Cardinal Bounce Bruins, 70-46, Claim Conference Championship
March 14, 2010
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Jayne Appel added 15 points and No. 2 Stanford rolled to a 70-46 victory over 23rd-ranked UCLA on Sunday, winning its eighth Pac-10 tournament championship in nine title-game appearances.
The Cardinal (31-1) earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, where they'll be appearing for the 23rd consecutive year. They lost to Connecticut in the national semifinals last year and to Tennessee in the championship game in 2008, last winning a national title in 1992.
Stanford became the first Pac-10 team to go undefeated in 18 regular-season games and win the league tourney title, even if the Cardinal looked sloppy at times with 15 turnovers.
Appel started after coming off the bench in two previous games because of a sprained ankle.
Kayla Pedersen added 12 points and 11 rebounds, and reserve Melanie Murphy had 10 points - eight over her average.
Jasmine Dixon scored 20 points before fouling out with 5:18 remaining for the Bruins (24-8), who had their 10-game winning streak snapped in losing to Stanford for the third time this season and eighth overall.
Making its second appearance in the tournament final, UCLA had held its previous 35 opponents under 50 percent shooting, but Stanford bettered that in the first half.
The Cardinal shot 52 percent and scored 11 points off UCLA's nine turnovers. The Bruins managed just two field goals over the final 6:33 and trailed 36-19 at the break.
Appel scored eight points as Stanford opened the second half by outscoring the Bruins 20-16 to build a 56-35 lead, its largest until the final 1:42.
From there, the Bruins went on a 10-2 run, including four free throws by Dixon, to get to 58-45, the closest they came in the second half. UCLA lost its second starter after Rebekah Gardner fouled out with 9 1/2 minutes remaining and the Bruins down by 16.
Stanford closed the game with eight unanswered points.