For some readers, 1992 might not seem like that long ago. But it’s a 29-year span! That’s how long it’s been since Stanford won an NCAA women’s basketball championship.
But the Cardinal ended that dry spell Sunday night by defeating Arizona, 54-53, in the women’s national championship game. The Wildcats had a shot to win at the very end, but Aari McDonald’s fadeaway from the three-point line hit the heel of the rim and missed.
Here are how the final seconds of the game sounded on Westwood One Radio, called by Ryan Radtke and Debbie Antonelli:
— Westwood One Sports (@westwood1sports) April 5, 2021
“McDonald with it, dribbles right, dribbles left, dribbles right again,” said Radtke. “Double-team down in front, heave at the buzzer… no good! And Stanford wins!”
UPDATE: Tim Swartz sent over audio of his final call with Kevin Danna for Stanford Women’s Basketball on TuneIn.
“Five seconds left. McDonald lefty dribble, dribbles between her legs, spin move, triple-team, throws one up,” said Swartz. “It’s no good! It’s no good!
“Stanford has won the national championship! 29 years of waiting. 29 years of frustration. 29 years of heartbreak are over for Tara VanDerveer and the Cardinal.”
It’s also worth nothing that Swartz and Danna were not at the Alamodome in San Antonio for their broadcast. They called the game remotely from Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal’s home arena on campus.
Usual starting 5 for Stanford. @kevo408 and I are ready from Maples. Broadcast link is below. Also search “Stanford Women’s Basketball” on the @tunein app. https://t.co/QkmoLzX5Bg pic.twitter.com/lWrs1PjSl4
— Tim Swartz (@TimSwartz) April 4, 2021
The National Championship winning photo. Felt right to be with @kevo408 at our “normal” spot in Maples. Bit odd in an empty gym but what a fun game and season. Hopefully a big celebration in November. pic.twitter.com/a5iCbkqGwx
— Tim Swartz (@TimSwartz) April 5, 2021
And if you missed it, this is how the call went on ESPN with Ryan Ruocco on play-by-play and analyst Rebecca Lobo:
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) April 5, 2021
“Five seconds left, McDonald. Two seconds, McDonald trapped,” said Ruocco. “Heaves… ! Can’t hit! That is it! Stanford survives again!”
And if you’re curious what Ruocco was referring to when he said “Stanford survives again,” here’s the finish of the Cardinal’s win over South Carolina in Friday’s national semifinal:
Absolute insanity in the final seconds of the women’s Final Four pic.twitter.com/oOncMdAcbV
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) April 3, 2021
(Speaking of ESPN, The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch raised an intriguing question last week: Should the Women’s Final Four and national championship game air on ABC in the future?)
Haley Jones led Stanford with 17 points, followed by Cameron Brink and Lexie Hull, each scoring 10. McDonald scored 22 points for Arizona, shooting 5-for-21 from the field, with Shaina Pellington adding 15.
As mentioned, the championship victory was Stanford’s first since 1992. It’s the third national title for Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer. That total ties her with Baylor’s Kim Mulkey for third all-time behind UConn’s Geno Auriemma and Tennessee legend Pat Summitt. Yet VanDerveer, who’s been at Stanford since 1985, did overtake Summitt for the most coaching wins in women’s college basketball this season.