SEATTLE (AP) Taylor Greenfield and her Stanford teammates were hoping for another shot at Arizona State after the Sun Devils became the first team since 1988 to sweep the Cardinal in the regular season.
Stanford made the most of Round 3 and will get its chance at an 11th Pac-12 Conference tournament title.
Amber Orrange scored 18 points, Greenfield’s driving basket with 44 seconds left gave Stanford the lead for good and the No. 19 Cardinal held off No. 9 Arizona State 59-56 on Saturday night in the Pac-12 semifinals.
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”I get so excited for tournaments,” Greenfield said. ”I was praying that we would get to play ASU again, especially just in general they’re a fun team to play, but because we’ve lost to them twice. I know everyone was excited, but I was ready. I was so pumped for this game.”
Orrange scored 15 points in the first half and was part of Stanford’s decisive run midway through the second half that turned a four-point lead into a 13-point advantage.
Orrange, Bonnie Samuelson and Briana Roberson all knocked down 3-pointers as Stanford (23-9) took a 50-37 lead. The Cardinal needed every bit of that cushion as Arizona State rallied to take a 56-55 lead with 2:19 left. Greenfield’s basket proved to be the winner as part of wild final minute filled with fouls, turnovers, blocked shots and Elisha Davis’ 3-point attempt to tie at the buzzer falling short.
Greenfield finished with 17 points including a key offensive rebound and free throw with 10 seconds left after Kaylee Johnson split her free throw attempts.
Sophie Brunner led Arizona State (27-5) with 14 points.
”I’m just really proud of the day when we were really off and they were really on, how we fought back and gave ourselves a chance to win,” Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said.
Arizona State snapped a 16-game losing streak to Stanford, winning on the road in January, and became the first conference team to sweep the Cardinal in the regular season since 1988 when the Sun Devils won 53-52 at home in early February.
Wearing their road uniforms for the first time in Pac-12 tournament history, the Cardinal leaned on Orrange and Greenfield in the first half and got contributions from a host of others to go up by 13.
That’s when Arizona State got going. Down 50-37, the Sun Devils scored 14 of the next 16 points. The Sun Devils pulled within 52-51 on Davis’ 3-pointer with 3:59 left. Samuelson answered with a deep 3 as the shot clock was about to expire, but Davis hit another 3 out of a timeout. After a Stanford offensive foul, Katie Hempen’s two free throws gave Arizona State a 56-55 lead with 2:19 left.
Kelsey Moos missed a chance to extend Arizona State’s lead and Greenfield scored to put Stanford back ahead. Arizona State went to Brunner, but her shot was blocked by Johnson and went out of bounds to Stanford.
With only one team foul, Arizona State committed five fouls over 7 seconds, but as they attempted to commit the sixth and put Stanford in the bonus, Samuelson lost the ball out of bounds. The Sun Devils went to Davis, but her shot in the lane was blocked by Johnson. She was fouled and hit the first free throw before missing the second that was rebounded by Greenfield.
”Credit us for staying with things and getting the ball in when we had to, going to the free-throw line and making some free throws when we had to,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. ”… We’ve played in a lot of close games this year, and I think our team showed some really good poise.”
Stanford: The Cardinal committed 17 fouls in the second half and until the final minute Arizona State had been called for only one. Stanford shot just five free throws.
Arizona State: Hempen, the Sun Devils’ leading scorer, was held to five points.
Stanford: The Cardinal will face rival California in the tournament title game Sunday.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils await their NCAA tournament seed and will likely host first and second round games.