No. 4 Stanford 73, Michigan 40

On the eve of Joslyn Tinkle’s final home game, coach Tara

VanDerveer sent the Stanford senior a text message and reminded her

it would be a special night.

Tinkle’s sharp shooting made it one of the best all season for

the top-seeded Cardinal.

”It was kind of one of those days when you wake up and you feel

good,” Tinkle said.

She connected for a career-high five 3-pointers on the way to 21

points in her last hurrah at Maples Pavilion, and the Cardinal used

a spectacular perimeter shooting performance to rout No. 8 seed

Michigan 73-40 on Tuesday night for a spot in the Spokane Regional

semifinals.

For months, VanDerveer has been challenging Tinkle and

Stanford’s supporting cast to take the pressure off Chiney

Ogwumike.

”Before the game, emotions were high and energy was insane,”

Tinkle said. ”We played really well and had fun doing it. It’s

really what we needed to keep advancing in this tournament. It’s

something we’ve tried to strive for and push for all season. It

can’t just be the Chiney show every night.”

Still, Ogwumike wound up with 12 points and 15 rebounds in a

game when the Cardinal’s shooters did their part just as VanDerveer

has been hoping they would.

Sara James shut down Michigan star Kate Thompson and scored nine

points, and Stanford (33-2) won its 19th straight game to set up a

matchup with fourth-seeded Georgia on Saturday and move a step

closer to the program’s goal of a sixth straight Final Four.

”It was just a collective sigh of relief,” Ogwumike said. ”As

a post player, this is the best thing, having guards hitting shots.

We’re so unselfish, almost to a fault. I think it was a great

moment for our team, a great confidence booster. We’ve always had

great shooters.”

Jenny Ryan scored 11 points in her final college game to lead

Michigan (22-11), which matched its second-lowest scoring output

all season.

Tinkle, Stanford’s lone senior, shot 7 for 10 and made all of

her 3-point attempts as the Cardinal hit a season-best 12 3s. She

also had six rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Tinkle’s father, Wayne, the Montana men’s coach, cheered her in

person while former Stanford star Candice Wiggins offered a

”Joslyn Tinkle!” shout out via Twitter.

Spokane is a comfortable Northwest second home for Stanford

considering the Cardinal played there in the 2008 NCAA regional and

again in 2011 – and now this season, too.

Ogwumike will lead them back.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year scored 29 points in a hard-fought

72-56 first-round win against No. 16 seed Tulsa on Sunday, when

Stanford used a 48-point and 65.5-percent shooting second half to

advance.

While Ogwumike set the tone on the boards Tuesday, she watched

the shooters get on an early roll that lasted all 40 minutes.

”Obviously, she’s a superstar, but the rest of them are great

basketball players as well,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said.

”If they continue to play that way, they can challenge for the

national championship.”

Stanford made seven of its first 11 3-pointers and finished 12

for 25 while holding one of the nation’s best long-range shooters –

Thompson – in check on the other end. The Cardinal shot 53.8

percent overall to 29.2 percent by the Wolverines, and Stanford

held a 35-22 rebounding advantage.

Bonnie Samuelson came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3s late

in the first half, and Tinkle’s 3-pointer at the 14:09 mark of the

second half put Stanford up by 30.

Even when the Wolverines had high-percentage scoring chances,

they struggled. During one sequence early in the second half, Sam

Arnold missed a layup, grabbed her own rebound and missed

again.

Cold-shooting Michigan, which beat ninth-seeded Villanova 60-52

in the first round, couldn’t overcome Thompson being thoroughly

shut down.

The 6-foot-4 wing player, with her 14.5-point average and

39.3-percent shooting from 3-point range, missed her first 10

shots, making five free throws before hitting her lone basket with

3:41 to play. She was 1 for 11 overall and missed all six of her

3-point tries.

James knew that if she even allowed a single 3, ”I was coming

out.”

”I knew it was my job,” she said.

Barnes Arico was sent home in the second round by Stanford for

the second time in three years. Her St. John’s team lost 75-49 on

the Cardinal’s home floor in 2011.

This time, Stanford overpowered Michigan on both ends to win its

eighth straight home game in the NCAA tournament since a stunning

second-round defeat to Florida State in 2007.

”Oh my goodness, golly, it wasn’t easy, on their home court and

the last game for some,” Barnes Arico said. ”Tinkle, she was on

fire in her last game.”

The Wolverines’ starting lineup featuring four seniors couldn’t

pull off the same kind of upset the school’s volleyball team did at

Berkeley in December to deny the favored Cardinal a trip to the

Final Four.

Stanford made five of its initial eight shots and jumped to an

early 6-2 edge on the boards – five by Ogwumike alone – for a 13-5

lead at the 14:36 mark of the first half.

From the opening tip, Thompson faced swarming defense from James

with and without the ball and struggled to get shots, let alone

uncontested looks. Thompson airballed her first 3-point try from

the baseline as the Wolverines began the game 3 for 10, and

Stanford had already hit four 3s and made eight of 11 shots to take

a 21-7 lead.

Thompson shot another airball under pressure early in the second

half and quickly missed again from long range on the left wing.

Former Stanford stars Jayne Appel and Brooke Smith were in

attendance to see their old team improve to 28-4 overall at home in

the tournament.