UCLA Grabs NCAA Bid With 85-76 OT Upset Win Over No. 11 Stanford
March 7, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Noelle Quinn scored the final seven points of regulation and four more in overtime to lift UCLA to its first Pac-10 tournament title with an 85-76 victory over No. 11 Stanford on Monday night.
The physical, speedy Bruins rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament thanks to huge performances by their three stars: Quinn, Lisa Willis and Nikki Blue.
Tournament MVP Willis had 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and six steals, fouling out after establishing a new tournament record for steals (19), while Quinn had 22 points and eight rebounds. Blue finished with 14 points, eight assists and six steals and Lindsey Pluimer scored five of her 16 points in OT for the Bruins (20-10), who pulled off their second upset in as many nights following a 60-59 win over then-No. 11 Arizona State.
Blue jumped onto the scorer's table afterward, waving and celebrating with UCLA fans. Stanford's players sat dejected on their bench as UCLA celebrated.
The Cardinal are still headed to their 19th straight NCAA tournament. They watched as their five-game winning streak was snapped, keeping Stanford from winning its fourth straight conference tournament championship.
Candice Wiggins had 23 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals, but missed key opportunities in overtime and made five turnovers. Brooke Smith added 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals and Kristen Newlin 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Wiggins got a steal and drew the fifth foul on Willis with 1:59 left in OT, converting both free throws to tie the game at 76. The Cardinal (23-7), who moved up two spots in the rankings released earlier in the day, didn't score again.
Quinn scored seven straight points over the final 1:19 of regulation, including the tying basket on a 10-footer with 5.8 seconds left. She converted a three-point play with 45 seconds left in regulation.
Stanford called timeout with 31.2 remaining, then Wiggins missed a 3 to give UCLA a final chance with 16.4 to go, and Quinn came through.
Krista Rappahahn made three 3-pointers and set a new school record for 3s in a season, surpassing the 81 set by Jamie Carey in the 1999-2000 season.
Rappahahn missed her first two attempts, then connected from the top of the arc at 10:14 of the first half to tie the mark. She passed Carey with a baseline shot that circled the rim before going in with 8:30 left, then later made another.
Stanford had won five straight and 10 of 11 after winning a school-record sixth straight Pac-10 regular-season championship.
The teams split their two regular-season meetings this season, each winning on their home floor, and Stanford was still upset with its lack of energy in a 90-80 loss at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 27 that ended the Cardinal's 14-game winning streak in the series.