NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2019: Sweet 16 Scores and Elite 8 BracketMarch 30, 2019
The Sweet 16 of the NCAA women's basketball tournament is set to conclude Saturday.
The Connecticut Huskies, Oregon Ducks, Louisville Cardinals and Mississippi State Bulldogs are already through to the Elite Eight. Four teams will have joined them by the end of Saturday.
The reigning national champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Baylor Lady Bears, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, headlined the squads taking the court.
Here are the scores from the Sweet 16 and recaps of the action.
2019 NCAA Women's Tournament Schedule/Results (Sweet 16)
No. 2 Iowa def. No. 3 North Carolina State, 79-61
No. 1 Baylor def. No. 4 South Carolina, 93-68
No. 1 Notre Dame def. No. 4 Texas A&M, 87-80
No. 2 Stanford def. No. 11 Missouri State, 55-46
The full bracket for the 2019 women's NCAA tournament can be viewed at NCAA.com.
No. 2 Iowa 79, No. 3 North Carolina State 61
Megan Gustafson's legend continues to grow as she helped lead the Iowa Hawkeyes to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1993.
Gustafson had 27 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in Iowa's 79-61 victory over the North Carolina State Wolfpack. ESPN Women's Hoops noted the senior forward tied the Division I record for most double-doubles in a single season (33).
NC State head coach Wes Moore used every strategic trick in his arsenal to try to slow Gustafson down in the paint, be it throwing multiple defenders at her, fronting her close to the basket and sending her to the foul line. None of it worked as Gustafson shot 10-of-13 from the field and made all seven of her free throws.
Hannah Stewart contributed to the effort for Iowa, posting a double-double of her own (16 points, 11 rebounds). Kathleen Doyle had a nice game as well, finishing with nine points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals.
The Hawkeyes did a great job of stifling Kiara Leslie and Elissa Cunane, NC State's two best offensive options. The pair combined to score 30 points but shot 12-of-37 from the floor.
No. 1 Baylor 93, No. 4 South Carolina 68
Baylor blitzed the South Carolina Gamecocks with 24 points in the first quarter and didn't look back from there, cruising to the Elite Eight following a 93-68 victory.
The Lady Bears were holding opponents to 54.3 points per game, seventh-fewest in the NCAA, entering Saturday. Opponents were also shooting an NCAA-low 31.3 percent against Baylor. South Carolina was the next team to fall victim to Baylor's suffocating defense. The Gamecocks shot 33.3 percent from the floor and 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.
The Lady Bears also owned a 54-30 edge in rebounding, with Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox combining to nearly out-rebound (24 boards) South Carolina on their own. They had 18 and 17 points apiece as well.
The Gamecocks didn't have an answer for DiDi Richards, who scored a game-high 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting.
Baylor's 93 points came despite the fact that it attempted only four three-pointers, connecting on one. The Lady Bears are a terror in transition and so good at working the ball around in half-court sets to get the ball inside.
As good as Gustafson is, Iowa will have a hard time against Baylor in the Elite Eight.
No. 1 Notre Dame 87, No. 4 Texas A&M 80
The individual battle between Arike Ogunbowale and Chennedy Carter lived up to the hype as Ogunbowale stepped up late to power the Fighting Irish through to an 87-80 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies.
Last year, Ogunbowale was the hero for Notre Dame as she hit last-second shots in the Final Four and national title game. The senior guard once again took her game to a different level down the final stretch.
Aja Ellison tied the game at 69 for Texas A&M with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Ogunbowale responded with a three-pointer on the Fighting Irish's next possession and then intercepted a wayward pass from Carter before finishing with a breakaway layup.
In less than a minute, she had single-handedly given Notre Dame a five-point advantage.
Ogunbowale then completed a three-point play at the 3:14 mark as the Fighting Irish continued to lead by five. She hit a pull-up jumper from the baseline against Carter, who was called for a foul.
Carter attempted to match Ogunbowale shot for shot, hitting a three-pointer with 1:52 remaining to bring the Aggies back to within five, 79-74.
Carter's one-woman show wasn't enough for A&M to claw its way back. The Aggies star got the better of Ogunbowale in the scoring category, finishing with a game-high 35 points. Those came on 34 shots, though, nearly half of her team's total field-goal attempts (69).
Ogunbowale scored a career-high 34 points, missing only eight of her 26 shot attempts. Jessica Shepard had a big game for Notre Dame, too, posting 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
No. 2 Stanford 55, No. 11 Missouri State 46
The Stanford Cardinal survived an upset bid by the Missouri State Lady Bears, hanging on for a 55-46 win.
Stanford also had a sluggish start in the second round against the BYU Cougars before the talent gap was simply too wide. The Cardinal pulled away in the second and third quarters, and a 25-point outburst by BYU made the score, 72-63, look a little closer than the game truly was.
There was no such surge for Stanford this time around.
Trailing by eight points entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Bears got the deficit down to five points, 49-44, after a Jasmine Franklin with 2:09 remaining. Emily Gartner and Sydney Wilson both had opportunities to close the gap further but saw their shots miss the mark.
Three free throws from Alanna Smith eased the pressure on the Cardinal before two more Lexie Hull effectively ruled out any comeback.
Smith was one of only two Stanford players to score double figures. Kiana Williams and DiJonai Carrington combined to score 15 points on 5-of-28 shooting. Anna Wilson was the unsung hero, coming off the bench to score 11 points in 21 minutes on the floor.
Stanford plays Notre Dame in the Elite Eight, and the Cardinal's offensive struggles don't bode well matched up against a Fighting Irish squad firing on all cylinders.