Stanford Earns Share of Pac-10 Title
March 10, 2001
Tempe, Ariz. --- Stanford University (18-10 overall, 12-6 Pac-10) claimed its 10th Pacific-10 Conference title in 15 years with a 51-49 win at Arizona State (20-10, 12-6) on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.
'Of all our Pac-10 Championships, this might be the sweetest one,' Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. '...the parody in the conference has been really ggod, an has brought out a lot of excitement.'
The Cardinal finished in a three-way tie for the Pacific-10 Conference title with Arizona State and Washington (19-9, 12-6). The Huskies fell at UCLA (6-23, 5-13) 81-56 on Saturday afternoon for their sixth conference loss. This is the second time Stanford has won a share of the Pac-10 title, having tied for the crown with Washington in 1989-90. The Cardinal won undisputed Pac-10 titles in 1988-89, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98.
The Cardinal returned to the Bay Area immediately following Saturday's game, and will await its post-season fate with the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. on ESPN.
The Cardinal trailed by one point at halftime, and saw the deficit grow to six (29-23) with 17:44 remaining when the hosts scored the first five points of the second half. Stanford, however, scored nine of the next 12 points - seven of them from freshman Nicole Powell (Phoenix, AZ/Mountain Pointe HS) - to draw even at 34 with 13:05 to play. Stanford did not trail again.
Powell came through again with a 3-pointer with 3:20 remaining that gave Stanford a 48-43 lead. A 3-pointer by ASU's Amanda Levens with 1:57 to play cut the lead to two, but the Cardinal's Bethany Donaphin (New York, NY/Horace Mann HS) answered with a basket inside 21 seconds later.
Arizona State then drew within one on a 3-pointer by senior Natalie Tucker with 1:19 to play, but the Sun Devils did not score again. Levens missed an outside shot with 10 seconds remaining that would have given the hosts the lead, but Powell pulled the rebound and made one of two free throws for a two-point advantage. Levens again had a chance a the buzzer but her long jumper was off the mark to give the Cardinal a share of ht ePac-10 title and prevent ASU from winning the crown outright.
Powell had 15 points and 12 rebounds - her ninth double-double of the year - in her first return to her home town. She had 13 points and nine boards in the second half alone.
'Nicole had a little pressure playing in front of her parents and hometown fans, but she came up huge for us,' VanDerveer said. 'And with her being from Arizona, Arizona State did not want her to come in and take the title away from them.'
Donaphin had 10 points (eight of them in the second half), while Lindsey Yamasaki (Oregon City, OR/ Oregon City HS) had nine points and six rebounds.
Arizona State led 24-23 at the half, as neither team led by more than three points in the opening 20 minutes. Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half as Stanford made 10 of its 27 attempts (37.0 percent) while Arizona State was 9-of-25 (36.0 percent). Yamasaki had nine points in the first half, while Arizona State's Melody Johnson had eight.