Women’s National Championship: Channel, Tip Time and Analysis

Since then, Staley has recruited as well as or better than UConn Coach Geno Auriemma, has come close to matching his salary, and has made her team a consistent threat for a deep run in the tournament.

She has not returned to the title game until now.

If she can win the Gamecocks their second championship, the program’s status as a powerhouse will be confirmed; if they lose, it might be seen as evidence that UConn’s dominance persists in spite of all the growth that has happened around the sport.

South Carolina knows the key to its game is a suffocating defense. The question is whether its guards, who underperformed in some of the early rounds, can come up with enough points to stay ahead of the Huskies.

Destanni Henderson and Zia Cooke sank crucial 3-point shots against Louisville, but the Huskies held Stanford — typically a strong team from behind the arc — to just four triples in the semifinal. The Gamecocks guards will have to get creative to supplement Aliyah Boston’s consistent and prolific scoring.

Boston won this year’s Naismith Trophy earlier this week, and that means that this year’s and last year’s (Bueckers) best college basketball players will compete for the game’s most important prize.

Boston, a 6-foot-5 forward, has played remarkably over the past two games, padding the box score but more crucially playing with poise and control. She has avoided fouling out of frustration and found ways to make teams pay for double- and triple-teaming her.

She will need to summon that strength and patience one more time this season if the Gamecocks are to beat the Huskies.

If the Final Four games are any indication, this championship game will be a physical one. South Carolina hasn’t been particularly effective from the free throw line this season, making just 67.7 percent of its shots. But the Gamecocks made a higher percentage of their chances against Louisville, mostly thanks to Boston’s impressive consistency. In what looks to be a tightly fought matchup, making the most of those opportunities will be important.

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Women’s Day Special – Travel Tips For Women Travelers To Goa

Happy Women’s Day by Team ItsGoa! Solo female trips sound so adventurous and fun, right? Well, they indeed are! And what can be a better destination than Goa? You may feel hesitant about a solo trip to Goa, but be assured, Goa is safe for solo backpacking. There are just a few things that you should know before planning a trip, for a completely thrilling experience. That’s why we have curated this traveler’s guide with travel tips for women. Have fun, ladies!

Image Source: traveltriangle.com

Not all beaches are equal
Starting the travel tips for women when traveling to Goa, is that all beaches are not equal.

Goa is a beach state, and offers many different beaches that do differ in terms of the nature of its water and sand. Typically, beaches in South Goa – like Colva, Majorda, Varca, Cavelossim and Palolem – have white sandy beaches and calmer waters. The North Goa beaches like Arambol, Ashwem, Morjim and Vagator have a bit more wave due to the odd bit of rock, though are still perfectly pleasant to paddle around in.

It is, as always, in the middle that things get murky: Central Goa, or more precisely Baga, is where the crowds throng. And that unfortunately includes leery men. For the overcrowding, overdone-ness and entirely undesirable leeches, you might want to skip this beach, no matter how much you’ve heard about Britto’s or Tito’s. Things get better as you go further south to Calangute and even further to Candolim, both of which are also bustling but manageable.
Image Source: timeout.com


That stings
The next travel tip for women stings! Speaking of different beaches, some do attract more jellyfish than others. While South Goa has a higher number of reported stings, North Goa reports an entirely different type of jellyfish. The stings of different kinds of Jellyfish require different types of care as well, so don’t assume you know what to do even if you may have been stung before. Any further exposure to liquids could make the pain worse. And no, peeing on it, as popularized by that one episode of the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S, isn’t the best solution.

Ideally, pop an antihistamine immediately and head to the closest hospital. Also, here’s a tip from dreaded personal experience – take off any jewellery before heading into the water. Jellyfish, much like us, are intrigued by pretty, shiny things.

Image Source: insiders.in

To bikini or not to bikini
Does the general advice about dressing sensibly hold? It depends. Beaches that are part of 5-star luxury hotel properties tend to be private and accessible only to hotel guests. In which case, you’re in decent company.

Beaches frequented by international visitors tend to exhibit more two-piece swimwear too.
Of course, you can technically wear a bikini anywhere in the state but where there are more people, there are more sets of eyes and some of those wander where they’re not welcome. Remember to have a sarong with you to cover up while getting in and out of the water so you don’t have to walk an uncomfortable stretch before getting to your clothes. My suggestion would be to save the bikini for your hotel pool and choose a one-piece or tankini for public beaches. If you make it to the rumored nude beach of Ozran, then happy beach bumming to you!

