Aliyah Boston scored 19 points and led top-seeded South Carolina to its second straight Final Four with an 80-50 victory over Creighton on Sunday night in Greensboro, N.C., ending the 10th-seeded Bluejays’ surprise run through the NCAA Tournament.
The Gamecocks (33-2) advanced to their fourth Final Four in the past seven tournaments.
Canada’s Laeticia Amihere posted nine points, three rebounds and one assist during her 15 minutes of action for South Carolina.
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Boston lost her streak of 27 double-doubles in a row, ending with seven rebounds in the blowout. But she gained a much bigger prize — a shot at redemption in Minneapolis next week.
Last year, Boston missed a short putback in the closing moments of the Gamecocks’ 66-65 loss to eventual NCAA champion Stanford in the national semifinals. She collapsed in tears on the court and has been almost single-minded in wanting to finish what the team missed out on then.
The Gamecocks will face either Louisville or Michigan on Friday in the Final Four. The top-seeded Cardinals play the No. 3 seed Wolverines for the Wichita Region title on Monday night.
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It was a disheartening end for the feel-good Bluejays (23-10), who had burst through the Greensboro Region to reach the Elite Eight. Lauren Jensen had 12 points to lead the Bluejays.
South Carolina had struggled on offence down the stretch this season, especially in the past four games — shooting less than 36 per cent in the SEC Tournament final loss to Kentucky and in NCAA wins against Howard, Miami and North Carolina.
This time, the Gamecocks were efficient, free-flowing and on target. They made six of their first seven shots to take a 13-5 lead four minutes in. When Creighton closed to 13-10, South Carolina took off on a game-changing 31-10 surge to take control for good.
Boston was her unstoppable self against an opponent without a player taller than six-foot-one. She made six of seven shots the first two quarters for 14 points. Destanni Henderson had 10 points on four-of-five shooting including a pair of three-pointers.
The Gamecocks led 46-25 at the break and built the lead to 32 points late in the fourth quarter.
Brea Beal and Henderson finished with 12 points apiece while Victaria Saxton had 11, giving South Carolina four starters in double figures.
Stanford downs Texas to return to Final 4
Lexie Hull scored 20 points in front of her hometown crowd, Haley Jones added 18 points and defending national champion Stanford is headed back to the women’s Final Four after toppling No. 2 seed Texas 59-50 on Sunday in Spokane, Wa.
The Cardinal will be in their 15th Final Four in program history and will play either North Carolina State or Connecticut in the national semifinals in Minneapolis.
Cameron Brink added 10 points for Stanford (32-3), which extended the longest win streak in the country to 24 games.
Joanne Allen-Taylor led Texas (29-7) with 15 points before fouling out. Big 12 freshman of the year Rori Harmon was limited to 14 points.
Canada’s Latasha Lattimore recorded three rebounds in six minutes of play for Texas.
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