Notre Dame Defeats Stanford to Reach the Women’s Final Four

Notre Dame came back against a feisty Stanford team for an 84-68 victory in Chicago on Monday night, earning a trip to the women’s Final Four, where the Irish will defend their 2018 national championship.

The win for top-seeded Notre Dame over the No. 2-seeded Cardinal set the Final Four matchups: Notre Dame vs. UConn and Baylor vs. Oregon on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

Earlier on Monday, Lauren Cox had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Baylor earned its first Final Four berth since 2012 by beating Iowa, 85-53, in the Greensboro Regional final.

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Didi Richards added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Chloe Jackson had 14 points and the Bears (35-1) — the top overall seed — won their 27th straight game by shooting 53 percent, clamping down on All-American Megan Gustafson and her supporting cast and holding the nation’s best shooting team to a season-worst 32 percent shooting.

Now it’s on to Tampa, Florida, for the school’s fourth Final Four and its first in seven years — when the Bears won their second national championship.

The 6-foot-4 Cox — a third-team AP All-America pick — and fellow twin tower Kalani Brown, a 6-7 second-team All-American, teamed up to dominate both the glass and the heavily-hyped matchup with Gustafson, the nation’s leading scorer at 27.9 points per game. Brown finished with 14 points; Gustafson had 23.

Baylor held a 47-26 rebounding advantage, and Gustafson was held without a rebound in the second half for second-seeded Iowa (29-7).

The Bears — who entered allowing their opponents to shoot a Division I-worst 31.4 percent — held Iowa way below its previous worst of 41.1 percent at Purdue on Jan. 10.

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