Adventure sports can be more adventure than you bargained for
There seem to be an increasing number of places that offer water sports like banana boating and parasailing. You should know that despite shop owners’ confidence, the equipment isn’t usually subjected to stringent quality checks. This isn’t to say that they aren’t safe, they might very well be. But India doesn’t have a reputable central authority to monitor these things, and so they largely go unchecked. If you’re a decent swimmer and have a life jacket on, things should go swimmingly.
Image Source: thegoavilla.com

Food and feni
Food is the next travel tip for women. Whether you’re exploring the happy shacks on the beach or trying the newer age restaurants that go beyond Goan cuisine, the food is fundamentally fantastic, with a side of fries. (Seriously, they come with everything!)

When it comes to drinks, the locally fermented liquor called ‘feni’ is made of cashew or palm, and is strong, as evidenced by the inevitable burn that follows. If you’re wondering why the drinks come cheap, it’s all to do with state excise and taxation, so don’t question a good thing and enjoy your ‘usual’ for slightly cheaper. It’s one of Goa’s many gifts to us.

Watch the red flags

High tide is generally marked by red flags, which indicate that swimming might be dangerous. Heed the signs. And definitely don’t, red flag or not, venture into the water after having too many tipples. While there are lifeguards on the more popular beaches, the swimmer-to-guard ratio is less than ideal and murky weather conditions can make visibility difficult. Basically, be responsible for yourself.

What we’ve come to see over our many trips to Goa is that the locals (at least in the touristy parts of town) are rarely the problem. They tend to be decent folk who have had too many years of not caring too much about things that don’t concern them. Keeping tourists happy and safe, however, does concern them and they will normally keep an eye out for you.

Cash is king
On so many fronts, Goa is still catching up to the rest of the world and this applies to payments. Debit and credit cards are not too widely accepted; cash works best and ATMs tend to be few and far between.

Ferrying about
The cab system tends to be quite disorganised; an informal network of taxi drivers are available at popular spots and they quote fares based on estimated distance, and mood. These are generally safe for women travellers but of course, use your common sense and don’t get into a cab alone if you’ve had too much to drink or you suspect that your driver might have. Uber and Ola aren’t available in Goa as yet, and spotty phone network might make these apps even more unfeasible. If you’re comfortable driving, consider renting a car. Driving through lush Goa has been one of my favourite memories from recent holidays.

Hush hush!
Lastly, on the Goa travel tips for women is parties. You may be surreptitiously invited to a ‘secret’ rave party and while many of these are similar to those found in other parts of the world, some may be shams with fake addresses designed to lure overenthusiastic party goers. Chances are, there will be drugs in circulation so police raids aren’t unheard of, and the authorities might assume your presence equals participation. It’s your party and you can cry if you want to.

All said and done, Goa’s beaches are well worth a trip any day. That glorious feeling of sand between your toes and the wind (though I prefer a manageable breeze) in your hair, and you’re not far from paradise.
Image Source: heraldgoa.in

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Alabama women’s basketball vs. South Dakota State in WNIT

Alabama women’s basketball will travel to South Dakota State in the Elite Eight of the WNIT on Sunday. 

The game will tip off at 5 p.m. CT and can be heard on The Varsity Network. 

The Crimson Tide (20-13) are coming off a 79-64 win over Houston on Thursday. The Crimson Tide were led by Brittany Davis and Megan Abrams with 18 points. JaMya Mingo-Young added 17 points while Davis had eight rebounds. 

Offseason training: How Deontay Wilder’s boxing gym prepared Alabama women’s basketball for WNIT run

Round three: Alabama women’s basketball throttles Houston to advance to WNIT Elite Eight

The Jackrabbits (26-9) are coming off 84-66 win over Drake on Thursday. South Dakota State was led by Myah Selland with 21 points and seven rebounds. Paiton Burckhard added 20 points and Tori Nelson had 16 points. 

Alabama women’s basketball vs South Dakota State in WNIT; Live score updates

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Women’s March Madness: Elite 8 Schedule, Tip Times and Analysis

The Elite Eight round of the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament begins on Sunday, bringing even higher stakes and tight matchups. In the Greensboro and Spokane regions, two No. 1 seeds will fight for the Final Four spots that they believe are rightfully theirs, and two lower seeds — one much lower — will try to spoil their party.

No. 1 seed South Carolina plays No. 10 seed Creighton at 7 p.m. Eastern (ESPN) in the Greensboro regional final, while No. 1 seed Stanford plays No. 2 seed Texas at 9 p.m. Eastern (ESPN) in the Spokane region.

