Stanford last won the national title in 1992, also under coach Tara VanDerveer. The 29-year gap ends the longest drought between titles for a coach in NCAA men's and women's history. Haley Jones had 17 points to lead the Cardinal, while Cameron Brink had three blocks and six rebounds to anchor Stanford's defense.
In the last five games, Jones averaged 15.8 points and 7 rebounds per game.
Stanford controlled the game from the paint. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Stanford outscored Arizona 36-20 in the paint. While McDonald led all scorers with 22 points, she was 1-of-8 in the paint.
Here's how social media reacted to the Cardinal's win:
SQUAD!!! 🏆💯 pic.twitter.com/okQbehl88F— Chiney Ogwumike (@chiney) April 5, 2021
Congrats @StanfordWBB on being national champs! @ArizonaWBB you represented well. It is safe to say #ncaaW was exciting to every eye that watched! Pour into us and we will give you a product you'd set your wallet, alarm and heart. Next up @WNBA. One ❤️— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) April 5, 2021
I hope everyone understands how insanely hard it is to get to this point... Tara VanDerveer has been a head coach since 1978 (43 years for the math majors), has a record of— Carly Thibault (@CTbow) April 4, 2021
1,124-255, and is hunting for her 3rd national championship. #ncaaW
Stanford wins their first NCAA title since 1992.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 5, 2021
They become the first team ever in Men's or Women's NCAA Tournament history to win both semifinal and final games by 1 point each. pic.twitter.com/wUpuSHN2Ah
Wait what??? #ncaaW— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) April 5, 2021
Congratulations to the entire @StanfordWBB team and to Coach VanDerveer. What a win. Home of Champions! Go Card!— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 5, 2021
McDonald scored 149 total points in the NCAA tournament, more than any other player. Her toughness and playmaking made her a sensation in the Final Four. Her performance and the fiery passion of Arizona coach Adia Barnes brought plaudits as well:
I was really proud of Aari McDonald! She was most exciting player in the entire tournament!! @AariMcdonald— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 5, 2021
Aari is my MVP.— Diamond DeShields (@diamonddoesit1) April 5, 2021
Congratulations to @ArizonaWBB as well! Coach Adia Barnes had her team well prepared and they executed the game plan despite the loss. Her strategy was outstanding! Unfortunately, they came up short.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 5, 2021
Wiping away tears of disappointment for my great friend @AdiaBarnes & her @ArizonaWBB but so proud of what she has achieved!! Congrats @StanfordWBB for an an amazing win!! Shady you inspire @laurenej15 and I so much. We love you & this is just the beginning! Love you! ❤️@ncaawbb pic.twitter.com/IXwrVixgcD— Tully L Bevilaqua OLY (@Bevilaqua41) April 5, 2021