Women of Troy Fall to Top-Seeded Stanford
March 4, 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Candice Wiggins hit a career-high and tournament-record eight 3-pointers on the way to 29 points, and No. 7 Stanford beat Southern California 67-52 Sunday to reach the Pac-10 tournament title game.
Wiggins hit her first five 3-point attempts and initial six field-goal tries, and finished 10-for-13 from the field and 8-of-9 from long range. The two-time Pac-10 player of the year left to a standing ovation when she took a seat with 8:26 to play.
Kristen Newlin had 10 points, 10 rebounds and a tournament-record six blocks. Brooke Smith added eight points, eight boards and four assists in the Cardinal's eighth straight victory and 10th in a row against USC. Stanford has not lost in the series since a 59-56 defeat on Jan. 25, 2004.
Stanford (27-4) will play Monday night against ninth-ranked Arizona State, which beat No. 25 California 60-53 earlier Sunday. Stanford lost in last year's final to UCLA, which had defeated Arizona State in the semifinals. The Cardinal won both meetings with the Sun Devils this season - 77-71 on Dec. 30 and 73-65 in overtime Jan. 27.
Shay Murphy had 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the fifth-seeded Women of Troy (17-13). Chloe Kerr had 14 points on 3-for-13 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds for USC, which squeaked out an 81-77 win over fourth-seeded Washington on Saturday night to reach the semifinals.
Wiggins hit two 3-pointers during an 11-0 first-half run and made back-to-back 3s early in the second half. She bounced her last one in at 10:33, giving her 199 3s for her career - fifth all-time in program history. She cheered and jumped into the arms of a teammate at the start of a timeout after her 3 with 17:26 to go made it 41-24.
USC played Stanford tough in a 56-53 loss Feb. 25 in the final Pac-10 game for both teams, but the Cardinal were without Wiggins for that one. The Women of Troy lost 62-46 in the first meeting Dec. 20 to open conference play when Stanford also was minus Wiggins because of the same hamstring injury.
Jayne Appel, the Pac-10 freshman of the year, played only six minutes in the first half and nine total because of foul trouble and finished with one point and three rebounds before fouling out having not taken a shot from the floor. Stanford did just fine without her thanks to strong post play by Newlin and Smith.
USC made seven of its first 12 shots, but went 4-for-21 afterward to finish the first half at 33 percent shooting and trailing 33-24.
The Women of Troy, who lost to Stanford in the conference tournament semifinals for the second straight year, are likely to receive an NCAA tournament invitation based on strength of schedule and because they are a host for the first and second rounds.