By: Joe Lami
The Stanford Cardinal started what they are hoping to be a long NCAA Tournament run on Saturday afternoon with a win. They defeated the South Dakota Coyotes by the final score of 81-62. The Cardinal were given a number two seed after they were defeated by USC in the semi-finals of the Pac-12 tournament. Their opponent, South Dakota, earned the 15-seed after they won the Summit Conference Tournament. The Coyotes also had a record of 19-14 coming into the contest.
South Dakota held the game close for the first seven minutes of the game, and actually held a two point lead at the 17:56 mark, but at the 13-minute the Cardinal gained the lead and they kept it for the rest of the game. The Cardinal led the game 42-27 going into the halftime break. They then outscored the Coyotes 39-35 in the second half to earn the 81-62 victory.
It was a huge day for Senior star Chiney Ogwumike, as she became the all-time Pac-12 leading scorer in the contest. She only need one-point to gain the feat, as she finished the last contest tied with Candice Wiggins. Ogwumike finished the game with 22 points, and eight rebounds in the 35 minutes played. She led all scorers in the effort.
Bonnie Samuelson came off of the bench to tie her career high, as the Junior Guard sunk six of ten shots from beyond the arc to net 18 points. Lili Thompson scored 11 points and brought down six rebounds in her first NCAA Tournament contest. She also went 50% from three-point land, as she went three of six from beyond the arc. Amber Orrange was the other Stanford player to get into double digits in scoring, as she finished the game with ten points.
South Dakota had a bright spot in the loss, as Nicole Seekamp finished the game with 22 points, shooting 9 of 13 from the field. She also finished the game with five rebounds.
Stanford only has one more team in front of them before they can return to their home court, Maples Pavilion, as part of Regionals. The tenth seed Florida State Seminoles will be the Cardinal’s next opponent, as they defeated Iowa State on their home floor earlier Saturday 55-44. The Round of 32 contest is set for Monday at 3:30 PST.