Women's Tournament 2013: Breaking Down Most Clutch Performances Thus Far

Ryan DavenportContributor IMarch 31, 2013

Mar 30, 2013; Bridgeport, CT, USA; Delaware Fightin Blue Hens guard/forward Elena Delle Donne (11) drives to the hoop against Kentucky Wildcats forward/center Jelleah Sidney (right) during the semifinals of the Bridgeport regional of the 2013 NCAA womens basketball tournament at Webster Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

With the Sweet 16 on the women's side of the 2013 NCAA tournament underway, we're starting to get an idea of which teams have a realistic shot at unseating the reigning national champion Lady Bears from Baylor. 

In the process, we've seen some amazing individual performances from some of the nation's best players. And that's what March Madness is all about, especially in the women's bracket, because shocking upsets are few and far between and, at least in the first few rounds, blowouts are commonplace. 

With all of the tournament's top eight seeds remaining in the field, the country's best players are all still around, which means the games will only get better from here. But heading into the second day of Sweet 16 play, here's a look at the best individual performances thus far. 

By the way, the only reason Brittney Griner isn't on this list is because none of Baylor's games have been close enough for any of her performances to be deemed clutch.


No. 6 Delaware 78 vs. No. 3 UNC 69

In what would be Elena Della Donne's final home game at the University of Delaware, the senior turned in another stellar offensive performance to will the Blue Hens to a record-setting victory over the No. 3 Tar Heels. 

With 33 points and eight rebounds, Della Donne may not have been efficient (10-of-28 from the field), but she certainly was the difference for the Hens, who reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. 

The senior also led Delaware with two blocks and went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe.

Though the Hens fell to Kentucky in the next round, Della Donne cemented her status as a legend in Newark. It also didn't hurt that Della Donne became the ninth woman in NCAA history to reach 3,000 points in the process. 


No. 6 LSU 71, No. 3 Penn State 66

The Lady Tigers pulled off a reasonably surprising upset over Penn State, and Adrienne Webb was the main reason why. The senior guard posted 29 points to pace LSU to a big victory over a very strong defensive Lady Lions squad. 

On 10-of-16 shooting, Webb posted one of her best career shooting performances—and picked a good time do so, as the win vaulted the Lady Tigers into the Sweet 16. 

What was just as important as the number of points she scored was the timing of them, as Webb's game-breaking three with less than four minutes to play was a turning point in the game for LSU. 


No. 2 California 82, No. 10 South Florida 78

This one wasn't supposed to be close, but No. 10 USF hung with California all night long and even forced overtime against the No. 2 Golden Bears in the round of 32. 

But in the end, California was too much for the Bulls.

Cal was led by Layshia Clarendon's 27 points, including a 3-of-5 mark from behind the arc, as the Golden Bears avoided a massive upset early on.

Clarendon, who averaged just under 13 a game during the regular season, came up big when Cal needed her most and kept her college basketball career going for at least one more round.