According to ESPN, 3 percent of women’s basketball tournament brackets created using its platform had No. 10 seed Creighton in the Elite Eight. Even that seems high, and going farther is a tall order against South Carolina, a team whose dominance all season has only recently shown signs of faltering.

The Gamecocks won their round of 16 game on Friday against fifth-seeded North Carolina without posting gaudy statistics — at least not beyond forward Aliyah Boston’s 28 points and 22 rebounds. The Tar Heels stayed within reach until the end, and South Carolina had its second straight game in which it did not have enough separation to be comfortable until the clock ran out. Instead, the Gamecocks needed Boston to post numbers far higher than her season averages to survive, something Creighton is likely considering as it puts together its game plan.

In order to beat No. 3-seeded Iowa State, the Bluejays had to play impressive, consistent defense. The Cyclones had been one of the highest scoring teams in the country coming into the game, but Creighton was able to frustrate their best offensive weapon, crafty Iowa State senior Ashley Joens. She made just four shots from the field. The 6-foot-5 Boston will have to use her substantial size advantage over Creighton — which has no players taller than 6-foot-1 — to once again score consistently inside, even if the Bluejays can take away many of her guards’ open looks.

South Carolina will also need to guard the perimeter in order to clinch their second straight trip to the Final Four, which has been one of their strengths this season. On average, opposing teams make just 26.6 percent of their 3-point shots against the Gamecocks. They’ll need to match or surpass that average against Creighton, which has made 9.6 three-point baskets per game so far in this tournament while taking comparatively few shots. Although Creighton is fighting against the odds to become the first double-digit seed to make the Final Four, the game might very well come down to the wire.

“That was a pretty long time ago,” said Texas freshman point guard Rori Harmon when asked about the Longhorns’ win over the Stanford, the reigning champion, back in November. “It’s completely different now.”

The Cardinal, it would seem, don’t quite see it that way. Texas beat them on their home court at the very game where they were celebrating their title and awarding players their championship rings. Stanford had a 5-point lead going into the fourth quarter of that game, and still lost — something coach Tara VanDerveer brought up when considering the matchup. “I don’t think anyone on our team has forgotten about that,” she said after Stanford’s round of 16 win.

Unfortunately for Texas, Stanford looked as intimidating as ever in its near-total domination of No. 4 seed Maryland. Its weakest quarter, though, was once again the fourth, in which the Terrapins were able to cut what had been a 26-point lead down to 6. The Longhorns see relentlessness, and specifically relentless defense, as their trademark, and will aim to once again fluster the Cardinal late.

The challenge will be stifling Stanford’s electric offense, powered by junior Haley Jones and a slew of other shooters with the size to create open looks from anywhere on the court. If they want to pull off the upset, the Longhorns’ post players will have to play careful, tight defense in order to draw Stanford’s Cameron Brink — one of the Cardinal’s most efficient scorers — into foul trouble, which can be one of her weaknesses.

Even if the Longhorns can slow Stanford down using the press defense, they will likely have to fight to score themselves. Joanne Allen-Taylor was the leading scorer for Texas in the round of 16, fighting for pull-up jumpers and drawing fouls. The senior will have to keep her energy high and the ball moving in order to find any offense at all against this experienced Stanford team.

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March Madness Schedule, Tip Times and Analysis for Women’s Sweet 16

The field in the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament will be down to single digits by Saturday night. The round of 16 action on Saturday airs starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on ESPN and will be played at the regional sites in Wichita, Kan., and Bridgeport, Conn.

The slate features established programs competing to maintain their high-achieving status quos, as well as a few upstarts fighting to prove that their early round wins weren’t flukes. Below are a few things to watch for in each of the day’s games.

All times are Eastern.

Before last season, the No. 3-seeded Wolverines had never played in the round of 16. No. 10-seed South Dakota left “unprecedented” in the dust with its first-round win this year — the only N.C.A.A. tournament victory the school has ever had.

In their game on Saturday (6:30 p.m., ESPN2), Michigan and South Dakota will be competing to continue breaking new ground. This is the senior forward Naz Hillmon’s last chance to push the Wolverines into the round of 8. So far, she’s played as if she’s aiming to make the most of it: She’s averaged 25.5 points over the first two games of the tournament while drawing defenders to open up her teammates.

Now she’ll face the Coyotes, who already shut down another highly regarded W.N.B.A. prospect — NaLyssa Smith, No. 2-seeded Baylor’s star senior forward — in the second round. South Dakota’s fifth-year players Hannah Sjerven, Chloe Lamb and Liv Korngable lead the team’s so far insurmountable defense, which Michigan — not a uniquely prolific offensive team — will have to find an answer for. Either way, at the end of the game, one team will be going where it’s never gone before.

