No. 4 Stanford women rout Oregon State to reach Pac-12 final
LAS VEGAS – Cameron Brink scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead No. 4 Stanford into the Pac-12 Tournament title game with a 79-45 victory over Oregon State on Friday.
Stanford will play for the championship Sunday against the winner of the second semifinal between No. 9 UCLA and No. 11 Arizona.
Brink, selected to the conference’s All-Freshman team after averaging 9.8 points on 58.6% shooting and 6.8 rebounds per game this season, finished 9 of 13 from the floor while adding four blocks.
“I liked how aggressive she was,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “She brings great emotion. What wasn’t to like? It was very exciting to see her step up on the big stage and play so well.”
Kiana Williams had 20 points, six rebounds and six assists for Stanford (24-2). Lexie Hull contributed 12 points and seven rebounds, and Hannah Jump added 10 points and five boards.
Aleah Goodman scored 12 points and Taylor Jones pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Oregon State (11-7), which was playing its third tournament game in three days.
“It was obviously a tough game, but you’ve got to take what you’re handed, so we can’t use those circumstances as an excuse,” Goodman said. “Stanford played an unbelievable game. They played a full 40 minutes, and we didn’t.”
When the teams met on Feb. 13, the Beavers challenged Stanford by getting within four midway through the third quarter before the Cardinal pulled away late for an 83-58 victory. Stanford, which improved to 62-9 against Oregon State, wasn’t about to let it get that close Friday.
The game was tied 13-all after one quarter, and the Beavers took the lead briefly when Sasha Goforth drained a 3-pointer five seconds into the second.
Then it was Brink’s turn.
The 6-foot-4 forward from Beaverton, Oregon, scored 11 points, blocked three shots and grabbed two rebounds during a 20-3 run that swung momentum in Stanford’s favor.
Brink’s surge sparked the Cardinal after a rather stagnant first quarter, when they shot 6 for 20 (30%). They improved to 46.7% in the second period.
“I just had fun with it and my teammates found me really well,” Brink said. "(Kiana) had some great passes to me, Lacie (Hull), everyone. I just fed off my teammates’ energy. And it was fun.”
Brink also controlled the paint on the defensive end, shutting down passing lanes and making it difficult for the Beavers to penetrate, forcing them to shoot from the outside. Oregon State couldn’t find its touch, going 3 for 13 (23.1%) from the floor in the second quarter.
“Tonight they made us pay for everything,” said coach Scott Rueck, whose team shot 31% from the field. “And I don’t know if fatigue caught up or what, but obviously it wasn’t a great shooting night for us even when we did get good looks, and you know all those turned into transition points for them.”
The Cardinal outscored Oregon State 19-0 in fast-break points.
Turnovers also plagued the Beavers, who ranked sixth in the league with 14.1 per game but had committed 13 by the end of the third quarter. Oregon State finished with 15, and Stanford outscored the Beavers 18-5 in points off turnovers.
“Our defense really set the tone for the win, and to hold a team that’s that good to 45 points is really saying something,” VanDerveer said. “When you play in our conference, you have to play defense. Everyone on our team is working hard defensively. I know we need them to do that for our team to be successful.”
Oregon State: The Beavers shot a blistering 49.7% from 3-point range in their previous nine games but managed a meager 23.1% (6 for 26) on Friday.
Stanford: Anna Wilson started and played 20 minutes but finished with zero points and four rebounds. Wilson didn’t attempt a field goal. VanDerveer commended Wilson, however, for her stellar play on defense after nabbing four steals.
Oregon State: Awaits word on an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
Stanford: Will play in Sunday’s Pac 12 final vs. the winner of Arizona-UCLA.