Cardinal Topples The Trojans

Feb 20, 2003

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Nicole Powell once again delivered when Stanford needed her.

Powell had 22 points and 16 rebounds as ninth-ranked Stanford defeated Southern California 63-55 on Thursday night.

She scored 18 of her points and grabbed 10 of her rebounds in the second half as the Cardinal overcame a 15-point deficit.

'I felt like I was missing some open shots in the first half,' said Powell. 'I was shooting it short. In the second half, they were falling for me.'

Powell was two assists shy of recording her seventh career triple-double as the Cardinal (21-3, 13-2 Pac-10) won its 24th straight at home.

'Everybody knows she's a great player,' said USC coach Chris Gobrecht. 'I think we did just fine with her. What sets her apart is she's a phenomenal rebounder and that's the back breaker.'

With Washington losing 100-86 to Oregon State, Stanford clinched at least a tie for its third straight Pac-10 title and 12th in 17 years. The Cardinal can clinch the title outright with a victory over UCLA on Saturday.

Rometra Craig scored 14 points for the Trojans (12-14, 7-8), who lost their second straight after winning six of their previous seven. Rachel Woodward added 11 points.

'We came out strong but when they changed to a man defense we didn't adjust very well,' said Craig.

Chelsea Trotter scored 12 points and T'Nae Thiel had 11 for Stanford.

Powell had her 27th career double-double, and her seventh in 15 games this year.

Woodward gave USC a 33-30 lead with a short jumper with 17:40 remaining to play. Susan King tied it a little over a minute later with a 3-pointer, and Powell hit a 3-pointer to put Stanford up 36-33 with 14:53 left.

The Cardinal eventually built a 47-37 lead, but survived a couple of USC rallies to hang on for win.

'We dug ourselves a hole early but I was proud of how quickly we dug out of it,' said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer.

Powell recorded six points, six rebounds and four assists during the first seven minutes of the second half to help the Cardinal take the lead.

The Trojans took a 22-7 lead early in the first half. USC made 10 of its first 12 shots while Stanford missed 15 of its first 17 attempts.

Over the next eight minutes, the Cardinal went on a 19-0 run to take a 26-22 lead. The Trojans scored the final four points of the first half and the game was tied at 26-all at the break.

'We just needed to find our rhythm,' said Stanford guard Kelley Suminski. 'It should be our goal to come out strong at the beginning of both halves.'

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