Stanford falls in Pac-12 tourney, on the Big Dance bubble

photo from sfgate.com: Stanford’s Bryce Wills (2) shoots between California’s Grant Anticevich, left, and California’s Joel Brown during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Pac-12 men’s tournament Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Las Vegas

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

After being dispatched in the opening round of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas, Stanford now plays the waiting game to see where it continues its season.

California knocked off the Cardinal 63-51 and advances to the second round. With the win, the Golden Bears took the season series; the teams split their conference matchups.

Stanford (20-12) is a bubble team for the NCAA tournament and could possibly be selected for the National Invitation Tournament. The Cardinal are trying to reach the Big Dance for the first time since 2014.

In what might have been the last game either team would play in front of a crowd this season, the contest went on, despite concerns about the coronavirus situation.

Prior to the game, the Pac-12 released a statement saying a decision was made to “only have essential staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and limited family and friends in attendance” for the remainder of the tournament.

Earlier on Wednesday, the NCAA announced that its men’s and women’s tournaments would be played with similar stipulations.

Stanford trailed 30-20 at the half and never got much closer in the second half, as the Cardinal was held to 32.1 percent field shooting (17 of 53, 5 of 12 3-point), and 12 of 18 at the free throw line.

Daejon Davis topped the Stanford scoring column with 16 points, followed by Bryce Wills with 10. Tyrell Terry and Spencer Jones each score six points. Oscar da Silva, a first team all-Pac-12 selection, was held to 2 of 11 field goal shooting, but led the Cardinal with seven rebounds.

Headline Sports with Barbara Mason: Girls basketball canceled due to virus related issues; Sharks have they turned the corner?; plus more Sharks

ap photo: The San Jose Sharks Kevin LaBanc puts one on net against the Minnesota Wild’s goaltender Alex Stalock (32) last Thursday night at SAP Center in San Jose

On Headline Sports with Barbara Mason:

#1 Girls basketball game between Menlo Park-Ahterton and O’Dowd Oakland in the Interscholastic Federation Girls basketball league was canceled due to related concerns regarding Coronavirus.

#2 San Jose Sharks showing signs of improvement have won three of their last four games. They play back to back games this weekend Saturday and Sunday.

#3 Pac 12 Women’s Tournament in Vegas is underway the Cal Bears got a 71-67 win over Arizona State University. Cal senior Jaelyn Brown led Cal with 22 points.

#4 St Mary’s mens will play on Saturday a 9:15pm tip vs. Pepperdine in the WCC Tournament. St Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett said the WCC Tournament is meal to meal event.

#5 Oakland A’s pitcher AJ Puk was given a good news regarding his shoulder. Dr. Neal Elatrache said there are no structural issues.

Barbara Mason does Headline Sports each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Trojans Upset Cardinal on Ogwumike’s Record Setting Night

By Joe Lami

For the first time ever the Stanford Cardinal will not be going to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game, as the USC Trojans defeated the Cardinal 72-68 in the semi-finals on Saturday night.  Stanford the number one seed and the favorite to win the Pac-12 Championship, is now unsure of how their NCAA Tournament is going to look.  If the Cardinal came out of the Pac-12 Tournament unscathed, they would have received an almost sure bid to a number one seed in their host west region.

The first half ended with the score tied at 32.  Stanford dominated the paint in the first half, with 18 points.  However, the Trojans led the first with points off of turnovers, bench points and 2nd chance points.

Coming out of the half, the Trojans jumped on the Cardinal early, going on a 14-4 run in the first 5:30.  Stanford would be able to crawl back slowly, and would eventually take the lead back with 6:46 remaining.  The Cardinal would push the lead to three, at 60-57 with 5:06 to go and be able to hold it for a couple of minutes.  However, the Trojans would once again march back, much in part to Cassie Harberts’ ten straight points.  This would get the USC lead to as high as seven before the Cardinal would find another bucket with 61 seconds to go.

The Cardinal pressed in the final minute to get the deficit as low as two, but the Trojans would be good enough at the foul line to be able to ice the game away and advance to the Pac-12 Championship game, where they will face the Oregon State Beavers.

