No. 2 Stanford Takes Down Oregon State In Pac-10 Semis, 71-55
March 3, 2002
By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. - Nicole Powell scored a career-high 37 points as No. 2Stanford stayed untouchable in the Pac-10, advancing to the conferencetournament's championship game with a 71-55 victory over Oregon State onSunday.
The Cardinal (30-1) swept all 18 regular-season Pac-10 games four the fourthtime in school history, and they won the first two games of the inauguralconference tournament by a combined 51 points.
Stanford will play third-seeded Arizona State, which defeated Oregon 64-58,in Monday night's title game.
Freshman Juleen Smith had 26 points and nine rebounds, both season highs, tolead Oregon State (16-14). All-conference guard Felicia Ragland scored 15points on just 5-of-21 shooting.
The Beavers, who lost all three games to Stanford this season by a total of75 points, shot just 29 percent and were outrebounded by the much biggerCardinal 50-36.
Powell, the Pac-10 player of the year as a sophomore this season, surpassedher previous career high of 36 points - set against USC last month - on a pairof free throws with 1:46 left. She then left the game with her team leading65-46.
Powell also had 14 rebounds. No other Stanford player scored in doublefigures, but Bethany Donaphin had 12 rebounds, and T'Nae Thiel added 10.
Stanford let a 23-point lead slip to eight midway through the second half.Smith hit two 3-pointers and two layups, the last one coming off a clean stealby Leilani Estavan, to cut the deficit to 47-39.
The Cardinal slowly rebuilt the lead, however, and Donaphin scored the lastfour points of a 10-0 run to make it 57-39 with just under seven minutes to go.
The Beavers had an early 6-3 lead and were within 16-15 when Powell startedhitting her shots. She scored 17 points during a 21-4 run. The last of herthree 3-pointers in the stretch came at the halftime buzzer, giving Stanford a37-19 lead.
All-league forward Lindsey Yamasaki watched her second straight game fromthe sideline after having her appendix removed last week. She is expected toreturn for the NCAA tournament.