No. 2 Stanford 64, California 44
Given all that Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer has
accomplished during her 31 years at the school, her players will
get a rare opportunity to make history when the Cardinal tries for
their fourth straight Pac-10 Conference tournament title.
Second-ranked Stanford will attempt to become the first Pac-10
team to go undefeated in the regular season and win the league
tournament championship on Sunday.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 18 points and 10 rebounds as top-seeded
Stanford routed Cal 64-44 in the semifinals on Saturday.
“To have the opportunity to be her first team to go undefeated
and to win the Pac-10 tournament, I think would be something none
of us would ever forget and it would add to the legacy Tara has
built at Stanford,” said Stanford senior Jayne Appel.
The Bears also lost leading scorer Alexis Gray-Lawson, who was
taken away on a stretcher after landing awkwardly on her head with
5 minutes left. With Cal trailing by 26, Gray-Lawson landed
backwards and her head hit the court after she her shot was blocked
by Michelle Harrison. The senior lay motionless on the court for
about 15 minutes before being transported to a hospital.
Cal coach Joanne Boyle said Gray-Lawson was talkative and alert
before leaving on a stretcher and that she would be undergoing
She was averaging 17.9 points coming into the game for the Bears
(18-13), but finished with just four on 2-for-10 shooting.
“Just to see her laying down on the floor, it was kind of
scary,” Cal guard Natasha Vital said.
The top-seeded Cardinal never trailed and have reached the
tournament championship game every year since it started in
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude added 10 points for Stanford (30-1).
Gennifer Brandon had 10 points and nine rebounds for
The Cardinal advanced to play second-seeded UCLA in the finals
Stanford will be trying for its seventh Pac-10 tournament
championship in nine tries and its fourth straight.
VanDerveer has led Stanford to two NCAA championships, seven
Final Fours and 18 Pac-10 titles.
The Cardinal built on their 16-point halftime lead by outscoring
the Golden Bears 16-5 to start the second half. With the victory,
the Cardinal continued their dominance of the Golden Bears, having
now won 36 of the last 39 meetings.
“Our team came out, we were very focused and worked very hard
defensively,” VanDerveer said. “We did a better job in the second
half of rebounding and we got out running.”
Stanford won both regular season meetings against Cal by an
average of 18 points. The Cardinal methodically pulled away from
Cal by taking advantage of its size inside.
Ogwumike, who was the conference’s player of the year, scored 14
points on 6-of-8 shooting in the first half – including a
catch-and-shoot jumper off an inbounds pass with two seconds
The Cardinal shot 51.7 percent from the field and scored 20
points in the paint to take a 35-19 halftime lead.