No. 2 Stanford comes from behind to defeat Cal 71-57 in Pac-12 quarterfinal

Updated Mar. 7, 2024 9:17 p.m. ET

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kiki Iriafen scored 28 points and grabbed 18 rebounds and No. 2 Stanford beat California 71-57 in a Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday.

The Cardinal (27-4), who fell behind by nine in the first half, erased a 36-28 halftime deficit by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter.

Leading by just two after three quarters, Stanford scored the first nine points in the fourth quarter and used a 19-4 run to widen its lead to 17 and seize control.

“I think just tournaments are very exciting, the idea of you only have one game, you have to prove yourself in one game,” said Iriafen, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter. “But I think my teammates got me the ball really well. They’re always pouring into me, giving me a lot of energy, a lot of confidence.”


Iriafen, who had her 15th double-double this season, became the first Stanford player with at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in a Pac-12 Tournament game since Chiney Ogwumike did it against USC in the 2014 semifinals.

Elena Bosgana tied a career-high with 16, and Cameron Brink registered her 17th double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Talana Lepolo chipped in 12 for the Cardinal.

California (17-14) was led by Marta Suarez with 14 points before fouling out.

Cal also lost starting forward Michelle Onyiah midway through the third quarter after getting tangled up with Brink and taking a hard shot to her face.

The loss of Onyiah gave Iriafen more freedom in the paint.

“That really hurt us,” Cal coach Charmin Smith said. “We didn’t have the same type of pressure on (Iriafen) with Michelle being out, and she started getting some of those jumpers, which are deadly. She is a force to be reckoned with.”

Stanford’s poor shooting in the first half allowed Cal to keep the Cardinal at bay. It didn’t help that Brink picked up her third foul midway through the second quarter.

Stanford shot just 32.3% from the floor in the first two quarters, but the Golden Bears hit 15 of 33 (45.5%) from the field, including 5 of 12 (41.7%) from 3-point range. The Cardinal struggled from long range, missing 12 of 15 from beyond the arc in the half.

“I didn’t think I would be very happy at halftime sitting here,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “But second half our team really stepped up. And I thought Kiki really led the way with just rebounding, staying in the game, not fouling, knocking down shots.”


California: The Golden Bears, who were on pace to hold Stanford to 56 after limiting it to 28 first-half points, were 14-0 this season when holding opponents to 60 or fewer points.

Stanford: The Cardinal improved to 9-0 all-time when playing Cal in the Pac-12 Tournament.


California: Will await word from the selection committee with hopes of getting an invite to the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford: Will play No. 13 Oregon State in a semifinal on Friday.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here


AP women’s college basketball: and