Last year, the Wolfpack made history by earning their program’s first-ever No. 1 seed in the N.C.A.A. tournament. The team, which has accrued the third-most N.C.A.A. tournament appearances without winning a title in Division I, seemed to have a real shot at a national championship. Then, the unthinkable happened: N.C. State lost in the round of 16 for the third straight year.

This year, the top-seeded team’s path to the Final Four is even more challenging. The Wolfpack will face the No. 5 seed Notre Dame (11:30 a.m., ESPN), one of only three teams to beat them during the regular season. The Fighting Irish will be fresh from obliterating No. 4-seeded Oklahoma on the Sooners’ home court, 108-64, cracking the century mark for the first time in their program’s tournament history.

The Wolfpack will need Elissa Cunane, their 6-foot-5 senior center and leading scorer, to dominate around the basket. She scored just 4 points in N.C. State’s second-round matchup, but it made little difference because the Wolfpack’s experienced guards were hitting shots from behind the arc and put the game out of reach almost immediately. The Irish don’t have a great matchup for a player with Cunane’s size and skill, though, so the weight of the win will rest primarily on her shoulders.

Even in an off year — which this season has been for Connecticut, thanks to a slew of injuries and an uncharacteristic five regular-season losses — the Huskies are still a formidable opponent. They would be even if the N.C.A.A. selection committee hadn’t slotted the second-seeded team in the Bridgeport regional, where they will essentially be playing in front of a home crowd.

Nevertheless, the No. 3 Hoosiers will try to knock out Connecticut before the round of 8, which has not happened since 1993. When they play on Saturday (2 p.m., ESPN), it will be the first time the teams have met in the regular or postseason. They have very different strengths.

Connecticut’s centerpiece is the sophomore phenom Paige Bueckers, who is still regaining her footing after missing a chunk of the regular season with a leg injury, while Indiana will rely on the senior guard Grace Berger, who hit the tough layup that barely carried the team over No. 11 Princeton in the second round. Joining Berger in the starting lineup for the Hoosiers are two fifth-year guards, Ali Patberg and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, who have provided veteran leadership all season and pushed the team to the Big Ten championship game.

What should make Hoosier fans optimistic is that all of Indiana’s current starters played in the 2021 tournament, when the team pulled off an upset against No. 1 N.C. State to earn their program’s first trip to the round of 8. This might be a bigger challenge, but this Indiana team is used to being underestimated.

The Hoosiers are also nearly unknown to Geno Auriemma, who has coached at Connecticut since 1985 but has never faced Indiana. On Friday in Bridgeport, though, he marveled over Indiana’s roster and allowed that he would not be surprised to see the Hoosiers win the tournament.

Dorka Juhasz, a UConn forward who tangled with Indiana when she played for Ohio State, said the Huskies would need to play far better than they did on Monday.

“I think they’re a very aggressive offensive team,” she said, “and I think they have a lot of good pieces on the guard spots as well as the post. They’re a pretty complete team.”

Out of the past 12 tournaments, the Cardinals have been to the round of 16 in all but two of them. But No. 1-seeded Louisville is still looking for its first championship all these trips later, making it an easy team to overlook.

The Cardinals kept their streak going this year. But besides a win at home over a depleted Connecticut in the regular season, the Cardinals’ résumé just isn’t all that convincing. A big-time victory over a storied but vulnerable team like No. 4-seeded Tennessee, which they will face on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPN2), would force the national audience to take notice.

In the second round, the Lady Volunteers barely escaped the No. 12 seed Belmont, which pushed Tennessee to the brink. Louisville, for its part, beat No. 9-seeded Gonzaga without much strain, but also without ever taking the game fully out of reach. The final score was 68-59.

Now, Louisville has a chance to make a statement. To do so, it will be relying on the sophomore guard Hailey Van Lith, who scored 21 points against Gonzaga. Tennessee has been trying to compensate for being without the injured Jordan Horston, its leading scorer and rebounder, but there is a chance she could be back on the court this weekend, adding another dimension to this complex matchup.

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N.C.A.A. Women’s Tournament: Creighton Upsets Iowa State in Round of 16

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Creighton took down a No. 6 seed, Colorado. It defeated second-seeded Iowa. Now it has become the rare No. 10 seed to reach the round of 8.

