Ole Miss shocks No. 1 seed Stanford to advance to women’s Sweet 16
Published 11:58 pm Sunday, March 19, 2023
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Sobbing as she received hugs from friends and administrators, Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin tried to grasp the magnitude of her team’s stunning win against top-seeded Stanford when someone reminded her there’s more basketball to be played.
Her two young daughters danced on the floor.
Her proud father provided a shoutout to everybody back home in The Bahamas.
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Her team posed and midcourt and shouted, “Seattle!” That’s where the Rebels are headed next.
Madison Scott hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left that gave Ole Miss the lead for good, Angel Baker scored 13 points, and the Rebels delivered on their declaration to get defensive, stunning top-seeded Stanford 54-49 on Sunday night to reach the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time in 16 years.
It is the first time since 2009 that a No. 1 seed in the women’s tournament has lost in the first or second round.
“This is such a big accomplishment. A lot of us came here to make history and that’s what we’re doing,” said freshman Ayanna Thompson, who scored nine points.
Behind the entire game, Stanford called timeout with 28 seconds left, then Hannah Jump turned the ball over and Scott converted. Haley Jones lost the ball out of bounds on the Cardinal’s last possession with a chance to tie, then again in the waning moments.
Marquesha Davis hit a pair of free throws with 15.4 seconds to play as Ole Miss overcame not making a field goal over the final 5:47. It was 0-for-8 during that stretch.
These upstart Rebels (25-8) advance to the Seattle Regional semifinal next weekend, while Tara VanDerveer’s Stanford team (29-6) is eliminated far earlier than this group envisioned — the season ending on the Cardinal’s home floor. Jones fought tears after her final game. She finished with 16 points and eight rebounds but five turnovers.
Only four No. 1 seeds had lost before the Sweet 16 since 1994, with Duke the last one in 2009. Stanford did so once before, falling to 16th-seeded Harvard in the first round of the 1998 tournament.
The Cardinal had reached 14 straight Sweet 16s. It hadn’t lost in the first or second rounds since No. 10 seed Florida State shocked the fifth-seeded Cardinal 68-61 at Maples Pavilion in the second round exactly 16 years ago to the day, on March 19, 2007.
Stanford had won 21 consecutive NCAA games on its home floor and is 41-5 all-time at Maples during March Madness.
Cameron Brink came back from a one-game absence because of a stomach bug to finish with 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots, but Stanford never led and tried to come from behind all night. The program’s career blocks leader, she finished with 118 on the season and has 297 total.