Women: Stanford 77, California 62
By Lara Boyko
From beginning to end, it was all about No. 1-seed Stanford (31-1, 18-0 Pac-12) as it defeated No. 2-seed California (24-9, 13-5 Pac-12) and claimed its ninth conference tournament title with a 77-62 win.
"I thought our team worked hard defensively," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "We got out and got some transition. For us, I think the big difference, we got great games from Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike, but the big difference for us is how Amber Orrange played. I thought she really stepped up big on the big stage, knocked down her free throws, took the ball to the basket, ran our team and worked hard defensively."
Stanford jumped out in front quickly in the first half by building up a 12-point lead in the first seven minutes of the game. California chipped away at this lead and even cut the deficit down to four with a 10-2 run over four minutes. However with Stanford outscoring California 16-10 in the paint and 12-6 off of turnovers, Stanford held onto the lead and went into halftime with a 37-31 lead.
"I think any time you put yourself in a hole, it's hard to dig yourself out," said California's Layshia Clarendon. "Even if you play even, you've already put yourself down. So that was a tough start."
The second half was all Stanford as well. California could not get stops on defense and with Stanford finding an outside game to compliment its inside presence, the hole kept getting deeper for the Bears. Stanford led by as many as 21.
"We just didn't get any stops," said California coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "I felt like today we really wanted to focus on that, because we thought if we could grind it out on the defensive end, we could play the way we wanted and to play on the offensive end."
Stanford shot 45.3 percent for the game and was led by double-double performances from Nnemkadi (29 points and 12 rebounds) and Chiney (17 points and 12 rebounds). Included in Nnemkadi's total were three three-pointers, which were her first shots from the three-point line made all year. Rounding out Stanford's leading scorers was Orrange with 13 points. Stanford was nearly perfect from the free throw line by going 14-for-16.
California struggled on offense, shooting 31.8 percent from the field. The Bears were led by Clarendon's 20 points and Brittany Boyd's 13. Reshanda Gray was held to just nine points.
Both teams will learn their fate from the NCAA Tournament selection committee on Monday, with Stanford most likely getting a No. 1 seed.
Most Outstanding Player
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN
Kimberly Brandon, ASU
Brittany Boyd, CAL
Layshia Clarendon, CAL
Chiney Ogwumike, STAN
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN
Jazmine Perkins, WSU