Rebels’ stingy defense ends Cardinal tournament run 54-49

Stanford forward Cameron Brink (22) drives to the basket against Mississippi forward Madison Scott, right during the second half of a second-round at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto on Sat Mar 19, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Friday, March 17, 2023

A highly successful women’s basketball season came to an end for Stanford Sunday, as the No. 1-seeded Cardinal fell to No. 8-seed Mississippi 54-49 in the second round of the Seattle 4 Region tournament in a game played at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford finished its season 29-6, while the Rebels improved to 25-8 as they advance to the Sweet 16. The loss snapped the Cardinal’s streak of 14 consecutive years reaching the regional round.

“I thought our team really battled in the second half,” Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said in the postgame media session. “We kind of dug ourselves a hole, but you know, we battled back. We tied it up and we had an opportunity to win the game.

“I think Mississippi is a very experienced and very determined team. They made plays down the stretch that we didn’t make.”

Cameron Brink missed the Cardinal’s NCAA tournament opener against Sacred Heart with what was described as “a non-COVID-19 illness.” She played 34 minutes, scoring a team-high 20 points along with 13 rebounds, seven blocks and two steals. Brink also hit 10-of-10 free throws.

“I think I just – I felt sick,” Brink said. “I think I’m still getting back to my normal self but I definitely got a little winded throughout the game, but I tried my best.”

Senior Haley Jones had 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals in her final game for Stanford.

“I think Ole Miss is a great defensive team,” Jones said. “And we heard them say that they prided themselves on their defense. They packed it in their suitcase, and they were going to come in and execute that plan. I think they did a great job.

“They (Mississippi) were contesting shots in a great way. But we missed a lot of shots that we usually make, which is disappointing.”

Angel Baker was the top scorer for Ole Miss with 13 points, followed by Marquesha Davis with 12 and Madison Scott with 11. Davis had four of the Rebels’ nine steals, and Rita Igbokwe grabbed eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

The Rebels, who led 29-20 at halftime, never trailed and scored 24 points off 21 Stanford turnovers. After Mississippi built a 49-41 lead with 5:47 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Cardinal used an 8-0 run, capped by two Brink free throws, to tie the game at 49-49 with 1:15 left.

Scott sank a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining to put the Rebels back in front at 51-49. Three seconds later, after Jones turned the b ball over, Davis hit two free throws to increase the Ole Miss lead to 53-49. Myah Taylor stole the ball from Jones with 15 seconds remaining and sank 1 of 2 foul shots.

Mississippi will face 4-seed Texas or 5-seed Louisville in the regional in Seattle on Friday. The Longhorns and Cardinals play on Monday.

NCAA Tournament/Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael Robeson: VanDerveer ready to lead Cardinal in round 2 vs. Ole Miss Sunday

Stanford Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer as seen coaching against the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Fri Mar 17, 2023 at Maple Pavilion is set for the next challenge against the Ole Miss Rebels Sun Mar 19, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael Roberson:

#1 Michael, the Stanford Cardinal (29-5) handled the Sacred Heart Pioneers (19-14) rather handedly 92-49 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and they did it without high scorer Cameron Brink.

#2 Haley Jones picked up where Brink left off leading with 17 points Haley’s been a go to all season long.

#3 On defense the Cardinal held the Pioneers to 18 points in the first quarter, 8 points in the second quarter, 11 points in the third quarter, and 12 points in the fourth quarter.

#4 Michael, how important of a win is this for Stanford considering they opened the tournament without Brink and had to create plays and win that opening game.

#5 Michael, Stanford will carry on for their next opponent and their opponent will be well aware of the kind of season Stanford is having.

Join Michael Roberson for the Stanford Cardinal podcast at

Cardinal cruise past Sacred Heart 92-49; Stanford moves to second round Sunday vs. Ole Miss

Stanford forward Francesca Belibi (5) shoots against Sacred Heart center Kelsey Wood (34) during the first half at Maple Pavilion in Palo Alto on Fri Mar 17, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Friday, March 17, 2023

Even without the services of star center Cameron Brink, No. 1-seed Stanford had little trouble rolling over No. 16-seed Sacred Heart 92-49 in Friday’s opening round of the Seattle 4 Region women’s basketball tournament.

Brink missed NCAA tournament opener with what was described as
“a non-COVID=19 illness.” Specifics about Brink’s illness have yet to be disclosed and there’s no timetable for how long she will be out of the Cardinal lineup.

Brink confirmed on an Instagram post that she has been experiencing a stomach virus that has been going around the team over the last few days, adding that “I’ll be back asap.”

Haley Jones stepped up and led the Cardinal (29-5) with 17 points while grabbing six rebounds and shooting 7-of-12 from the field. Francesca Belibi added12 points and ten rebounds for Stanford, which shot 49.3 percent (37 of 75) and outrebounded Sacred Heart 57-28.

Hannah Jump also had 12 points for Stanford, Indya Niyar had 11 and Lauren Betts added 10. Talana Lepolo contributed seven assists and three steals.

Ny’Ceara Pryor was the top scorer for the Pioneers (15-14) with 12 points.

The Cardinal faces Mississippi in the second round on Sunday 6:30pm tip off.

Stanford Cardinal basketball podcast with Michael Roberson: Cardinal get ready for ESPN Events Tournament in Orlando

Stanford Cardinal open the ESPN Events Tournament in Orlando Thu Nov 24, 2022 against Ole Miss (photo from #GoStanford)

On the Cardinal MBB podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, last game for the Cardinal (2-2) they handled the Cal Poly Mustangs (1-2) with ease on Friday night 80-43.

#2 The Cardinal got off to a 19-0 run against Cal Poly and the Mustangs couldn’t even score a buck in the first seven minutes of the game.

#3 The Cardinal defense made taking the ball away from Cal Poly look like child’s play. The Cardinal took the ball away on 12 turnovers in just 30 minutes.

#4 Stanford senior Michael Jones was got shutout at UC San Diego on Tue Nov 15 made up for lost time scoring on Cal Poly’s defense with 12 points in the first half teammate Max Murrell scored 12 points and it was over early for the Mustangs as Stanford came away with a 28 point 47-19 lead at the half.

#5 Michael just to get your prospective on the next up coming game for the Cardinal as they face Ole Miss for the ESPN Events Tournament Thursday a 10:30 AM tip in Orlando.

Join Michael for Cardinal podcasts Wednesdays at