And then there were two one-seeds remaining in the NCAA women’s tournament.
One day after No. 1 UConn and No. 1 Notre Dame took care of business, South Carolina and Tennessee weren’t as fortunate in their respective Sweet 16 matchups. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks, who won their first-ever SEC regular season title this year, fell to No. 4 North Carolina 65-58 in the Stanford Regional. Diamond DeShields, daughter of former major leaguer Delino DeShields, led the way for the Tar Heels with 19 points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots.
North Carolina’s best work was done on the defensive end of the floor, where they limited the Gamecocks to 37.7% shooting from the field. Alaina Coates scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench for South Carolina, but leading scorer Tiffany Mitchell was held to 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting from the field. North Carolina’s reward for knocking off the Gamecocks is a true road game in the Elite Eight, as they’ll face No. 2 Stanford in Tuesday’s regional final.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to propel the Cardinal to an 82-57 win over No. 3 Penn State, with Mikaela Ruef adding 11 points and 13 rebounds and Amber Orrange scoring 18 points. In total four Stanford starters scored in double figures, and just as important was the defending of Penn State’s prolific shooting guard Maggie Lucas. Lucas scored just six points in her final game as a collegian, shooting 3-for-14 from the field.
No. 1 Tennessee was eliminated by No. 4 Maryland in the Louisville Regional, dropping a 73-62 decision with the versatile Alyssa Thomas being a thorn in the Lady Vols’ side all afternoon. Thomas scored 33 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out three assists to lead the Terrapins, who made up for their 38.6% shooting by forcing 22 Tennessee turnovers. Meighan Simmons scored 31 points to lead Holly Warlick’s Lady Vols, but the turnovers and 35.8% shooting proved to be too much to overcome.
And like North Carolina, Maryland will need to win a road game on Tuesday in order to reach the Final Four as No. 3 Louisville whipped No. 7 LSU 73-47 in the other regional semifinal. Shoni Schimmel scored 19 points and Tia Gibbs added five three-pointers off the bench for the Cardinals, who reached last year’s title game before falling to UConn. Danielle Ballard scored 24 points to lead LSU but she was their lone double-digit scorer, and as a team the Lady Tigers shot 23.9% from the field.