Creighton delivered its third consecutive upset by beating the No. 4 seed Iowa State, 76-68, on Friday night in the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament. The Bluejays will play South Carolina on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

Iowa State left path after path open for Creighton, and the Bluejays’ young, sharp offense moved right in. On defense, Creighton denied inside baskets for Iowa State.

This was already Creighton’s first trip to the round of 16 in program history. Creighton was one of two No. 10 seeds still in the field in the round of 16 after an upset win over second-seeded Iowa in the second round. The other No. 10 seed, South Dakota, plays No. 3 Michigan on Saturday in the Wichita region.

The Cyclones and Bluejays relied heavily on their outside shooters: Combined, the two teams attempted 50 3-pointers.

Creighton pulled away in the third quarter and led by as many as 13 points in the fourth. Guard Morgan Maly led the Bluejays with 21 points.

Ashley Joens, a senior guard for Iowa State who was a second team all-American, sat out much of the first half after committing two fouls. Emily Ryan instead led the Cyclones with 22 points.

The Bluejays let the clock run out and greeted a small but ecstatic group of Creighton fans, sealing their win with a ceremonial spritz of bubbles on the court.

“This team continues to amaze me,” Coach Jim Flanery said. “We’re so proud of how they’ve grown, what kind of fight they have and how they play for each other.”

The crowd was much diminished after the Greensboro Coliseum drew local fans for the South Carolina vs. North Carolina game. An energetic Iowa State band had distractions ready for Creighton at every drive.

But one fan favorite stuck around: Dawn Staley, South Carolina’s coach, greeted fans in the stands before taking a seat courtside to measure up the team that her Gamecocks would be facing on Sunday.

— Remy Tumin

There could be only one winner in the battle of the Carolinas.

South Carolina, hungry for its first national championship title in five years, edged North Carolina in the round of 16 in the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament, defeating the Tar Heels, 69-61, on Friday night.

While the Tar Heels have been on a disruptive path in the Greensboro region, sending fourth-seeded Arizona packing on its home court in the second round, the young team was no match for the depth of the Gamecocks. Aliyah Boston, the star junior forward who has been the centerpiece of her team, secured her 27th consecutive double-double with 28 points and 22 rebounds, and the senior forward Victaria Saxton delivered when her team needed her most with 14 rebounds and two key blocks.

Boston secured all 13 points for South Carolina in the fourth quarter.

But the win did not come easily. South Carolina struggled to keep up with the speedy Tar Heels in the first half as they repeatedly drove downcourt, staying low and fast down the lane. The Gamecocks allowed 23 points in the first quarter. Deja Kelly, North Carolina’s sophomore guard, danced around South Carolina’s defense to lead her team with 23 points.

But Destanni Henderson and Zia Cooke responded with the speed and scoring the Gamecocks needed to stay afloat. Henderson finished with 13 points and Cooke scored 15, ending the second quarter on her back after a successful jump shot. When they missed a basket, Boston came in and finished it off with two, three, sometimes four Tar Heels nearly hanging off her.

“That was a tough game — hats off to North Carolina for playing an extremely efficient basketball game,” Coach Dawn Staley said. “They pushed us to the limit.”

The game was the third Sweet 16 matchup between the programs since 2014, and North Carolina’s first appearance in the third round since 2015, when it lost to South Carolina. The Gamecocks will next face Creighton.

Gamecock and Tar Heel fans alike filled the Greensboro Coliseum, just a three-hour drive from Columbia, S.C., and an hour’s drive from Chapel Hill, N.C., creating a sea of light blue and red against South Carolina’s neon green and pink sneakers.

The Gamecocks were looking for redemption after losing to Stanford last year in the semifinals by two points. But coming into Friday’s game, a Gamecock win was far from a sure bet. While their ferocious defense, one of the best in the tournament, has denied its competition again and again, the Gamecocks’ offense has struggled to convert drives to points.

“This shows it’s only going to get tougher and tougher,” Cooke said after the game. “We have keep our foot on the gas the whole time.”

— Remy Tumin

SPOKANE, Wash. — Texas advanced to the round of 8 for the second straight tournament with a 66-63 victory over Ohio State on Friday, aided by decisive play from its senior guard Joanne Allen-Taylor and the team’s go-to post players, Lauren Ebo and Aaliyah Moore.

The Buckeyes’ best two scorers all season, Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell, combined for 36 points, not enough to overcome the Longhorns’ physical defense.

The Longhorns took an early lead, staying ahead until Texas’ point guard, the freshman Rori Harmon, picked up two fouls in the first quarter when a charge and a blocking call didn’t go her way in quick succession.

