By: Joe Lami
The Stanford Cardinal will be returning to Maples Pavilion next weekend as they will be continue on to the Sweet Sixteen, after a victory over the Florida State Seminoles on Monday afternoon. The second-seeded Cardinal defeated the tenth-seeded Seminoles 63-44 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Seminoles grabbed an early seven-point lead, as they went on a 7-0 run to start the game in the first 1:52. It wasn’t until the 18:08 mark where Amber Orrange was able to get things started for Stanford with a field goal. The largest lead for Florida State was stretched to eight points at the 12:31 mark, when the Seminoles had the 14-6 lead. However, this is when the Cardinal were able to turn the game around, as Stanford went on a 26-2 run, including a 13-minute scoring drought for Florida State to end the half. Stanford went into halftime with a 32-16 lead.
Stanford would also control the second half as well, outscoring the Seminoles by three points to complete the victory.
All-time Pac-12 leading scorer, Chiney Ogwumike, led things for the Cardinal as she finished the game 8 of 11 from the field for 21 points. She ended the game just one rebound shy of the double double. Lili Thompson had another outstanding performance, as she contributed 14 points in the win, including a perfect 4 for 4 from the charity strike. Bonnie Samuelson completed the list of players that got into double figures, as she came off the bench to score 11, with nine points coming from beyond the arc.
Florida State was able to achieve something that few teams have been able to do against Stanford this season, and that is to out-rebound the Cardinal. The Seminoles won the rebound battle 35-32 with 12 of them coming on the offensive side of the glass. Natasha Howard, Brittany Brown and Kai James all finished the game with seven rebounds for FSU. Howard was also the Noles leading scorer, as she finished the game with nine points.
The Cardinal will be returning to the Sweet Sixteen for the seventh time in a row, and now they will be coming back to their home floor for possibly the next two games. Up next for the Cardinal will be the winner of Penn State and Florida, before what is expected to be an Elite Eight matchup with the number one seed in the region, South Carolina.