Chiney Ogwumike led the way for the Cardinal with 30 points and 21 rebounds.  The 30 points ties her with Stanford Alum, Candice Wiggins as the all-time Pac-12 scorer with 2,629.  Unfortunately for Ogwumike, she scored career point 2,629 with over seven minutes remaining in the game, and couldn’t find another to break the record in game where every point mattered.

Stanford had an awful day from the field, finishing the game at just 32%.  Lili Thompson finished with 13 points, going 4 of 11 shooting.  Amber Orrange was the only other double digit scorer for the Cardinal, as she finished the night with 11 points and 3 of 11 shooting.  Mikaela Ruef was held scoreless for the first time in recent memory, as the fifth year senior went 0 for 8 from the field, but she did bring down five rebounds.  Taylor Greenfield was the only Stanford player to come off of the bench and contribute points, as she finished the game with five.

The Trojans didn’t shoot that much better, as they finished the game shooting just 39%.  USC also saw three different players get into double digits.  Alexyz Vaioletama led the way with 19 points.  She also contributed 15 rebounds, with five of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.  Guard, Ariya Cook, finished the game with 15 points.  Game MVP, Cassie Harberts only had 13 points, but ten of them came at the most opportune time, as she scored ten straight with under three minutes to go to give the Trojan’s a lead good enough to win the game.

The win for the Trojans gets them that much closer into the NCAA tournament, as ESPN’s Charlie Creme has the ladies of USC on his first four teams out of the tournament.  However, with this win it might just be enough to break the bubble and earn a bid.  That is if they don’t receive the automatic bid on Sunday afternoon by winning the Pac-12 Tournament.  Oregon State, their opponent on Sunday is looked at as already in the NCAA Tournament according to Creme.

Number four-ranked Stanford has their record drop to 29-3, and now they are a little unsure on how they will be entering the NCAA Tournament.  Some questions arise, is Stanford still a number one seed?  Does Stanford still deserve to be in the west region, their host region?  Only time will tell what the selection committee decides, but for now we sit back and prepare for another great day of Championship basketball on Sunday.

Stanford Starts Pac-12 Tournament with Victory, Moves on to Semi-Finals

By Joe Lami

After a first round bye, the Stanford Cardinal started their weekend in Seattle with a win.  The top-seeded Cardinal beat the Buffaloes of Colorado by the final score of 69-54 on Friday afternoon to move on to the semi-finals in the Pac-12 tournament.

The Buffaloes earned their contest with the Cardinal by beating the UCLA Bruins by the score of 76-65 on Thursday. They came out to play on Friday, as they held the Cardinal to it’s worst scoring first half of the year at 21 points.  The Buffaloes went into halftime leading 23-21, however a strong second half performance for the Cardinal would earned them the victory.  The key difference for Stanford was starting the second half on a 16-2 run, which was good enough for them to hold the lead the rest of the game.

The starters for the Cardinal were extremely impressive, as four of them got into double digits in scoring.  The Pac-12 player of the year, Chiney Ogwumike, paved the way for the Cardinal putting up 19 points and rebounding 11.  This was after Ogwumike was held to only six points in the first half.  Bonnie Samuelson and Lili Thompson each added 15 points.  Mikaela Ruef had another amazing performance and has a double double to show for it, as she scored ten points, and led the team in rebounds, bringing down 16.  After Amber Orrange had one of her most impressive performance of the year this previous Sunday, Friday afternoon was a way different story.  The Junior Point Guard scored three points on four shot attempts.

The Buffaloes were led by Brittany Wilson, who notched 16 points, with 12 of them coming from beyond the three-point line.  Wilson also put up the most shot attempts of any Colorado player, as she went 5 of 20.  11 of the 20 shots came from three-point range.  Haley Smith was the only other Colorado scorer to get into double digits with ten.  Arielle Roberson led all players in rebounds with 17, she would end just two points shy of the double double.

With the win, the Cardinal are unsure of their next opponent, as they will find out in the upcoming hours. They will take on the winner of the contest between Southern California and Arizona State for a chance at the final on Sunday.