From that point, it started to look as if Ohio State might beat Texas at its own game, pressing the Longhorns from baseline to baseline every time they inbounded the ball. Texas Coach Vic Schaefer said that the press “is just who we are” before the game, but it was the Buckeyes who threatened turnovers every time the Longhorns had to take the ball across halfcourt.

The Buckeyes ended the first quarter with a 4-point lead thanks in large part to Sheldon, who kept finding ways to score even when opportunities to shoot were hard to come by.

Allen-Taylor, who finished the first half with 13 points and added 4 in the second, allowed Texas to go into the locker room with a lead by muscling to the basket with just three seconds left and coming away with the bucket and the foul. That she was able to escape the first half without a single personal foul was particularly notable, given how physical the game was to that point. The teams combined for just one successful 3-pointer in the first half, and players had to battle for every attempt whether it was beyond the arc or inside it.

“Her having a good day, it’s important for us,” guard Aliyah Matharu said of Allen-Taylor. “I feel like today she was on. When she’s on, why not give her the ball?”

The Longhorns found a little momentum midway through the third quarter, forcing turnovers and scoring off them while getting second-chance points. But Ohio State’s senior guard Braxtin Miller hit all but one shot she attempted that quarter, scoring 8 points and keeping Texas from getting comfortable.

Still, the Buckeyes started to look a little less energized and began to lay off their full-court press. Entering the final frame, Texas had stretched its lead to 5 points.

Texas would lead by as many as 10 points, until Ohio State forced a series of turnovers that brought the game right back within reach with just four minutes remaining. The Longhorns’ lead shrank to 1 point as the game clock wound down, and the Buckeyes had the ball. But Texas was able to use the defense that has been its calling card all season long, force a turnover and make its free throws to seal the win.

— Natalie Weiner

No. 1-seeded Stanford looked better than ever on Friday night as it cruised to its 23rd straight victory, lengthening the longest active winning streak in Division I.

Stanford, the reigning national champion, beat fourth-seeded Maryland, 72-66, to earn a trip to the Spokane regional final. For the second consecutive year, the Terrapins will head home after the Sweet 16.

Stanford guard Haley Jones proved to be a problem early on for the Terrapins, sinking a 3-pointer for the game’s first basket and scoring 8 points in the first quarter. The Cardinal looked so in control of both ends of the floor that Fran Belibi almost replicated her dunk from Stanford’s first-round game, blocking Chloe Bibby’s 3-point shot and racing to the other end to lay in a finger roll.

Maryland was able to stifle Stanford’s offensive output somewhat in the second quarter, but could not translate its stops into successful possessions. Then Stanford would find a way to get the ball to its 6-foot-4 sophomore Cameron Brink miles away from the basket, and she would still make a 3-point shot — and Maryland’s hard work on defense would suddenly seem meaningless.

“I think we saw some really good spurts,” said Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer. “But I think we can do better.”

Stanford’s Hull twins, Lexie and Lacie, grew up in Spokane. When they hit their first shots of the game within a 30-second span late in the first half, the arena erupted. Stanford took its largest lead of the game to that point, cementing the sense that the Cardinal were already staunchly in control of the outcome. They led 39-23 at halftime.

The Terrapins were fighting to get back in the game early in the third quarter, when guard Diamond Miller picked up her fourth personal foul as she was fighting for a jump ball. From that point the game started to get out of hand, with Stanford’s lead stretching to 26 points late in the third.

Though Maryland pulled within 6 points down the stretch, it only served to make the dominating Stanford win look a little closer on paper than it was. Jones finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Lexie Hull completed the hometown tour as Stanford’s leading scorer with 19 points.

— Natalie Weiner

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March Madness Schedule, Tip Times and Analysis for Women’s Sweet 16

The Sweet 16 is back in its usual form at the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament, after the 2020 tournament was canceled and last year’s event was based around a single city because of the pandemic.

The women’s regionals are in Greensboro, N.C.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Wichita, Kan.; and Spokane, Wash., with round-of-16 games on Friday and Saturday and round-of-8 games on Sunday and Monday.

Here’s what to watch entering Friday’s games.

All times are Eastern.

Creighton and South Dakota, the two 10th-seeded teams making their first trips to the round of 16, are not alike beyond their bracket-breaking successes. Creighton is young, with a sharp offense, while South Dakota’s suffocating defense hinges on fifth-year players who have worked together seamlessly.

One similarity: Most of the tournament teams don’t know them. Besides competing against each other (because of their proximity, being separated by only a two-hour drive), Creighton and South Dakota have each played only one remaining tournament team: Creighton lost twice to Connecticut in Big East Conference play; South Dakota lost to South Carolina in November.

