Stanford Steamrolls Past Cal

March 8, 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Nicole Powell is officially listed as Stanford's starting forward but she often brings the ball up court.

'I guess you could call her a point forward,' said Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer. 'Sometimes she takes the ball and goes. She's just so versatile we want to take advantage of her match-ups anyway we can. There's not very many players in the country who have Nicole's versatility.'

Powell scored 18 points and had nine rebounds in 25 minutes as ninth-ranked Stanford defeated California 60-35 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament on Saturday night.

Azella Perryman added 12 points and Chelsea Trotter had 11 as the top-seeded Cardinal (24-4) won for the fifth time in six games.

'Stanford can rely on Nicole Powell,' said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'She's extremely talented and very consistent.'

Leigh Gregory led California (10-19) with 10 rebounds, matching her career high, and nine points.

The Cardinal, which won the regular-season title, took advantage of Cal's early shooting troubles to open a huge lead and VanDerveer substituted liberally.

'That was a tough turnaround for Cal,' said VanDerveer. 'They played great defense last night and I think defense won the game for us tonight because we struggled shooting the ball.'

Cal played its second tournament game within 17 hours, beating Arizona State 46-38.

'Stanford was extremely prepared,' said Horstmeyer. 'We never had any good open looks. We were just shooting over the basket.'

Gregory said he found it hard to maneuver against Stanford's interior defense.

'They were doubling- and sometimes triple-teaming us inside,' she said. 'It was hard to get a good shot.'

Ten Stanford players saw at least 10 minutes of action in the game, and no one played more than 27. Powell averages a team-high 30.8 per contest.

Stanford advances to Sunday's semifinals against the winner of a later game between No. 4 seed UCLA and fifth-seeded Oregon.

'It was nice to play a lot of people and it was nice to rest a lot of people,' said VanDerveer.

Second-seeded Washington, a 64-63 winner over USC, plays No. 3 seed Arizona in the other semifinal. The Wildcats beat Oregon State 70-56.

The Cardinal have beaten Cal five straight and 20 of the last 21.

Cal lost by 24 at Stanford and by three in Berkeley during the regular season. Saturday's game was the first time the Bay Area rivals met on a neutral court in the 53-game history of the series.

'I looked up during warmups and saw a lot of people who traveled to San Jose to support us,' said Trotter. 'It kind of felt like being home.'

The Cardinal opened a 47-22 lead nine minutes into the second half following a steal by Powell and a pinpoint pass to Trotter under the basket.

Cal missed 14 of its first 15 shots, many of them within three feet of the basket, and fell behind 19-2 in the first 10 minutes of the contest.

The Bears -- who made 5 of 27 shots (.185) in the first half -- rallied but could never get closer than 13 points. Cal shot 22 percent for the game, a season low for a Stanford opponent.

Stanford led 29-14 at halftime.

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