High-seeded and No. 6 Stanford (28-4, 15-3 Pac-12) beat 9-seed Oregon (17-14, 7-11 Pac-12) 76-65 to advance to the semi-finals of the Pac-12 match in Las Vegas, Nev. Junior ahead Cameron Brink led the way in which together with her thirtieth profession double-double and senior ahead Fran Belibi was distinctive off the bench with double-digit rebounds as Stanford sailed previous the Geese with ease.
The Cardinal beat Oregon 62-54 of their one regular-season matchup when Brink exploded for a triple-double. However the Geese made a giant splash on the primary day of the Pac-12 match as they got here again to beat the Washington Huskies 52-50.
“We performed with lots of coronary heart,” mentioned Oregon head coach Kelly Graves. “I used to be glad till I spotted we’ve to play Stanford at present.”
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer — who entered the sport with a 53-6 Pac-12 match file — opted to make use of junior guard Agnes Emma-Nnopu as a starter as an alternative of sophomore ahead Kiki Iriafen.
“We simply go together with who’s sizzling,” VanDerveer mentioned. “Lots of people are taking part in effectively off the bench.”
Within the first quarter, Brink put Stanford on the board early after rebounding a shot by senior guard Haley Jones. On the subsequent drive, after a journey name in opposition to Oregon, freshman guard Talana Lepolo had an offensive board and handed it again out to Brink who was despatched to the free-throw line. She transformed each pictures so as to add to Stanford’s fast begin. Oregon adopted with an prolonged possession which included a pair of offensive rebounds however finally the ball was misplaced and Stanford got here away with it.
Senior guard Hannah Bounce — one of many nation’s most feared shooters from deep — was fouled on her first triple try and made all three makes an attempt. The Geese lastly received on the board after 4 and a half minutes and have been then unfortunate on the different finish when Jones’ shot was blocked however the ball fell fortuitously again into her arms and she or he scored on the second try.
Oregon had dedicated 4 turnovers within the sport’s opening minutes however decreased its deficit with its first 3-pointer of the afternoon and a pair of free throws after a foul referred to as on Jones. Stanford proceeded to go 1-for-11 on their subsequent discipline purpose makes an attempt, however the Geese couldn’t capitalize as they continued to overlook 3-pointers. Stanford then stopped the bleeding when Bounce hit her first three to revive confidence to the Cardinal gamers.
Because the quarter wound down and fatigue set in, Jones drove the size of the court docket, and though her layup missed, freshman heart Lauren Betts fought off two defenders to safe the rebound and draw the foul, from which she made each free throws. Stanford threatened to tug away as freshman guard Indya Nivar made a darting minimize to the basket and was discovered with a sensible bounce cross, however her layup was blocked emphatically by Oregon. The primary quarter ended 16-9 to Stanford.
Oregon began the second quarter taking part in tight protection across the basket, however their form left Brink with a wide-open shot from midrange, which she dispatched coolly. Belibi had a high quality efficiency from the second she entered the sport, illustrating her hustle when she secured a uncommon Jones airball and reset the offense, culminating in one other basket for Brink. The Cardinal had now scored 13 second-chance factors earlier than the midway level of the second quarter, in contrast with simply 4 for Oregon.
Stanford amassed a double-digit lead after consecutive baskets from behind the arc, the primary after Lepolo was present in acres of house, and the second being Bounce’s trademark split-second 3-point shot. Oregon’s main scorer in Wednesday’s match victory over Washington, guard Endyia Rogers, scored her first basket, however Brink responded immediately to enter double digits on factors.
Stanford’s smothering protection was on full show and compelled the Geese right into a shot clock violation as a part of a four-minute Oregon scoring drought. Offensively, Stanford was equally relentless, out-rebounding Oregon 15-6. When the Geese did lastly rating, Betts drew a foul whereas making the shot in retaliation. With seconds left within the half, Oregon made a deep shot to reduce the injury completed by Stanford’s late surge. However, the half ended with Stanford in management, main 37-24.
“[Let’s] preserve doing what we’re doing,” VanDerveer mentioned. “A number of totally different individuals are contributing.”
Emma-Nnopu reentered the sport in the beginning of the third quarter after taking part in simply 5 minutes within the opening half. She justified her inclusion by sinking a 3 to offer Stanford prompt momentum. An important second then adopted, as Brink picked up her third private foul and was benched. However the lack of Brink was not felt instantly and after a affected person buildup, Lepolo fed Emma-Nnopu, who scored one other three.
Step by step, Oregon got here again into the sport as Stanford started to show the ball over extra and was much less imposing with out Brink. Regardless of 2 extra factors from Emma-Nnopu, Stanford fell sufferer to a 9-2 Oregon run in simply 90 seconds and the lead was slashed to simply 6 factors, the Cardinal’s slimmest benefit since early within the first quarter. Nivar alleviated some strain as she got here away with the ball; she drove one on one and compelled the foul, however missed each free throws.
Oregon had the momentum within the closing 90 seconds however it continued to overlook pictures and its momentum stalled. A pointless offensive foul compounded the Geese’ distress as Stanford entered the bonus and Belibi made each. Stanford held Oregon defensively and ran the final play, from which Lepolo sunk one other 3-pointer. Oregon — after narrowing the deficit to inside touching distance — tailed off and Stanford reasserted itself to amass a 13-point lead. The third quarter ended 58-45 in Stanford’s favor.
Within the fourth quarter, the Geese got here out capturing from vary as they tried to shut the hole. This left holes of their defensive form for Stanford’s playmakers to use, and Jones discovered Belibi with a long-range cross, which she proceeded to put within the basket. Oregon sought to boost the depth however Stanford did an assured job of slowing the sport down on offense to see the sport out. Tactically, Jones undertook a higher proportion of ball-handling as Lepolo’s 3-point shot had been so efficient to date.
Oregon guard Te-Hina Paopao then scored her career-best seventh triple to maintain Oregon inside 10 factors. However as Oregon shot from deep, Stanford was glad to seek out seems to be underneath the basket, scoring 28 factors from throughout the paint in comparison with Oregon’s 12. Quickly after, Belibi’s wayward free throw was rebounded by Brink — her tenth of the day — as she had yet one more double-double.
Oregon was working out of steam after its intense battle on Wednesday however continued to point out flashes of remarkable transition offense as Rogers drove up the court docket and drew a foul after Brink’s effort was blocked. On the subsequent possession, although, Brink was extra profitable, spinning and scoring to succeed in 22 factors to steer her crew; Brink was second solely to Paopao in scoring, who managed 28 factors in an unimaginable particular person show.
With lower than a minute left, Oregon was compelled to foul the Cardinal after which shoot from distance. However the stoppages solely delayed Stanford’s jubilant celebrations. The sport ended 76-65 as Stanford received to advance to the Pac-12 semifinals.
On an evening when Oregon restricted Jones to eight factors, different members of the Cardinal bench needed to step up, particularly Belibi and Betts.
“We went to the bench and other people responded,” VanDerveer mentioned. “Fran Belibi helped us so much.”
“For me, it’s kinda about supporting my teammates and being the perfect teammate, chief and individual I may be,” Belibi mirrored on her efficiency.
Subsequent up, Stanford will face fifth-seeded No. 19 UCLA (24-8, 11-7 Pac-12). The Bruins beat Arizona 73-59 within the first spherical of the match. Tip-off is about for six p.m. PT from Las Vegas.