SEATTLE (AP) Stanford rolled to an easy victory in its Pac-12 Tournament opener, which might give the Cardinal a leg up in the next round.
Karlie Samuelson had 21 points and 10th-ranked Stanford scored the first 21 points of the game on the way to a 66-36 win over Washington State in the quarterfinals Friday night.
”I thought we just came out and jumped on them,” said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, whose team had a first-round bye. ”We just came out really playing well and then we were able to get a lot of young players in the game.”
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Stanford (26-5), which did not have a starter who played more than 27 minutes, advanced to Saturday’s semifinals against Oregon, a 70-69 winner over No. 11 Washington.
The Cardinal improved to 62-0 against Washington State, which missed its first 11 field goal attempts and showed the effects of a hard-fought, 79-78 victory over Colorado the previous night.
”I think that any time you get down like 16-0, it’s probably very discouraging,” VanDerveer said. ”Missing shots, blocked shots. I really felt that our team playing our first night and their second night, we just really wanted to come out and run on them. We did. We got out to a really nice lead right from the get-go.”
Stanford was never threatened after its early outburst. The Cardinal led 26-8 after one quarter, 39-19 at halftime and 54-30 entering the final period.
”Obviously, they came in well-rested, really had scouted us very well,” Washington State coach June Daugherty said. ”Took us out of a lot of things defensively. We were struggling very much to score and, you know, it took us a while, but I thought we got back on track in the second quarter. Obviously, it’s just not enough.”
Brittany McPhee added 12 points for Stanford, which shot 46 percent – including 9 of 21 from beyond the arc.
Ivana Kmetovska had 10 points for Washington State (12-19), which was 0 of 16 from 3-point range after going 10 for 17 in the win over Colorado.
Washington State: The Cougars were 5-2 before three of their top players went down with injuries. Borislava Hirstova (14.7 points per game) has been out since Dec. 8 with a broken foot, Louise Brown (10.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) has been sidelined since Dec. 2, also with a broken foot, and Chanelle Molina (12.8 ppg, 3.7 apg) has been out since Jan. 13 with a torn ACL.
Stanford: The Cardinal have won 11 of the 15 Pac-12 Tournament titles. Of the ranked teams remaining in the event, Stanford has lost twice to sixth-ranked Oregon State, split with No. 15 UCLA and defeated 11th-ranked Washington.
Washington State: After tying California for seventh place in the Pac-12 at 6-12, Washington State could still receive the league’s automatic qualifier bid to the WNIT. The top team from the conference that does not make the NCAA Tournament earns a spot in the WNIT.
Stanford: A semifinal matchup Saturday with Oregon.