No. 19 Bruins stun No. 6 Stanford 69-65 in Pac-12 women’s semis

UCLA guard Kiki Rice (1) drives to the basket under pressure from Stanford guard Haley Jones (30) during the first half  at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Fri Mar 3, 2023 at the Pac 12 Tournament (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 2, 2023

In a Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament that has already seen its share of upsets, UCLA pulled off the latest one on Friday. The 19th-ranked Bruins used a furious second half to overtake No. 6 Stanford 69-65 in the semifinal round at Las Vegas.

It was only the second time in program history that Stanford lost a semifinal game in the Pac-12 tournament. UCLA becomes the first 5-seed to reach the title game.

Kiki Rice led the Bruins (25-8) with 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in addition to hitting 12 of 13 free throws. Emily Bessoir was next with 14 points and six rebounds, Charisma Osborne had 12 points followed by Gina Conti with 11 points, including 3 of 6 3-pointers.

Cameron Brink was the top scorer for Stanford (28-5) with 19 points to go with 11 rebounds and two blocks. Haley Jones was next with 15 points, 10 boards, three assists and two blocks. Hannah Jump and Francesca Belibi each contributed three assists.

Stanford led 17-8 after the first quarter and built a 35-22 halftime advantage. The Bruins erased a 16-point deficit in the second half, outscoring the Cardinal 29-15 in the fourth quarter.

UCLA used a 20-9 run to surge ahead 60-59 after Jones was called for a shoving foul which led to a Rice jumper with 2:07 remaining, Stanford had a chance to tie or take the lead after Rice missed the second of two free throws with 21 seconds to play and the Bruins leading by two. But Conti got the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws to give UCLA a four-point lead.

The Bruins move on to the championship game on Sunday, facing Washington State, which has defeated No. 3 Utah and No, 20 Colorado in the tourney. Stanford now waits to see where they will be seeded in the NCAA tournament.

No. 6 Cardinal women defeat Oregon 76-63 in Pac-12 quarterfinals

Stanford forward Cameron Brink, left, grabs a rebound next to Oregon center Phillipina Kyei during the second half at the Pac 12 Tournament in Las Vegas on Thu Mar 2, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 2, 2023

Cameron Brink enjoyed another big night for Stanford Thursday, leading the No. 6 Cardinal past Oregon 76-63 in the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament quarterfinals in Las Vegas.

Brink, a junior center, scored 22 points, grabbed 11 rebounds for her 14th double-double of the season. Hannah Jump was next for Stanford (28-4) with 13 points, Talana Lepolo scored 10 points, and Haley Jones had eight points along with eight assists and 13 rebounds.

The Cardinal dominated the boards, outrebounding Oregon 56-39. Stanford converted 21 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points.

Te-Hina Paopao netted a career-high 28 points for Oregon (17-14), including a tournament record-tying seven 3-pointers. Endyia Rogers added 15 points for the Ducks, who hit 29.4 percent of their field goals (20 of 68).

The Cardinal opened the game with an 11-2 run, including 7-of-7 free throws. Brink had eight of Stanford’s 21 points in the second quarter, as the Cardinal built a 37-24 halftime lead. Oregon rallied to start the second half, but the Cardinal used a 7-0 run to close the period.

Stanford will face UCLA in the semifinals on Friday.

Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael Roberson: Cardinal set for Pac 12 Tournament coming off tough loss to Utah

Stanford forward Cameron Brink (22) blocks the shot of Utah guard Gianna Kneepkens (5) in the first half in Salt Lake City on Sat Feb 25, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the Cardinal podcast with Michael Roberson:

#1 Utah earned a share of the Pac-12 women’s basketball regular season championship on Saturday, as the No. 8 Utes upended No. 3 Stanford 84-78.

#2 The Utes Gianna Kneepkens scored a season-high 28 points to lead the Utes (25-3 overall, 15-3 Pac-12) to their first regular season conference title, only two seasons removed from winning five total games. 

#3 Hannah Jump scored 24 points for Stanford (27-4 overall, 15-3 Pac-12), followed by Cameron Brink with 14 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four blocks, and Haley Jones with nine points and eight rebounds.

#4 Utah forced three straight turnovers in the final minute to lock down the win. The Utes scored 26 points off of 21 Stanford turnovers. The Cardinal held a 37-23 rebounding edge.

#5 Stanford and Utah each have a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament this week in Las Vegas as things get underway in the Tournament on Thu Mar 2.

Join Michael for podcast coverage of the Stanford Cardinal in the MBB and WBB on Wednesdays at