The Stanford women’s basketball team is headed for a third straight trip to the Final Four.
Jeanette Pohlen drove the length of the court for the game-winning layin as the final buzzer sounded, lifting top-seeded Stanford past third-seeded Xavier 55-53 in the Sacramento Regional final Monday night.
“I was too anxious,” Jernigan said. “It was like a kid in a candy store. I was too open and didn’t think it was coming out.”
Stanford’s Kayla Pedersen inbounded the ball underneath the Xavier basket to Pohlen with 4.4 seconds left. Pohlen dribbled all the way for the winning shot. The play was briefly reviewed, then Stanford erupted in celebration once the officials ruled the basket good.
Xavier’s Special Jennings collapsed to the floor, hands on her head, after the basket. Teammate April Phillips grabbed her head in disbelief at midcourt while Stanford’s players jumped for joy. A few minutes later, fresh victory T-shirts and hats in hand, fifth-year senior Rosalyn Gold-Onwude held Pohlen in a long embrace while their teammates began cutting down the nets.
After that, the players grabbed pompoms from their cheerleaders and pumped them in the air, Appel dancing a jig with a net around her neck. Xavier hung with Stanford for all 40 minutes—and the Cardinal needed every bit of grit they had to move on for at least one more.
The Cardinal will play Sunday in San Antonio against the winner of Tuesday’s Oklahoma and Kentucky game.