Stanford women one win from fifth straight trip to Final Four 

click to enlarge Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 39 points in the Stanford's Sweet 16 victory against South Carolina. - US PRESSWIRE FILE PHOTO
  • US Presswire file photo
  • Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 39 points in the Stanford's Sweet 16 victory against South Carolina.

The drive for five is in full effect.

The Stanford women’s basketball team, seeded No. 1 in the Fresno Regional, has steamrolled its way through its first three NCAA Tournament games and now sits one victory away from reaching the Final Four for the fifth consecutive season.

Should Stanford reach that goal, it would only be the third time in NCAA history a team has accomplished the feat. Standing in the Cardinal’s way is second-seeded Duke, which has looked equally as sharp in the tourney.

“Anything goes from here on out, I expect a physical game [today],” Nnemkadi Ogwumike said. “I’m excited to play because we kind of match up a little bit better [than with other teams]. We’re just prepared for whatever comes our way.”

Ogwumike is coming off one of the most dominant performances of her standout career. The senior scored 39 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Saturday’s 76-60 victory against South Carolina to set up today’s 1-2 showdown against Duke.

“[Ogwumike] is a really tough matchup,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “If you put someone small on her, she posts up. If you put someone big on her, she pulls away. So I’m really glad she is on our team and that’s someone else’s problem.”

The Blue Devils are led by Elizabeth Williams (14 points per game) and Chelsea Gray (12.2 ppg).

Should Stanford (34-1) get past Duke (27-5), the Cardinal would likely be matched up against the nation’s top-ranked team, Baylor, in the national semifinals. The Lady Bears are undefeated (37-0) and boast towering 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner.

Elite eight

No. 1 Stanford (34-1) vs. No. 2 Duke (27-5)

WHEN: Today, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Save Mart Center, Fresno
TV: ESPN
RADIO: KZSU (90.1 FM)

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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