Pick 6: Players to know in the NCAA women's tournament
The clock's counting down and the game's tied. Advancing or getting knocked out of the NCAA Tournament comes down to one final possession. Every coach knows who they want to have the ball.
There's no doubt that Breanna Stewart would be the one to take the final shot for Connecticut if it were ever in a close game. Jewell Loyd is Notre Dame's star and would certainly take the final shot for Muffet McGraw's team.
Maybe it's not a shot that's needed.
Baylor's Niya Johnson and Iowa's Samantha Logic are two of the best in the country at getting the ball to their teammates in a great position to score. Need to secure a late board? Minnesota would definitely expect Amanda Zahui B. to grab it.
Here are six others players that could be called upon at crunch time in the NCAA Tournament:
MORIAH JEFFERSON: While Stewart has been the force for the Huskies in her first two seasons at UConn, her classmate has made the biggest improvements. Geno Auriemma's point guard plays tenacious defense, is lightning quick and has been a sparkplug for the No. 1 team in the country. Jefferson averages 12 points to go along with her 4.8 assists. She also doesn't make too many mistakes - turning the ball over less than twice a game. Jefferson's really improved her outside shot, hitting 50 percent from behind the arc this season.
NINA DAVIS: No school has lost more in the past two years to graduation then probably Baylor with Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims in the WNBA now. No problem for coach Kim Mulkey with the emergence of Davis. She might be the best rebounder under 6-feet in the country. The 5-foot-1 sophomore averaged 21.1 points and 8.4 rebounds to help the Lady Bears win another Big 12 title.
LEXIE BROWN: Brenda Frese's sophomore guard has stepped out of the shadow of her father, former NBA star Dee Brown. Lexie Brown helped guide Maryland to an undefeated Big Ten season in the school's first year in the conference. The point guard averaged 13.7 points and 4.7 assists for the Terps this season.
LETICIA ROMERO: Christmas came early for Florida State coach Sue Semrau when the NCAA ruled the sophomore transfer was eligible to play just before the holiday. Romero has made her presence felt for Florida State this season, averaging 10 points, five rebounds and five assists to help the Seminoles finish second in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Romero gained valuable experience playing for Spain in the world championship this past fall and she's not afraid of playing in a big game.
BLAKE DIETRICK: Princeton's senior guard has been instrumental in the Tigers undefeated season. She's the team's leading scorer at 14.9 points a game. She also averages just over five assists and 4.7 rebounds. The Ivy League player of the year has done it all for the Tigers. She's also the only member of the team to have a NCAA Tournament victory. Although that came with the Princeton lacrosse team last May in a win over Penn State. She'd like nothing better than to add to that with the school's first NCAA women's basketball win.
RUTH HAMBLIN: Oregon State's junior center is a huge presence in the middle. The 6-6 star averaged 12.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks to help the Beavers win the Pac-12 regular season title for the first time in school history. She anchors Scott Rueck's defense and hopes to carry the team to a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
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