The Lady Bears are stacked but their most important player is Griner, the 6-foot-8 superstar and shot-blocking machine who has dominated the college game.
The Irish are an experienced bunch led by point guard Skylar Diggins, whose steady leadership helped Notre Dame overcome a letdown in regulation to blitz the Huskies in overtime.
Both have terrific supporting casts that promise to make Tuesday night’s tipoff the culmination of an epic Final Four in which all four No. 1 seeds advanced to the semifinals for the first time in more than two decades.
Diggins scored 19 points and had a game-changing block in overtime to lead the Irish to their third win this year over UConn (33-5), which has lost four of its last five games against Notre Dame over the last 12 months.
With the Cardinal focused on stopping Griner, her supporting cast stepped up and took care of Stanford. Terran Condrey scored 13 points, Odyssey Simms added 11 and Destiny Williams pulled down 10 boards, eight of them off the defensive glass.
“We know they’ll double Griner, so the rest of us had to knock down some big shots,” said Jordan Madden, who scored nine points. “When we hit shots, it opens up the paint so we can get it into Griner.”
Griner made just three field goals, missing six others.
“We’re not the Brittney Griner show,” Mulkey said. “Brittney Griner is the face of women’s basketball, and she deserves to be, but this team is bigger than Brittney, she will tell you that.”
Sure enough, she did.
“I have all the trust in the world in my teammates,” Griner said. “Like you said, three field goals, and I was never worried. I knew my team, my guards, would step up and knock down shots.”
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
In a world that is increasingly complex, we need to seek greater awareness of the blending of cultures and America's changing role in a global community.
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
A mother of three and a passionate conservative, Shirley Husar changes the game.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention