In the team’s first game of the PAC-10 tournament following a double-bye, Stanford blew out Arizona, 100-71. Friday afternoon’s game in Los Angeles’s Staples Center was the first of two tournament semi-finals, the second of which pitted second-seeded UCLA against Cal.
Stanford scored 100 points for just the third time this season, and the first since facing Washington State on February 10. No Cardinal made a greater contribution than did Nneka Ogwumike, whose 32 points led all players while her 10 rebounds put her behind only her little sister, Chiney, for the game high. Chiney also recorded a double-double by scoring 21 and rebounding 13. It appears that Nneka’s ankle has returned to 100% health and looks to be ready for NCAA tournament play. Chiney left the game in the second period after taking a blow to the mouth, but returned soon after without any noticeable injury.
Senior forward Kayla Pedersen (16 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) and Sarah Boothe (12 points, 3 rebounds) rounded out Stanford’s double-digit scorers. The Card shot an outstanding 59% from the field as a team, and outdid Arizona in virtually every significant statistic.
Arizona did have 4 players score in double digits. Soana Lucet led the Wildcats with 17 points, while Ify Ibekwe (15 points), Davellyn Whyte (12 points), and Brooke Jackson (10 points) followed close behind in the scoring column. Ibekwe, Arizona’s best player and the PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year, committed two fouls within the game’s first 4:30 and played only 24 minutes.
Arizona got 63 points from its starting five, but freshman Erica Barnes (8 points, team-high 6 rebounds) was the only Arizona bench player who scored, and the team shot only 39% from the floor. The 29-point losing margin constitutes an improvement for the Wildcats, who lost to Stanford by 33 on January 6 and by 30 on February 5. Arizona, which won two tournament games to earn the right to play Stanford in the semi-final, finishes the season with a 12-9 mark against PAC-10 opponents.
Stanford will move on to the final, which will take place on Saturday at 11:30 AM in the Staples Center. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Net.