Stanford Shoots Its Way Past Iowa, 96-67
March 22, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Rosalyn Gold-Onwude single-handedly sparked top-seeded Stanford right into the Sacramento Regional semifinals - and the fifth-year senior earned a rousing standing ovation to celebrate her career night when she finally took a seat with 6:52 left.
She waved in all directions as she ran off the court to more cheers after the game.
Gold-Onwude hit a career-high seven 3-pointers on the way to a career-best 26 points and top-seeded Stanford shot a sizzling 68.8 percent in the first half and rolled into next weekend's Sacramento Regional semifinals with a 96-67 victory over eighth-seeded Iowa on Monday night.
Gold-Onwude knew this game was going to be about the guards and 3-point shooting - and boy did she come to play. The Cardinal made their first nine shots from long range before JJ Hones' miss with 3:21 left before halftime.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Stanford's 24th straight victory since its lone loss at undefeated defending champion Connecticut back on Dec. 23.
Gold-Onwude shot 9 for 13 - 7 of 9 on 3-pointers - in saving one of her best games yet for the biggest stage. Stanford wound up 11 of 18 from 3-point range and shot 56.3 percent from the field overall.
The Cardinal (33-1) also got 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks from center Jayne Appel and produced their highest-scoring half of the season in taking a commanding 61-34 lead at the break, thrilling most of the nearly packed house at Maples Pavilion. Stanford won its 46th straight home game.
Kachine Alexander scored a career-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting to lead Iowa (20-14), which shot 7 for 23 on 3s after making 10 in a hard-fought first-round win over Rutgers - the Hawkeyes' first time advancing since 2002. Jaime Printy's airball 3 attempt midway through the second half summed up the night for Iowa, the Big Ten tournament runner-up.
Gold-Onwude knocked down back-to-back 3s to start a 21-2 first-half run that put Stanford ahead 45-18, then Iowa responded with a 9-0 burst only to see Gold-Onwude score five straight points moments later.
Stanford did plenty to help erase any bad memories from a 68-61 second-round loss at home to 10th-seeded Florida State three years ago. Coach Tara VanDerveer also got another chance to rest her regulars down the stretch so they will be fresh for Saturday's Sweet Sixteen game at Arco Arena.
The Cardinal were determined to get off to a quick start and slow down the Hawkeyes' perimeter threats - and they sure did. Gold-Onwude's swarming, in-your-face defense was as good as her shooting. The senior and co-Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year also dished out five assists.
Kamille Wahlin, Iowa's third-leading scorer at 14.5 points per game coming in, missed her initial five shots from the floor before scoring her first points early in the second half once the game had all but been decided. She finished with only four points, shooting 2 for 9 and missing all five of her attempts from long range.
Stanford sure played like a team poised for a third straight trip to the Final Four and a potential rematch with UConn in San Antonio.
While Iowa came out firing and hit 6 of its first 9 shots, it had to be deflating to see that Stanford was scoring at an even better clip. The Cardinal made 12 of their first 14 shots and already had four 3s from Gold-Onwude in the opening 6:10.