legends of the Women's College Basketball Tournament

Each year, players enter the tournament, dreaming of their one shining moment. The tourney is where legends are made — on any given night, any given player can shine. Here are 10 of the most legendary individual performances in the history of this epic tournament.

Janice Lawrence-Braxton

Louisiana Tech


Janice Lawrence-Braxton led the Lady Techsters to the first-ever Women’s Basketball Championship in 1982. Despite only being a sophomore, Lawrence-Braxton led the entire tournament in scoring, averaging 17.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Lawrence-Braxton won Most Outstanding Player in the inaugural tourney, and she continued to improve her game from there, upping her scoring average in the following two years to 22 points per game.

Lorri Bauman



Lorri Bauman etched her name into the record books in 1982 when she scored 50 points in a tournament game - the most points ever scored by a player in a single tournament game. Bauman led Drake to the semifinals at the first-ever women's tournament and dropped a fifty-piece against Maryland. Although her team didn’t win the game, Bauman’s record still stands today.

Cheryl Miller

University of Southern California


Cheryl Miller is one of the best basketball players of all time. Miller led the Trojans to back-to-back national championships in 1983 and 1984 and was named Most Outstanding Player both years. Miller shined exceptionally bright in the Women's Tournament, averaging 20.8 points per game over the four years she played for USC. Many of her USC records still stand today, including career points scored (3,018), scoring average (22.3 ppg), career rebounds (1,534), and made free throws (700).

Chamique Holdsclaw



Chamique Holdsclaw led the Tennessee Lady Vols to three consecutive championship titles — the first school to ever win three in a row. The 1998 squad was also the first team to go undefeated, finishing with a 39-0 record on the season. Holdsclaw was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament in both 1997 and 1998.  In the ‘97, ‘98, and ‘99 tournaments, she averaged over 24 points. Holdsclaw became the all-time leading scorer in the SEC - a record she still holds today with 3,025 career points.

Candace Parker



Candace Parker ushered a new generation of fans into the game when she and the Lady Vols squad won back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008. Parker did a little bit of everything, scoring from all over the floor and throwing down the first dunk in the women’s tournament history. But one wasn’t enough for Parker, who slammed another dunk home just twenty minutes later (complete with an immediately iconic tongue-out celebration). Parker has gone on to become one of the most legendary players in the game, winning three WNBA Championships, two WNBA MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals amidst a long list of well-deserved accolades.

Brittney Griner



Following in Candace Parker’s footsteps, Brittney Griner entered stepped onto the scene and became one of the best players in college basketball. Griner holds the record for most blocked shots in a tournament game with 14 rejections against Georgetown in 2010. She also became the second woman to ever dunk in the tournament. In 2012, Griner led the Baylor Bears to the championship after she poured in 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Notre Dame couldn’t stop Griner, as she and the Bears trucked their way to a blowout 80-61 win to secure the championship — and Griner’s Most Outstanding Player award.

Breanna Stewart

University of Connecticut


Breanna Stewart had one of the greatest collegiate basketball careers the world has ever seen. No player other than Stewie can say they won four straight championship titles AND four straight Most Outstanding Player awards. On top of that, UConn went undefeated in two of those seasons, going 40-0 in 2014 and 38-0 in 2016. Dominant doesn’t even begin to describe the run Stewie and the Huskies went on from 2012-2016, and she’s enjoyed just as much success at the professional level. Stewart has won two WNBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, and two WNBA MVP awards — and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Morgan William

Mississippi State


At this point in tournament history, UConn had seemingly taken over college basketball, boasting a 111-game win streak. Enter Morgan William, a 5’5” point guard from Mississippi State, who led MSU to the tournament each year of her collegiate career and gets credit for one of the most shocking upsets in tournament history. MSU faced the Huskies in the 2017 Final Four, and as William’s last-second buzzer-beater dropped, the door closed on UConn’s hopes of another national championship. Williams was the second-leading scorer for MSU in the game, pouring in 13 points – though none were more critical than the record-snapping shot that sent her squad to the championship.

A'ja Wilson

University of South Carolina


In 2017, A’ja Wilson took the Gamecocks all the way to the tournament title, setting a few records along the way. In the first round of the tourney, South Carolina beat UNC Asheville, 90-40, the largest margin of victory in SC’s tournament history. In the finals, Wilson snagged 19 rebounds. The real treat would come in the championship, where Wilson scored 23 points and snagged ten rebounds to lift the Gamecocks over Mississippi State and bring the first of many championships to South Carolina and head coach Dawn Staley.

arike ogunbowale

Notre Dame


Scoring a buzzer-beater once in the women's tournament is an epic feat. Doing it twice in the same tournament? Now, that’s something very few players can claim. Despite an injury-depleted roster, Arike Ogunbowale and the Fighting Irish worked their way into the 2018 finals, only to face the perennial powerhouse in UConn. With just over two seconds left in OT, Ogunbowale hit an unforgettable buzzer-beater to send Notre Dame to the championship. A few days later in the title bout, Notre Dame and Ogunbowale found themselves in a similar position. With three seconds on the clock and the game tied at 58, the Irish inbounded the ball to Ogunbowale — who sunk another breathtaking shot, sealing the championship and catapulting Ogunbowale into a household name.