They are wild cards in a sea of familiar faces. So far, that has made South Dakota dangerous. The Coyotes have not trailed in their tournament wins over Mississippi and Baylor, a feat that suggests they were underseeded.

So when Creighton faces third-seeded Iowa State (Friday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2) in Greensboro and South Dakota faces Michigan (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2) in Wichita, they will try to remain unsolved mysteries.

All four No. 1 seeds made it to the round of 16, but some made it more easily than others.

Stanford and North Carolina State obliterated their opponents. When Kansas played Stanford close in the first half of their second-round game, the Cardinal compensated with an offensive explosion and won by 26. That was after Stanford’s 41-point win over Montana State in the first round. North Carolina State also won by large margins in its first two games, allowing its bench to get in on the action.

Those teams will start facing more pressure. Stanford will play fourth-seeded Maryland (Friday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN), whose offense has been electric. Stanford beat Maryland in November.

North Carolina State will play fifth-seeded Notre Dame (Saturday, 11:30 a.m., ESPN), which was responsible for one of the Wolfpack’s three losses. That loss, 69-66, on Feb. 1 in South Bend, Ind., was North Carolina State’s sole defeat in Atlantic Coast Conference play, a testament to the Wolfpack’s dominance and to the Fighting Irish’s potential to create chaos.

Two teams that sprinted out of the tournament’s gates staggered in the second round.

Second-seeded Connecticut, back in the Big East, was challenged by the No. 7 seed Central Florida, which it had regularly throttled when both teams were in the American Athletic Conference. UConn won, 52-47, but the score showed how frustrating the Knights’ defense proved to be. The margin of victory was the smallest for a Huskies second-round game since 1999, history that they would prefer not to make.

South Carolina looked sluggish offensively in its 49-33 win against eighth-seeded Miami. When the national title favorite scores fewer than 50 points in an early-round game, eyebrows will rise.

In the Greensboro regional, the Gamecocks will face fifth-seeded North Carolina (Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN), whose stellar defensive performance sent fourth-seeded Arizona packing on its home court. South Carolina has been great defensively, but it has not faced an offense as shifty as the Tar Heels’ or a player as productive as Deja Kelly, a sophomore who averages 16.3 points per game.

To get back on track, the Huskies have the unenviable assignment of competing against a scrappy, veteran Indiana team (Saturday, 2 p.m., ESPN) that is undoubtedly studying film of the Central Florida game. UConn’s advantage will be in the seats: playing in Bridgeport, the Huskies can expect a friendly, fervent crowd.

“One of the first things we say, before the game even starts, is to punch first,” the Texas freshman Rori Harmon said. “When you punch first, the game is in your favor.”

The No. 2-seeded Longhorns enter their matchup with No. 6-seeded Ohio State as the favorites (Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN2), but they’ve clearly retained some of the underdog mentality that fueled last year’s round-of-16 victory over second-seeded Maryland. This year, though, they’re hoping to reach the Final Four.

“We both have similar teams, and we have certain players we don’t want to bring off the floor,” Texas Coach Vic Schaefer said about Ohio State. “So it’s probably going to be a game of attrition a little bit.” The Buckeyes will be counting on guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell to facilitate scoring, while Schaefer and the Longhorns will look to post players like Lauren Ebo and Aaliyah Moore to take high-percentage shots.

The Buckeyes have been something of an enigma, barely escaping their first-round game against No. 11-seeded Missouri State, then dispatching third-seeded Louisiana State, 79-64, in Baton Rouge behind 23 points from Sheldon and 18 from Mikesell.

To the Buckeyes, though, the win wasn’t a surprise. When asked about the upset victory, Ohio State guard Kateri Poole said, “March is for everybody.”

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Travel news: Jasper’s spruced-up campgrounds, Ottawa’s music festival and barrier-breaking women’s expeditions

Modern comforts

The biggest campground in the Parks Canada system — the 781-site Whistlers Campground in Jasper National Park — has undergone a major infrastructure spruce-up. Modernized last summer, the additions and upgrades include a new registration centre, new combined washroom and shower facilities, new picnic tables and fire pits, larger roads for two-way RV traffic, and new water, sewer and electrical systems. The campground is reservable for stays between May 4 to Oct. 10.

Hotel haunt

Melody Bar at Toronto's Gladstone House (formerly Gladstone Hotel) has just reopened.

Gladstone House, the recently renovated West Queen West boutique property previously known as Gladstone Hotel, has just reopened its Melody Bar. Glitzed up with disco balls and an uplit dance floor, the redesigned space will play host to live performances once again, including its popular Sunday Drag Brunch.

