No. 7 Stanford beats No. 14 Oregon State in Pac-12 tourney

NCAA Women's Basketball

LAS VEGAS (AP)Stanford swept its regular-season series with Oregon State, winning by a total of six points – each three-point victories.

Friday night in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals, Stanford came out swinging against the Beavers, opening a 25-10 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

Kiana Williams scored 23 points to lead No. 7 Stanford to a wire-to-wire 68-56 win over No. 14 Oregon State.

But Oregon State didn’t make things easy on Stanford late, as it carved into a 16-point deficit with an 8-0 run and trailed 64-56 with 2:58 left in the contest.

”I thought we came out of the gate fast … I thought it was really important,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. ”But at the end, I thought our team was trying to make it a three-point game again. I was like, ‘Wait a minute, you know, hey we don’t have to do that.”’

Williams put an end to Oregon State’s rally with 1:02 left by hitting two free throws to push Stanford’s lead back to 10, and the Cardinal was never threatened the rest of the way.

Stanford (25-5) will meet UCLA in Saturday’s semifinal. The Bruins beat the Cardinal, 79-69, in the lone regular season meeting on Feb. 7.

Stanford advanced to the semifinal round for the 17th time after improving to 17-1 in the quarterfinals. Stanford, which is 16-1 in the semifinal round, is 46-5 all-time at the event and has won 13 of the 18 titles.

Maya Dodson and Lacie Hull each added 10 points for Stanford, the defending Pac-12 Tournament champion.

The Beavers (23-8) were led by Aleah Goodman and Destiny Slocum, who each scored 12 points. Mikayla Pivec had 10 points for Oregon State.

After a stellar offensive performance in Thursday’s 82-55 quarterfinal win over Washington State, the Beavers never found their footing against Stanford’s stringent defense.

Oregon State went into the locker room at halftime on Thursday with a 53-28 lead. Friday night against the Cardinal, the Beavers didn’t get to the 53-point plateau until the 4:44 mark of the fourth quarter.

”I just love the fight and the tenacity to get back into this game,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. ”That just speaks volumes about who these people are and I’m proud of them.”

The Cardinal improved to 46-0 when it holds its opponent under 70 in the event.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon State: Kat Tudor had a rough turnaround in her second game of the tournament. After shooting 7 for 9 from the floor, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range, in Thursday’s opening round against Washington State, the 6-foot senior struggled against Stanford’s defense and finished with just 5 points on 2-of-3 shooting.

Stanford: A win in the semifinal round, and an Oregon victory over Arizona, would pit the Ducks and Stanford in the championship for a third straight year, and fourth time in five years.

TOP FOUR

With No. 2 seed UCLA and the third-seeded Cardinal meeting in one semifinal, and No. 1 seed Oregon facing No. 4 seed Arizona, it marks the first time the top four seeds are in the Pac 12 semifinals since 2013.

RECORD BREAKER

With Pivec’s third rebound of the game, she became the school’s all-time leading rebounder, which is quite an accomplishment considering she is a 5-foot-9 guard. The senior from Lynwood, Washington, finished with six rebounds to give her 1,034 in her career.

CORONA SCARE

With the coronavirus concern sweeping the nation, Stanford announced earlier this week it would limit 150 spectators to each Stanford athletic event. Friday night the school announced it would cancel in-person classes on Monday. The Cardinal are in line to host an opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and VanDerveer said she has faith in the administration to make the right call.

”We have terrific leadership at Stanford, and we all have confidence in the leadership at Stanford, and we’re going with their – we know that our best interest is why they’re making these decisions. So we’re just going to wait and see what happens, and hopefully none of our team or none of our staff gets sick,” she said.

UP NEXT

Oregon State: Awaits its NCAA Tournament bid.

Stanford: Will face UCLA in Saturday night’s semifinal round.

More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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