Stanford Wins 2011 Tournament Title With Victory Over UCLA

by Lara Boyko

- Post-game Press Conference

- Photo gallery

- Championship gear

- Kokenis Leads The Way For Stanford

LOS ANGELES - Two-seed and No. 7/9-ranked UCLA (27-4, 16-2 Pac-10) used a focused first half to disrupt and delay one-seed and No. 2-ranked Stanford's (29-2, 18-0 Pac-10) offense, but with the Cardinal regaining their focus and enjoying a 10-0 run in the second half, Stanford claimed its eighth Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament title with a 64-55 win.

"This was a great game," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "UCLA had us on the ropes and we had to really battle to come back. We are proud of our team in the second half."

During the first half of the game, UCLA did just about everything right. They not only took Stanford out of their rhythm on offense, but used a 13-3 run at the end of the half to build a comfortable 30-21 lead. The last time Stanford was behind at half time dates back to December 19 and their 82-72 loss against then-ranked No. 6 Tennessee.

"In the first half, we weren't in any kind of rhythm offensively, we weren't aggressive enough defensively and we did not do a good enough of job in making plays," said VanDerveer. "We were out of sync."

The second half started out with UCLA holding onto some of their first half momentum. But as any coach that has seen or played against Stanford knows, a Cardinal run was inevitable.

"I think this group did an amazing job, pretty much for about 32 or 33 minutes of the game," said UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell. "Then there was the run and you knew it was coming. This group is tough and they're resilient, but we couldn't go deep in our bench tonight and I think that hurt us a little bit."

The source of Stanford's game-changing run was Toni Kokenis (read more about Kokenis's performance), a wide-eyed freshman with the hot hand, who single-handedly went on a 10-0 run to lift the Cardinal back on top.

"I was definitely proud of her," said Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike. "We definitely needed that run, because they were taking away a lot of the things that we're good at. They were packing it inside and she opened things up for us. I was really excited to see how much she was bringing to the court."

Despite being down and with time running out, the Bruins continued to utilize their relentless full court press in hopes of being able to turn around the momentum.

"I'm very proud of this team," said Caldwell. "I liked the intensity of our group coming out in the second half. I thought they really stood toe-to-toe with a very, very good basketball team."

Stanford finished with three players in double-digits. The Cardinal were led by Kokenis, who finished with 17 points, Nnemkadi Ogwumike's 15 points and Kayla Pedersen's 12 points.

UCLA was led by Doreena Campbell's 16 points and 12 points from both Markel Walker and Darxia Morris.

The next stop for both of these teams will be known during Monday's NCAA tournament selection show on ESPN.

"I really hope that on Monday we are given a No. 1 seed," said VanDerveer. "I think we earned it in this game. I think UCLA deserves a two-seed. They really have improved a lot and they're playing really well."

Postgame Notes

-Stanford wins the Pac-10's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.  Stanford will be making its 24th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and 25th overall.

-Stanford continued its streak of wins vs. Pac-10 foes; it has won 57 in a row since losing to Cal on Jan. 22, 2009, 57-54.

-Today's attendance of 2,618 was the largest since 2008.

Most Outstanding Player:

Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Stanford (also MOP in 2010)

All Tournament Team:

Doreena Campbell, UCLA

Cassie Harberts, USC

Soana Lucet, Arizona

Darxia Morris, UCLA

Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford

Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Stanford***

*** 3 time All Tournament Selection

-Stanford appeared in its 10th Tournament championship game (in as many Tournaments).  Its record now stands at 8-2 in those games.  UCLA made its 3rd title game appearance, splitting two previous games with Stanford.

-Stanford's Tournament record is now 27-2; UCLA's is 12-9.  Stanford's season record is 29-2 with a 23 game winning streak. 

-UCLA's 27 wins are the 2nd most in school history (tie).  Its two year total of 52 wins (2009-11) are a school best.

-The #1 seed (each time Stanford) has won 8 of the 10 Tournament title games (the #3 seed won in 2002 and 2006).

-UCLA lost for only the 2nd time this season when leading at halftime (23-2).  Stanford won its first game this season after trailing at the half (1-2).

Tournament Records - Tournament

Points, Highest Average:  82.0, (79.7, Stanford, 2009)

Field Goal %:  .528, (44-75), Stanford, (.486, 51-105, ASU, 2006)

UCLA Notes: 

-Darxia Morris (22nd time this season), Doreena Campbell (15th time) scored in double figures.

-All four of its losses have come when scoring fewer than 60 points.

Stanford Notes:

-N. Ogwumike scored in double figures for the 27th time this season.

-Kayla Pedersen scored in double figures for the 26th time this season.

-Toni Kokenis scored 13 2nd half points en route to her season/career high in points (17).

- First Half Notes:

14 of Stanford's first 20 field goal attempts were from outside the three point arc.  In the teams' regular season contests, UCLA's biggest lead was 2 points.  Stanford's 21 points were its lowest in any half this season.

- Second Half Notes:

UCLA had a 36-25 lead when Stanford went on a 13-4 run.  Stanford retook the lead 47-46 at 6:14 on a N. Ogumwike three point play.  Stanford never trailed after taking a 49-48 lead with 5:16 to go.

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