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Texas A&M 63, Stanford 62

Aggies reach first title game

Last-second layup wipes out Stanford

Stanford had a short stay in its fourth straight Final Four, and that was upsetting to sophomore forward Mikaela Ruef. The Cardinal led by 10 with 6:01 left. Stanford had a short stay in its fourth straight Final Four, and that was upsetting to sophomore forward Mikaela Ruef. The Cardinal led by 10 with 6:01 left. (Mark Duncan/Associated Press)
By Michael Marot
Associated Press / April 4, 2011

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INDIANAPOLIS — Texas A&M’s defense was good enough to take down two No. 1 seeds.

The Aggies will find out tomorrow night if it’s good enough to win a national title.

Texas A&M rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final six minutes, and Sydney Colson drove the length of the floor and found Tyra White for a layup with 3.3 seconds left to give the Aggies a 63-62 victory over Stanford last night and its first trip to the championship game.

The thrilling finish included five lead changes in the final minute. After Sydney Carter stole Stanford’s final inbounds pass, the Aggies leapt for joy.

“It shows our competitiveness, our toughness, we love each other like sisters,’’ White said. “We weren’t just happy to be here, we wanted to win.’’

Beat Notre Dame, which defeated two-time defending champ Connecticut in the other semifinal, and Texas A&M (32-5) would leave Indianapolis with an improbable national championship.

White scored 18 points and All-American Danielle Adams had 16 for the Aggies. Stanford’s win streak ended at 27 games.

“Give credit,’’ Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. “Defense will win for you.’’

The Cardinal (33-3) were led by Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s 31 points and Jeanette Pohlen had 11, but they went home empty-handed from the Final Four for the fourth consecutive year.

None of those games were as exciting as this one, though.

Texas A&M trailed, 54-44, with 6:01 left. Adams started an 8-0 run with two free throws and Colson — who woozily went to the bench after running into a hard screen earlier in the half — finally gave Texas A&M a 59-58 lead by making two free throws with 53 seconds left.

Eighteen seconds later, Adams was called for a foul on Ogwumike. Adams got upset and started running toward the Aggies bench, with one of the referees telling her to calm down. Ogwumike made both shots to give Stanford a 60-59 lead.

Texas A&M came back with White’s layup with 19 seconds to go, only to have Ogwumike answer with a tough layup with nine seconds left that gave Stanford a 62-61 lead.

The Aggies, without a timeout, immediately got the ball to Colson, who raced up the floor and dished to the cutting White for the winner.

“It’s time to make history,’’ Colson said. “Forget that you’re tired and just push through it, and I think it’s exactly what we did.’’