Hannah Jump scored 17 points to lead top seed Stanford to an 89-62 romp over No. 5 Missouri State on Sunday, sending the Cardinal to the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament for the 21st time.
This Sweet 16 rematch from Stanford’s win in 2019 quickly turned into a blowout. The Cardinal led by 23 at halftime and by as much as 38 in the fourth quarter. Stanford kept up its postseason barrage of 3-pointers by making 15 against the Lady Bears.
Stanford (28-2) has averaged 14 made 3s over its three tournament victories. The overall No. 1 seed advances to Tuesday’s Alamo Region final against the winner of Sunday’s later game between No. 2 Louisville and No. 6 Oregon.
A win there would send Stanford to its 14th Final Four. Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer has won two national championships, but none since 1992.
Elle Ruffridge scored 18 points to lead Missouri State (23-3), a team with a history of punching above its status as a mid-major from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Lady Bears have two Final Four appearances of their own, but the last came two decades ago behind record scorer Jackie Stiles.
This Lady Bears team had a veteran lineup eager for a rematch of their nine-point loss two years ago. But hope of an upset quickly disappeared when Missouri State missed nine of its first 10 shots and struggled to deal with Stanford’s height and length near the basket as the Cardinal frontcourt diverted shot after shot.
Jump closed the first quarter with consecutive 3-pointers. The Cardinal led by 14 late in the second before closing the half with a 9-2 run behind a steal and layup from Anna Wilson, a 3-pointer by Kiana Williams and a wide-open shot by Jump in the final seconds for a 49-26 lead.
Stanford opened the third with two more 3-pointers by Cameron Brink and Williams as the lead stretched to 35 by the end of the quarter.
Williams, Stanford’s career leader in 3-pointers, tweaked an ankle late in the second-round win over Oklahoma State, but appeared to show no lingering effects Sunday. Williams easily slashed around several defenders for an early layup and finished with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Missouri State shot just 23% over the first three quarters and 12 offensive rebounds resulted in only 10 second-chance points as Stanford pulled away.