On their home court and in front of a 90%-full Maples Pavilion crowd, Stanford took care of business by defeating the 16th-seeded UC-Davis, 86-59. The Big West champion Aggies performed admirably in the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance, and trailed by just 12 at halftime to the #2 team in America. Davis as a team shot 47% from the field and 43% from three, but proved no match for a Stanford team that ended the game with advantages in rebounding, blocked shots, assists, turnovers, fouls, and steals. And despite the underdog’s good shooting day, the Card were able to best even Davis’s shooting percentage by making 55% of their shots from the field and an outstanding 59% from three.
Although the Cardinal were never in real danger of losing, the three ball played a substantial role in their first 2011 Big Dance game. Stanford knocked down a year-high 13 threes, including 4 from starting guard Lindy La Rocque. La Rocque played one of her finest games of the year by recording 14 points (second only to Nneka Ogwumike‘s 22 for the team high) on 83% shooting in 11 minutes on the floor. Three other Stanford players–Kayla Pedersen, Jeanette Pohlen, and Toni Kokenis–each knocked down 3 shots from downtown.
Nneka led all scorers with 22 points, along with a game-high 7 rebounds. Every member of the Stanford starting line-up (Nneka, Chiney Ogwumike, Pedersen, Pohlen, and La Rocque) scored in double digits, while Kokenis also poured in 11 points in 25 minutes from the bench. Stanford put up 9 more shots than the Aggies did, and capitalized on an 11-rebound edge on their opponents. As the Card have done all season long, they again used their size and athleticism to outwork Davis in the low block, and kick balls outside the Aggie zone for good looks from behind the arc.
Senior Paige Mintun led all Aggies with 17 points, while tying with Ogwumike for a game0high 7 boards. Fellow senior Heidi Heintz (11 points, 3 assists) also put up double digits for UC-Davis.
Stanford will face St. John’s on Monday in Maples Pavilion at 6:40 Pacific. The 9th-seeded Red Storm used a strong second half to take out Texas Tech, 55-50, earlier in the afternoon. St. John’s last lost to DePaul, a team that beat Stanford in December, in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal on March 6. The game will be broadcast on either ESPN2 or ESPN3.com.