Songs of summer

The 2022 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival is slated to take place — live and in person — from June 24 to July 3, with the mainstage returning to Confederation Park. This summer will mark the festival’s 40th anniversary edition, with performances by Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams and Corinne Bailey Rae on the long list of talent. Presale bronze and gold passes are available now at ottawajazzfestival.com.

Through her eyes

India is one of the destinations within Intrepid Travel's range of Women's Expeditions.

Tour operator Intrepid Travel is relaunching its popular range of Women’s Expeditions, previously on hiatus due to the pandemic. With local women guiding the way, these trips are meant to break barriers and give travellers a richer understanding of how women live (and the challenges they face) in other countries, including India, Iran, Morocco, Jordan and Peru.

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Alabama women’s basketball vs Troy in 2022 WNIT: Live updates, score

Alabama women’s basketball will travel to Troy for the first round of the 2022 WNIT first round on Thursday. 

The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPN 3. Alabama is on a 14-game winning streak in the matchup. 

The Crimson Tide (17-13) are coming off a 74-59 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. Megan Abrams led the way with 19 points and four rebounds and Allie Craig Cruce had 12 points. 

The Trojans (24-8) are coming off a 76-61 loss in the Sun Belt Tournament championship game to UT-Arlington. Troy was led by Felmas Koranga with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Tina Stephens with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

SEC Tournament: Alabama women’s basketball bad shooting night leads to SEC Tournament loss to Lady Vols

Tournament: WNIT basketball tournament 64-team field, including matchups, dates and times

Brittany Davis: Alabama women’s basketball leading scorer Brittany Davis balances motherhood with playing

Alabama women’s basketball vs. Troy live updates

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From feminist movies to female-only travel: Here’s how to celebrate international women’s day

Tuesday 8 March is International Women’s Day and to mark the occasion there are events happening right across Europe. This year’s theme is ‘break the bias’ calling on countries and individuals to stand up against gender bias whenever they see it.

Designated an international day by the UN in 1975, many countries already celebrated long before that. While women only get a day’s worth of celebration in most countries, in the UK, US and Australia, they get the whole month of March.

So if you want to champion the amazing women in your life, how can you get involved?

In Italy, the traditional gift given to women during ‘Festa della Donna’ is a sprig of mimosa flowers. Two Italian activists, Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei, came up with the gesture back in 1946 as a way to show mutual respect and support for the women in their lives. The flowers – which are some of the only ones to bloom in Italy in winter – are passed between women to mark the occasion.

Here are some other ways to celebrate women in March and beyond.

International Women’s Month events in London

If you’re in London, there are lots of great events happening across the capital. Look Up London are running guided walks from the 5 to- 20 March, telling inspiring stories of London’s women. So whether you want to learn about the women of Bloomsbury or the history of the suffragettes, you’re bound to find something you love.

And if that gets you in the political mood, you can join the International Women’s Day of Climate Action, a protest taking place in Parliament Square on 8 March.

The ever-popular WOW Women of the World Festival is taking place at the Southbank Centre from the 11 to 13 March too. This year you can expect talks from the likes of Bridget Christie, Bernardine Evaristo and a focus on gender equality across the world.

Celebrate virtually

If you can’t make it to any of these events in person, there are virtual ways to celebrate too. The Cooperative Housing Federation of British Columbia, Canada is running a screening of the Margaret Atwood film, ‘A Word after a Word after a Word is Power’. The screening is free via zoom and you can sign up here.

Or you can join​​ Engender host author Professor Akwugo Emejulu and journalist Assa Samaké-Roman for a conversation about activism, resistance and Black feminism and Afrofeminism in Europe. You can find out more here.

Free streaming platform Filmzie has also put together a collection of films directed by women for UK and US viewers. Including horror movies and romantic dramas, there’s plenty to keep you entertained throughout the month of March. Look out for M.F.A, a feminist revenge thriller directed by award-winning director Natalia Leite.

Or book yourself in for an adventure…

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more extravagant, why not book yourself onto a female-only expedition? Intrepid Travel offers a range of all-female adventures, from a trek around Morocco to a tour of Peru. Here you’ll learn how Peruvian women live and explore the spectacular Machu Picchu.

For fans of the great outdoors, there are some amazing women-only tours in Scotland too. Wilderness Scotland runs cycling holidays of the country’s most stunning national parks, as well as wilderness walking retreats and sea kayaking adventures.

You can find a full schedule of International Women’s Day events here.

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