State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament: Day 3

March 13, 2010


It took four years and a hard fought 59-53 win over cross town rival USC, but the wait was worth it as UCLA is playing in tomorrow's championship game against Stanford, the first appearance for the Bruins in the championship game since 2006. 

'This was a great game, I hope for TV, and a hard fought game on both parts,' said UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell, who is the current Pac-10 Coach of the Year. 'I thought USC did a real good job of handling our pressure, but this team is resilient. They have a resilience about them that enabled them to persevere tonight.'

Perseverance may be an understatment after a game like tonight. USC started off the game hot by taking an early 5-3 lead, but then UCLA went on an 11-2 run to take control of the game. With momentum looking in favor of the Bruins at the end of the first half, it was a three-point shot by USC's Heather Oliver that helped keep the score close.

'I thought this was a very good basketball game by two good basketball teams that have resurrected themselves into championship basketball,' said USC coach Michael Cooper. '

USC came out in the second half with a 7-2 run that might have worried UCLA fans. Yet no matter what the fans thought, it was the way that UCLA stayed focused through a second half that saw the lead change five times and score get tied up five times.

'It would have taken a perfect game for us to beat this team tonight because champions win on the road and that's what UCLA is,' said Cooper.

UCLA was led by Darxia Morris' 16 points and a double-double performance by Markel Walker. Meanwhile USC was led by Ashley Corral's 15 points. Corral also set a new single-game record with 15 three-point field goal attempts.

If UCLA should lose tomrrow night, they are probably still going to get a bid to the NCAA Women's Tournament with a record of 24-7. Meanwhile USC is probably on the bubble for the NCAA Women's Tournamet with their 19-12 record.

Before coming out to the championship game tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m., don't forget to move your clocks one hour forward for Daylight Savings Time.

It's all over and No. 2 seed UCLA has advanced to the championship game against No. 1 seed Stanford with a 59-53 win over USC.

More after the post game press conference.

Stay tuned.

Basketball really doesn't get much better than this game.

With USC up by one point, UCLA's Darxia Morris gets fouled while shooting a three-point shot. Since it was a three-point shot attempt, she took three free-throws. Unfortunately, she missed all three.

USC then got the ball back, but turned it over right underneath their own basket.

On UCLA's next possession Morris was fouled again and sent to the free-throw line again, this time for two shots. Only one went in and tied-up the score.

UCLA's Markel Walker just found the bottom of the next to give the Bruins a one-basket lead.

USC now has possession of the ball on their side of the floor.

There's 1:12 left to play.

Stay tuned.

Every time USC and UCLA meet in any sport there is going to be a battle. This game is no different.

For the last eight minutes these teams have been trading leads, baskets and intense battles for loose balls.

Now with 7:15 left in the game, UCLA is on top 47-46.

Stay tuned. 

After coming out a little nervous in the first half, USC has come out in the second half playing with confidence and determination.

Since the half USC has gone on a 10-4 run to tie-up the game at 34 with 15:57 left in the game.

Stay tuned.

USC is fighting back in these final seconds.

After Heather Oliver pulled down a tough rebound, Hailey Dunham made a nice lay-up and then Oliver finished the half with a three-pointer righ in front of the UCLA bench.

We are now at the half and UCLA is still up 30-24.

UCLA is let by Darxia Morris' nine points and Jasmine Dixon's six rebounds. USC is paced by Aarika Hughes' seven points.

Stay tuned.

UCLA is enjoying a comfortable lead right now thanks to some stifling defense.

The Bruins are doing an excellent job of trapping USC on the ball, getting over screens and then boxing out for rebounds.

USC on the other hand is struggling a bit on defense. The Women of Troy are using their hands more than their feet to get into position and have picked up team foul number five.

UCLA is up 28-17 with 2:09 left.

Stay tuned.

The cross town showdown of today continues as the second semifinal game between USC and UCLA is underway.

With the intensity seen in the first half of this, this looks to be a barn burner.

UCLA is ahead right now 20-11.

Stay tuned 

California vs. Stanford

With a 64-44 win over California, Stanford is one game away from doing something they have never done before -- go undefeated in both the regular Pac-10 season and post season conference tournament.

'I don't think that any men's or women's team has gone undefeated during the regular season and won the Pac-10 Tournament and we have gone undefeated in the regular season, but never won the Pac-10 Tournament,' said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. 'We are trying to get our little shot at Pac-10 history.'

Stanford is taking one step close to this goal after a double-double performance by Nnemkadi Ogqumike's 18 points and 10 rebounds.

California was led by Gennifer Brandon's 10 points and nine rebounds.

Stanford will play the winner of the current game between USC and UCLA.

Stanford may get a lot of attention for the numbers they put up, but what is probably more impressive is the numbers they do not allow other teams to get becase of their defense.

