Stanford Denies Cal's Pac-10 Hopes
March 5, 2005
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Susan King Borchardt scored 14 points to lead No. 2Stanford to a 81-40 win over rival California in the quarterfinals of thePac-10 tournament Saturday.
Brooke Smith added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists and CandiceWiggins had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinal, winners of 18straight.
Stanford has been dominating opponents for months, and hopes to be rewardedwith a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Cardinal, the two-time defendingconference tournament champions, were disappointed with their sixth seed a yearago.
Stanford seems poised for a deep NCAA tournament run after falling one shotshort of the Final Four against Tennessee in the round of eight last March.
The Cardinal (27-2), who will play Sunday against the winner of a late gamebetween Arizona and Southern California, put together yet another lopsidedperformance - two days after Wiggins became the first freshman to win Pac-10Player of the Year honors and Tara VanDerveer was named Coach of the Year.
Jessica Lawson had 10 points and four rebounds for Cal (11-18), which lostits 11th straight to Stanford and 26th in the last 27 meetings in the Bay Arearivalry. The Cardinal won both regular-season games by a combined 76 points.
Stanford used a 22-4 run to take a big lead early, and VanDerveer quicklywent to her key reserves. She is trying to expand the number of players she cangive consistent minutes as the team heads into the postseason.
The Bears, who advanced to Saturday's game with a 70-52 win over WashingtonState on Friday, went on a 9-0 run spanning both halves, but the Cardinalanswered with a 21-4 spurt.
VanDerveer has called this a 'wow' season for her squad, and said it's oneof the most special teams in her 19 years at the school. Stanford completed itsfirst unbeaten season at home since 1996-97, the last season it reached theFinal Four.
The Cardinal have won 37 straight Pac-10 home games, and their averagemargin of victory in conference play this season was 24.9 points.
Cal may have played its final game under fifth-year coach Caren Horstmeyer,whose job security is in doubt. She will meet with new athletic director SandyBarbour soon to determine the program's future.
The Bears won only three of their final 17 games.
The Cardinal are playing without senior T'Nae Thiel, who has a partialfracture in her left foot. She's expected back in time for the team's firstNCAA tournament game March 19 or 20.
Cal hasn't beaten a ranked team in the AP poll since an 80-75 victory overNo. 9 Colorado State on Dec. 21, 1998.
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