April 2, 2019 / 3:25 AM / 3 months ago

No. 1 Notre Dame blasts No. 2 Stanford to make Final Four

Apr 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard DiJonai Carrington (21) shoots over Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Marina Mabrey (3) during the first half in the championship game of the Chicago regional in the women's 2019 NCAA Tournament at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Jackie Young’s 25-point, 10-rebound double-double Monday night helped top-seeded Notre Dame rally from a nine-point second-half deficit and stop second-seeded Stanford 84-68 in the title game of the Chicago Region at Wintrust Arena, earning the right to defend its national championship.

The Fighting Irish (34-3) advanced to the Final Four in the NCAA Women’s Tournament, earning a matchup Friday night in Tampa against Connecticut. It’s a rematch of a regular season game in December that the Huskies won.

Arike Ogunbowale added 21 points despite making just 6 of 19 shots for Notre Dame, while Brianna Turner scored 14. Jessica Shepard stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 11 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.

Kiana Williams paced Stanford (31-5) with 20 points, but converted only 8 of 22 attempts from the field. Dijonai Carrington chipped in 18 and Alanna Smith scored 14 points. The Cardinal made just 39.7 percent of their field goals and were outrebounded 48-38.

The Irish outscored Stanford 58-35 in the second half, pulling away with a 32-point fourth quarter. Ogunbowale’s 3-point play with 7:47 left in the game gave them a 59-48 lead, and the Cardinal couldn’t get closer than eight for the night’s remainder.

Stanford controlled most of the first half, using an excellent defensive effort to keep its high-scoring opponent under wraps. Notre Dame endured a 3 1/2-minute scoring drought after Ogunbowale opened the game with a 3-pointer, and the Cardinal took a 13-11 edge to the second quarter.

Stanford found a little more traction offensively in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first half. It closed the half with an 8-2 spurt, capped by a Lexie Hull jumper with 49 seconds left that put it in the locker room with a 33-26 lead.

The margin was still seven almost halfway through the third quarter when the Irish finally got going. Young’s seven points in an 11-2 run over the final 2:17 of the period not only activated the large Notre Dame crowd, but gave their team a 52-46 advantage.

—Field Level Media

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