The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Stanford University Women’s Basketball Team Wins First NCAA Championship in 29 Years

Image Source: Elsa/Getty Images from the New York Times

The Stanford University Cardinals beat the University of Arizona Wildcats 54-53 in the National Championship on Easter Sunday. The game marked the first NCAA Division I basketball championship in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The game got off to a fast-paced start and remained that way for four quarters. The first point of the game was scored by Stanford’s Lexi Hull, but Arizona’s Aari McDonald quickly responded with a three-pointer. The Stanford Cardinals took an early lead of 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Wildcats began to chip away at Stanford’s lead in the second quarter while two players from Stanford had already received two fouls out of their allotted five. 

This March Madness Championship has shed a light on the inequalities between men’s and women’s sports. After posts on social media revealed the inadequate weight room conditions for the female players, there was much discussion on the disparities between the treatment of male and female athletes. 

Arizona’s coach Adia Barnes served as a role model for women, especially working mothers, as she reportedly pumped breast milk for her six-month-old baby during halftime. 

The third quarter was when things began to pick up speed even more. At the first commercial timeout, Stanford held a 41-31 lead over Arizona. Arizona responded with a 9-2 run that shrunk the Cardinal’s lead to just three points before the final ten minutes of the game. 

Haley Jones–Stanford’s leading scorer for this game–scored the first points in quarter four. With less than five minutes to go, Stanford held a 51-46 lead over the Wildcats. Shortly after, Arizona made it a one-point game as the score sat at 54-53 with Stanford in the lead and just over 30 seconds left.

Stanford’s Aari McDonald attempted a buzzer beater three-point shot, but the Wildcats came up short. 

Not only was this Stanford’s first national championship win in 29 years, but it was also head coach Tara VanDerveer’s third win. 

She also acknowledged the circumstances of this championship for all teams during a post-game interview where she stated “We’re excited to win the COVID championship.”

The men’s championship took place on Monday night, with Baylor University coming out on top.

Donate to The Westfield Voice

Your donation will support the student journalists of Westfield State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Westfield Voice