2017 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament championship preview: Stanford vs. Oregon State
Who: No. 2 Stanford vs No. 1 Oregon State
When: Sunday, March 5, at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT on ESPN2
After topping UCLA and Oregon, respectively, on Saturday night, the Beavers and the Cardinal have earned their spots to vie for the 2017 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament title.
What to watch for: Oregon State (29-3, 16-2 Pac-12)
The Beavers got off to a slow start against the Bruins. Ten turnovers in the first half led to a 30-27 deficit at halftime, but they kept the score close by outrebounding UCLA 23-15.
Despite a slow start, Sydney Wiese once again led her team in scoring with 19 points in the win. The Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year made her shots when she was needed most - in the fourth quarter. Wiese put up eight in the final 3:38 seconds of a tight game, propelling the Beavs to a 63-53 win.
Freshman Marie Gulich also stepped up huge for OSU, recording a double-double. Her ten points and 16 (!) rebounds were crucial for Oregon State, as they finished the game with +19 margin on the boards.
The Beavers will have to avoid a slow start against Stanford, who are a solid team all-around.
What to watch for: Stanford (27-5, 15-3 Pac-12)
The Cardinal got down in the first quarter against Oregon in the semifinals, but never panicked, eventually earning a 71-56 win to advance to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game. Stanford outscored the Ducks in the second, third, and fourth quarters.
Erica McCall was once again a forced to be reckoned with, dropping 17 points and and grabbing 15 boards to lead her team in both categories. Kaylee Johnson also threw in a double-double for the Card, with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Stanford simply relied on who they are as a team, never looking nervous and flustered. They held the advantage in both rebounds and assists over Oregon, chipping away at the lead before holding the Ducks to just nine points in both the second and fourth quarters.
Oregon State will need to be more consistent to top the Card, and Stanford will need to contain Wiese if they hope to bring home the title. It'll be an epic battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds on Sunday night in Seattle.