State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament: Day 4
March 14, 2010
Stanford vs. UCLA
Just when you think that Stanford can't raise the bar any higher in the Pac-10, they prove everyone wrong.
With a 70-46 win over UCLA today, Stanford sets a new gold standard in the conference as the first team to go undefeated in the regular conference schedule and then win the post season conference tournament.
'To go 18-0 in the Pac-10 regular season and 3-0 in the conference tournament says a lot about the maturity, focus, unselfishness and leadership that we have on this team.'
Stanford wasted no time in taking control of today's game by jumping out to a 17-9 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Despite UCLA's scrappy play, when Stanford gets on a roll like they did today, they are a tough team to beat. Stanford finished with four players in double-digit figures and two players of Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen finishing with double-double performances of 16 points and 10 rebounds and 12 points and 11 rebounds respectively.
'We had this saying at Tennessee that if you are going to get Stanford during the season, you want to get them in December as they are a team that clicks on all cylinders and they are a very experienced team so they understand post season play, their responsibilities and they play them to the best of their abilities,' said UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell. '
UCLA may have lost the battle against Stanford today, but considering they are destined to hear their name called tomorrow during the selection show, they are ahead in the war.
'This team should be a five or six seed when you look at what they have accomplished in the Pac-10,' said Caldwell.
UCLA's future for the rest of the season and beyond is bright. With a starting line-up that doesn't include a senior and a 20-point performance by sophomore Jasmine Dixon tonight, the Bruins could still be playing for another two weeks this month.
That's it from the Galen Center at USC and the 2010 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament.
Kayla Pedersen - Stanford
Jasmine Dixon - UCLA
Markel Walker - UCLA
Ashley Corral - USC
Jayne Appel - Stanford
Nnemkadi Ogumike - Stanford*
*Most Outstanding Player
It's all over as Stanford has claimed another Pac-10 Tournament Championship.
Final score: Stanford 70, UCLA 46
More after the post game press conference
There are less than three minutes to play and one of the best parts of this game is how both teams are still diving and fighting for every rebound, loose ball and jump ball.
Stanford 68, UCLA 46
One minute to play.
Along with having the Girl Scouts here today, it is also Pac-10 Pink Day.
While neither team is dressed in pink uniforms as during a Pink Zone game, today's event is part of helping bring breast cancer awareness to fans in attendance. For fans who did sign up to participate in this event, they were given pink and white tote bags with lots of cool swag (stuff we all get).
UCLA is not going down without a fight. They are still battling Stanford for every point as seen in the way Stanford's posts still have to work to get open while in the low post position.
Stanford 56, UCLA 35
9:19 left to play
We are at our first time out of the second half and while neither team has scored a lot of points, Stanford looks a lot more under control than UCLA.
The Cardinal play so poised that they make it look effortless. The Bruins on the other hand are a much more scrappy team that it is harder to see their confidence come out.
Stanford does have a sizable lead right now, so that could be helping.
Meanwhile UCLA's Jasmine Dixon is now laying on the foor with an injury. It looks like a knee or ankle injury, but she is walking off under her own power, so I would expect to see her return to the floor soon.
Stanford 45, UCLA 27
13:50 left in the game.
We are now at halftime and Stanford is enjoying a solid 36-19 lead.
Stanford's sharp shooter is Nnemkadi Ogwumike with 12 points while UCLA is led by Jasmine Dixon's 11.
More to come after the half.
There are several Stanford fans wearing t-shirts here today that read 'Fear The Tree.'
This is not only applicable tothe somewhat spastic movements of the Cardinal's dancing mascot, but also their post players. Jayne Appel and Nnemkadi Ogumike are Stanford's post players currently on the floor that are not only imposing at their 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-2 height, but their ability to move around so fluidly while under the net is impressive.
The half is almost over with 1:17 left on the clock.
Stanford 33, UCLA 17
Stanford's defense is giving UCLA problems.
The Bruins just turned over the ball for the sixth time on a bad pass. Not only is this leading to turnovers, but UCLA is also now taking bad shots. Add to that a player control foul on Darxia Morris and this is turning into a long half for UCLA.
Stanford 24, UCLA 13
4:59 left in the half.
With another day, there's another promotion. This time, it's Girl Scout Day!
Not only do fans here get the chance to watch a great game of basketball, but with Girl Scout cookies being sold in the lobby of the Galen Center, there's a great snacking opportuity today.
Stanford is starting to pull away with a 17-9 lead with 11:36 left in the half.
We are in the first few minutes of the game seeing exactly why UCLA is a team on the rise. They are playing a very physical trapping zone defense and taking their time in finding good shots to take. The Bruins are only shooting 33.3 percent from the field, but as they settle down and play, hopefully the shots will start to fall. Stanford 9, UCLA 5 14:50 left in the half. Stay tuned.
They are playing a very physical trapping zone defense and taking their time in finding good shots to take. The Bruins are only shooting 33.3 percent from the field, but as they settle down and play, hopefully the shots will start to fall.
Stanford 9, UCLA 5
14:50 left in the half.
After three days and eight games, it's time for the championship game of the State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament. Today's championship game is between the No. 1 seed of Stanford (30-1 and 18-0) and No. 2 seed of UCLA (24-7 and 15-3).
Nationally-ranked as the No. 2 team in the country, Stanford is the only Pac-10 team to have appeared in every championship game since the inception of the post season conference tournament in the Pac-10. The Cardinal program has accomplished many great moments in women's college basketball history, but one honor they have yet to achieve and hoping to do so today is winning the conference tournament after having gone undefeated during the season.
With a starting line-up that consists of All-American players, All-Pac-10 Team honorees and future honorees, it would be hard to find a coach in all of Division I women's basketball that is not envious. From 6-foot-2 Nnemkadi Ogwumike, to 6-foot-3 Jayne Appel, 6-foot-4 Kayla Pedersen and 5-foot-10 Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Stanford's starters are tall, athletic and are tough to beat.
UCLA may not have the same national presence as Stanford, but this is a team on the rise. The Bruins are ranked 23rd in the country and finished the Pac-10 regular season second. UCLA is a team to watch as they are complimented with young talent in players like freshman Markel Walker and sophomore Jasmine Dixon to their veterans of juniors Darxia Morris and Doreena Campbell.
The winner of today's game will get the automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Tournament, but it is highly probable that both teams will be part of the field of 64 as announced during the NCAA selection show tomorrow.
Tip-off is in less than 10 minutes.