: the team that won more championships than anything else in Connecticut Huskies, Division I women’s college basketball. Stanford withdrew all but one starter from its title squad, but will need its players to perform better against the Huskies – in particular, the second annual event Baiz Bookers.
Both Huskies and the Cardinal received overwhelming support from their crowd in the 8th round. Connecticut Bridgeport Gains Home-Court – A Stone-Throw from the Stores – Played at the Stanford Spokane, where the team and twin sisters Lexi and Lacy were. Hull grew up and took their high school to two state championships.
In Minneapolis, Connecticut will have a noisy exciting area with bookers playing at Hopkins High School on the outskirts of Minneapolis. The Cardinals have never played without fans on their side in the tournament, and that support could give the Huskies an edge, making it look like a tight game.
Stanford’s 6-foot-4 Cameron Brink and Connecticut ‘6-foot-5 Olivia Nelson-Otoda are both athletic post players who both score well around the basket and block shots, especially in the case of Nelson-Otoda, to find their teammates. To facilitate quick crime.
They both often get into trouble for mistakes, each averaging 2.8 mistakes per game. It is important for both teams to keep their best post players in the game and play freely. Both Stanford and Connecticut can use extreme defensive pressure, and both Brink and Nelson-Otoda must be patient when handling open looks around the basket.
Stanford enters the game with the longest active winning streak of any Division I women’s team – 24 consecutive wins – with a size advantage. As Texas discovered in the 8th round, its guards can also find shots against taller and more diligent defenders. Because Connecticut is so talented, the Cardinal has to use the mismatches they can find – even the 6-foot-1 Haley. 5-Foot-11 Bookers vs. Jones.
If Jones and the Bookers defend each other during Friday’s game, it will be the best match of the tournament. Both are exceptionally facilitators and goal scorers, playing on every part of the court.
Stanford and Connecticut coaches, Tara Vanderweir and Geno Ariamma, are the most successful and second-most successful coaches in the history of women’s college basketball. The Huskies own the series by a huge margin, but this game will provide another opportunity for the two most important coaches of the game to compete on its biggest platform.
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