I thought our team came out very focused and worked very hard defensively. We did a better job of rebounding in the second half

Play has resumed and while the California team is probably more concerned about their fallen teammate, they are staying pretty focused.

The game has now ended and Stanford is moving on to tomorrow's championship game with a 64-44 final score.

More to come after the post game press conference.

We are in a time-out right now as California's Alexis Gray-Lawson is down with an injury as the result of a hard blocked shot. She is face down on the floor andisn't moving much. The California trainer is paying a lot of attention to the back of her neck and head, so this may be serious.

The eight trainers and medical staff currently on the floor attending to Gray-Lawson have just gently rolled her onto a backboard to help get her onto a stretcher.

After a standing ovation from the crowds as she was wheeled off the floor, play is about to resume following this 20 minute delay.

Stanford 56, California 32

Stay tuned

One of the special promotions taking place during the Pac-10 Women's Tournament is today's Dad's and Daughter's Day. While the dad's and daughter's in attendance are enjoying watching the game, it is the last time out activity that gave fans an opportunity to watch some dad's and daughters enjoy a special bonding moment.

We just watched a pair of dad's and daughters (and one mom and daughter team) engage in a dribbling three-legged race. After dribbling the ball down the length of the court each team had to make a basket and then dribble back down the cout. Once back at the starting end of the court, each team had to try to make another basket. The winning team not only won a Pac-10 prize pack, but also a fun memory for year's to come.

There are less than 10 minutes to play and Stanford is extending the lead with every posssession. The Cardinal now command a 52-26 lead.

Stay tuned.

Stanford does so many things right on the court, but one of the things they do so well is defense. Stanford is currently in a man-to-man zone, but all of them have such great court vision that they know when they can double-up on someone and they don't get burned by an open player.

Ther is 11:40 left in the game and Stanford continues to increase the lead 47-24.

Stay tuned.

The second half has started and the Stanford team continues to show their athleticism and court presence. Jeanette Pohlen just grabbed a rebound but lost her footing and fell down. Instead of bringing the ball down with her and risking a jump ball, she quickly passed it off to Appel who was standing nearby. This led to another Stanford bucket and now the Cardinal have their largest lead of the game at 11 points.

Stanford 42, California 21 with 17:08 left to play.

Stay tuned.

We are at halftime and Stanford is still in the lead 35-19.

Leading Stanford with 14 points is Nemkadi Ogwumike and six rebounds. California is currently led by DeNesha Stallworth's six points.

Most of of Stanford's points are coming from inside the paint as this is where they have scored 20 of their 35 points.

Stay tuned.

Jayne Appel may be sitting on the bench right now, but her quasi-twin sister is on the floor in her place.

Stanford freshman Joslyn Tinkle may only be an inch shorter than Appel, but she is on her way to being just as much of a presence in the paint an Appel. Tinkle just got the ball at the free-throw line and after looking for an open teammate to pass it to, she turned around, squared up to the basket and found nothing but net.

Stay tuned.

There's a 30-second time out her nd Stanford is not letting California come back in this game. California is sill struggling with a 23.8 percent shooting percentage while Stanford is at 50 percent.

Stanford's lead is now 25-15 with 3:45 left in the half.

Stay tuned.

We are well into the first half and Stanford is dominating. The Cardinal are shooting 58.3 percent from the field while the Golden Bears are at 25 percent.


With 11:22 left on the clock, Stanford is up 16-8.


Stay tuned.

Welcome to Semifinal Saturday!

There are four teams left and two of them will move on to tomorrow's final. What's unique about these four teams is that they are cross town rivals of each other. In the first game we have the bay area Pac-10 schools of California and Stanford. In the second game we have the Los Angeles schools of UCLA and USC. Since the inception of the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament in 2002, there have been six games where cross town rival teams have faced off between each other during the tournament. For these two teams, they have played against each other during the tournament four times with Stanford winning each time.

With as interesting as the past meetings between these two schools is, the only thing that these two teams are thinking about is the outcome of today's game. Stanford currently owns bragging rights after sweeping California during the regular season.

One-seed Stanford (29-1 and 18-0) is led by a handful of players that give opponents a run for their money on any given night. This roster includes a starting line-up that consists of Pac-10 Player of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike to three-time All-Pac-10 Team honoree Jayne Appel and two-time All-Pac-10 Team honorees Jeanette Pohlen and Kayla Pedersen.

Fourth seed California (18-12 and 1107) also boast the kind of talent that creates problems for other teams. With All-Pac-10 three-time honoree Alexis Gray-Lawson and All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honoree DeNesha Stallworth and a roster full of players that play with grit and intensity, the Golden Bears do not give up easily.

Fans are starting to trickle into the Galen Center on USC's campus for the 2:30 p.m. tip-off.


Stay tuned.



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