Cardinal Cruise Into Sweet 16
March 22, 2004
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The Stanford band had the right chant for its women'sbasketball team.
Stanford, the No. 6 seed in the Midwest but ranked 10th nationally, used a22-0 second-half run to rout Oklahoma 68-43 Monday night in the second round ofthe Midwest Regional.
'Stanford was terrific in the second half,' Oklahoma coach Sherri Coalesaid. 'They were as good as any team in the country, if not better. If theyplay two halves like that, there's no reason they can't win a nationalchampionship.'
Nicole Powell had 23 points and Kelley Suminski added 19 for the Cardinal(26-6), who play No. 2 seed Vanderbilt in the regional semifinals Sunday onOklahoma's home court in Norman.
Stanford was the Pac-10 tournament champion and regular-season co-champ, andthe No. 6 seed outraged coach Tara VanDerveer and motivated her team.
Oklahoma (24-9), the Big 12 tournament champion, was the No. 3 seed but 11thin the national rankings. The Sooners had won five in a row, and trailed only23-22 at halftime.
'At halftime, we decided we were being too passive offensively,' Suminskisaid. 'In the second half, we started being more aggressive. We were reallypenetrating and going inside, and that was the difference for us.'
Stanford outscored Oklahoma 45-21 in the second half, shooting 58 percent(15-for-26), including 4-for-7 from 3-point range.
'I hope we have a better half ahead, but it was a great half for us,'VanDerveer said. 'It was our will. Our team really wanted to keep it going.'
Powell also had 11 rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers - giving her oneturnover in two games in Tempe. Suminski was 7-for-10 shooting, 3-for-6 on3-pointers. Susan Borchardt scored all nine of her points in the second half on3-of-4 shooting on 3s. Chelsea Trotter added 10 points, all in the second half.
Dionnah Jackson was the only Oklahoma player in double figures with 15points. The Sooners shot just 30 percent (15-for-50), 28 percent in the secondhalf.
The Cardinal opened the second half with a 16-4 outburst to go up 39-26 onSuminski's 3-pointer with 15 minutes to play. Caton Hill's 3-pointer cut thelead to 41-34 with 12:24 to go, but the Sooners went the next 6:44 without ascore.
Trotter scored eight in Stanford's big run, sparking it with an insidebasket and ending it with a putback that put Stanford up 63-34 with 5:57remaining.
'We were really patient on offense,' Powell said. 'We knew we wanted toget good shots, and we were knocking them down.'
Borchardt had two 3-pointers during the run, and Suminski scored eight. Hillfinally ended the Oklahoma drought with an inside basket with 5:40 remaining.
Powell scored 10 of Stanford's last 16 points in the first half.
Neither team shot well in the first 20 minutes, Stanford 33 percent(8-for-24) and Oklahoma 32 percent (8-for-25).
Stanford missed its first six shots and Oklahoma went more than five minuteswithout a point as the Sooners took a 13-5 lead on Beky Preston's layup on apass from Maria Villarroel.
But Powell scored seven in a 12-2 run and the Cardinal took a 17-15 leadafter Suminski's 3-pointer with 6:23 left in the half.
Jackson, who scored nine in the first half, made one of two free throws totie it at 22 with 47.2 seconds to go in the half. Powell made one of two at theline with 5.6 seconds remaining to put Stanford up by one at halftime.