Women's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Stanford Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns

2014 NCAA Tournament Stanford Regional Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns


#1 South Carolina vs. #4 North Carolina (Palo Alto, California)

Its rematch time in the Sweet 16 for the Gamecocks and Tar Heels. North Carolina won the first meeting back on December 18th at the Carolinas Challenge in Myrtle Beach 74-66. The big difference in the first match up was the Tar Heels ability to control the glass, outrebounding the Gamecocks 43-33. And they limited South Carolina to 1-of-11 shooting from behind the three point arc. The road to the rematch for South Carolina has been somewhat of a test from Cal State Northridge and a pesky Oregon State team playing close to home in Seattle. However, the Gamecocks took care of business and should be better prepped for the rematch with North Carolina and the stage of the Sweet 16 because they have had to work a bit for both victories in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tar Heels rode excellent defense to the Sweet 16 as they held both Tennessee-Martin and Michigan State under 60 points. The Tar Heels in the second round did a very nice job of limiting Aerial Flowers of the Spartans to just two points. Also, as a whole North Carolina limited Michigan State to just 17 field goals total and 31.5 percent shooting from the floor. Offensively, freshman Diamond DeShields recovered in grand fashion from a sluggish debut in the NCAA Tournament as she scored 24 points and collected 12 rebounds. DeShields, along with Xylina McDaniel, are going to have to come up big once again down in the paint to take on the inside combo of Elem Ibiam and Alaina Coates of South Carolina. UNC is going to have to find a way to be as aggressive, if not more, in this rematch and try and get easy baskets when the chance allows. In the Gamecocks case, they need to be patient offensively and get just enough balance to keep the North Carolina defense honest. In addition, the battle on the boards will be at a premium and South Carolina can’t give away too many second chance shots. The first team to 60 should win this matchup and move on to the Elite Eight.


#2 Stanford vs. #3 Penn State (Palo Alto, California)

This matchup should be a bit more of an offensive minded game. Stanford took advantage of the extra time off from the early Pac-12 tournament exit and played very well against both South Dakota and Florida State. Penn State got back on track offensively in the second round by putting up 83 points on Florida in cruising to an 83-61 victory over the Gators. The Cardinal are going to continue to push for balance in their offense so teams can’t completely focus on Chiney Ogwumike. For example, Lili Thompson and Bonnie Samuelson combined for 25 points including three three-point shots by Samuelson. Defensively, Stanford put together a 30-2 run against Florida State to pull away from the Seminoles. Also, the fact they held Florida State to 44 points is a very encouraging sign moving forward.

The Nittany Lions are armed with the necessary senior leadership and talent in the backcourt with Maggie Lucas that gives them a chance to win in Maples Pavilion. The complete team effort on both ends of the floor was key for Penn State advancing so easily over Florida in the second round. Dara Taylor had one of her best games ever as a Nittany Lion, scoring 22 points and gathering up eight rebounds. Taylor will need to put up similar types of rebounding numbers and try and get at least 10-12 points as well, if not more, against the Cardinal. As far as senior guard Maggie Lucas goes; she just needs to play like she normally does and Penn State should be fine. This game should be tightly contested down to the final minutes. The only way it won’t is if the travel gets to the Nittany Lions and they let Stanford go on one of their patented runs that they tend to go on at home. If Penn State has a defensive performance like they did at Nebraska late in the regular season then it will be a very long day for the Nittany Lions.


Tournament Central