March 5, 2021
Pac-12 Tournament: Day 2 Recap
How Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA pushed themselves to the semifinals
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The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament rolled on Thursday. The top-seeded teams hit the court for the first time of the tournament thanks to their first-round bye. That’s Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona.
The semifinals are slotted for Friday evening, but first let’s dive into Thursday’s action.
Game 1: No. 4 Oregon vs Oregon State
Oregon State once again held strong against its in-state rivals, nailing down a 71-64 win over Oregon Thursday afternoon.
With the win the Beavers extend their winning streak to eight of their last nine games, including five-straight in a stretch of three victories over ranked opponents.
“Obviously we knew it was going to take a big effort today,” said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. “Oregon’s a great team, very well coached. We knew just because of the recent game on Sunday that we played against them that there was going to be a bit of a chess match. That third quarter was special. We had great performances throughout our roster.”
The defenses were the stars of the show at first, with Oregon leading 10-5 heading into the second quarter. The Beavers fought back in the second, though, and ended up taking a 24-19 halftime lead thanks in part to a 9-0 run.
Oregon State’s offense wasn’t stopping there. They exploded in the third, going on a 13-0 run and scoring a season-high 31 points in the period. The game headed to the fourth quarter with OSU up 55-40. The Ducks battled back to within four in the last quarter, but the Beavers pulled away and secured the seven-point win.
By the numbers: As a team Oregon State shot 48.2 percent from the floor, while Oregon shot 43.3 percent. Talia von Oelhoffen put up 19 points, boosting her total in the tournament so far to 39 (that’s in just two games). Aleah Goodman was also a threat on the floor with 13 points and seven assists. Two other Beavers, Taylor Jones and Sasha Goforth scored 10 points apiece.
What’s up next: The Beavers advance to face Stanford in the semifinals today at 5 p.m. PT.
Game 2: No. 1 Stanford vs USC
Stanford is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation in the AP’s latest poll, and they shined in their match-up against USC on Thursday. The Cardinal walked away with a 92-53 victory over the Trojans, boasting a 54-33 rebounding edge and 32-22 advantage on points in the paint.
It’s the 11th time this season Stanford has held an opponent to 53 points or fewer and they rank ninth in the nation in points allowed.
“I loved our balance,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I think we’ve got weapons. We’ve got inside game and outside game. you know, I think it was fun to be able to spread it around.”
The Cardinal came out hungry and led by as much as 26 points in the second quarter. It was a bucket-fest for Stanford, who had a different leading scorer in each quarter.
By the numbers: The Cardinal actually tied a Pac-12 Tournament record on Thursday by making 15 three’s and shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. The defense was also firing on all cylinders and held the Trojans to a season-low 28.6 percent shooting performance, including just 18.4 percent in the first half. Ashten Prechtel dropped 15 points and hauled in 11 rebounds for Stanford, while Haley Jones and Hannah Jump put up 14 points each.
What’s up next: Stanford will face Oregon State in the semifinals tonight at 5 p.m. PT.
Game 3: No. 2 Arizona vs Washington State
Arizona came out on top in its Thursday night 60-44 win against Washington State. Wildcats forward Trinity Baptiste sank 13 of her 17 total points in the first half alone.
Baptiste also led the charge on defense last night, swiping away six of Arizona’s 16 steals throughout the game.
“Trinity brings toughness,” Arizona guard and Pac-12 Player of the Year Aari McDonald said. “She beats us up a little bit in practice, but I think it prepares us for the games. The way she played today was amazing and just so efficient… I’m gonna have to buy her a little gift.”
The Wildcats pulled away with an 11-0 run in the third quarter, putting them up 42-24. The Cougars wouldn’t close the gap any less than 14 the rest of the game.
By the numbers: McDonald had a killer stat line on the night — 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds. It’s also her 86th game in a row scoring in double digits. Forward Cate Reese tacked on another 10 points for Arizona. WSU freshman phenom Charlisse Leger-Walker put up 12 points and her sister Krystal also scored 10 for the Cougars. Despite this loss, Washington State is still a team to look out for after they’ve gone 3-6 against ranked opponents, including a pair of wins against No. 9 UCLA.
What’s up next: The Wildcats advance to the semifinals and will face UCLA tonight at 8 p.m. PT.
Game 4: No. 3 UCLA vs Washington
This game was a bit closer than the others, but UCLA held on against Washington to advance to the semifinals with a 58-46 win.
The first quarter started pretty close, but the Bruins quickly pulled away and ended the quarter ahead 22-10. Washington answered in the second quarter with nine straight points to make it 25-19, before Lindsey Corsaro hit a triple and helped push the Bruins’ lead to 30-25 at the half.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth battle, opened by Tameiya Sadler putting up eight points for the Huskies. In the fourth, UCLA pulled away after a pair of free throws from Michaela Onyenwere and a corner jumper from Lauryn Miller put them up 48-41 with five minutes left in the game. Washington fought all the way to the end, but the Bruins were able to hold on and edge them out to advance to the semifinals.
By the numbers: Charisma Osborne and Michaela Onyenwere scored 12 points a pop and Osborne matched her season high with a game-best 10 rebounds. The Bruins also brought in 15 steals, with Natalie Chou contributing a career high-matching five takeaways. UCLA knocked down 7-of-13, while Washington was held to 2-of-12. On the Huskies’ side, Quay Miller scored a game-high 19 points and Tameiya Sadler added 12 points, but Washington only led the game twice.
What’s up next: The Bruins will take on Arizona in the semifinals tonight at 8 p.m. PT.
Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals Schedule (Friday, March 5)
Stanford vs Oregon State, 5 p.m. PT
UCLA vs Arizona, 8 p.m. PT
Both games are available on the Pac-12 Network and the Pac-12 Now App.