March 9, 2024 

Hannah Jump calls for her moment to lift Stanford into Pac-12 Tournament final

The Cardinal are starting to answer a question that's vexed them all year: Who else will come up big?

LAS VEGAS — Hannah Jump made eye contact with teammate Kiki Iriafen during a timeout on Friday night. The Stanford fifth-year senior tapped her chest and said, “Find me.”

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On the next possession, with the Cardinal down 35-21 halfway through the second quarter, Jump hit a transition 3-pointer that ignited the biggest comeback of the season for the nation’s No. 2 team.

Jump finished with a season-high 20 points and six rebounds, and Stanford wore down a supremely talented Oregon State squad to win its Pac-12 Tournament semifinal 66-57.

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Stanford will meet USC — a double-overtime winner over UCLA in a thrilling second semifinal — and play for its 16th and last Pac-12 Tournament title largely because it answered its most burning question all season: Who else?

Cameron Brink and Iriafen are arguably the best frontcourt combination in the nation. They are the engine for the Cardinal and carry their hopes and dreams for a deep NCAA Tournament run.

The biggest unknown about this team has been who its third-best player is. Who else will come up big? Based on the team’s Pac-12 Tournament performances, the answer isn’t limited to one person.

On Thursday against Cal, it was junior guard Elena Bosgana who had an impactful complementary performance, with 16 points in a comeback win.

On Friday, it was Jump. The 3-point specialist is also an experienced, high-IQ, hardworking, example-setting veteran, and she leads the team in minutes played (34.1 per game) by a wide margin. Against Oregon State, she wanted the ball and asked for it when things were looking shaky for Stanford.

Jump, who owns the school record for games played (164) and 3-pointers made, hit 100 3-pointers at a 44.1% clip a season ago. This season, she has hit 70 on 36.6% shooting. But she was scoreless in 36 minutes against Cal.

“Coming into this game after the last one, for me it was just focusing on other things and letting the game come to me,” Jump told reporters. “And today I felt it. So yeah, I told Kiki to find me. I think my teammates and coaches instill a lot of confidence in me, especially after the last game, just reminding me what else I bring to the court other than my shot.”

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Jump was not the only one to capitalize on the moment. Junior Brooke Demetre has a key role off the bench as a wing who can provide depth in the post and scoring on the perimeter. She finished Friday’s game with 10 points, including eight in the pivotal third quarter in which Stanford outscored Oregon State 23-8 to turn the game on its head.

“Brooke coming in was big for us. I’m hard on Brooke,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “She takes it. And I think she kind of leads the way with the resiliency she shows and obviously knocking down big shots.”

As a bench catalyst, Demetre knows her job is to stay ready and to get her shots within the offense. She has now scored in double figures in four of her last seven games.

“After I hit my shots, I felt a momentum shift,” Demetre said.

Jump and Demetre combined to provide Stanford with the spark it needed as Brink and Iriafen battled inside.

“I really liked their body language and how they played with a lot of confidence,” VanDerveer said of Jump and Demetre. “Hannah, just coming off with a lot of speed, looking for her shot and knocking it down. I don’t remember Hannah coming out of the game.”

VanDerveer paused to check the box score.

“Oh yeah, sure enough, 40 minutes.

“Hannah guards people. She gets the ball inside. It was the grit that people showed tonight that I really appreciated. We had to battle, and that’s good for us.”

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Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck thought Jump’s play was critical to Stanford’s success.

“Veteran players tend to have a knack, when it matters most, to rise, and she did that today, I thought,” Rueck told reporters. “She worked really hard getting free. It’s not easy to do against our team, so you’ve got to give her credit for that.”

Brink, who finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, said she gets energy from watching her teammates lift each other up in big moments.

“One hundred percent,” Brink said. “I get so excited. These are some of my best friends. Seeing them play well gets me going.”

And it’s got Stanford going to the Pac-12 title game to play for one last championship.

Written by Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has covered women's basketball nationally for nearly three decades. Smith has worked for, The Athletic, the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as and She was named to the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame in 2015, is the 2017 recipient of the Jake Wade Media Award from the Collegiate Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) and was named the Mel Greenberg Media Award winner by the WBCA in 2019.

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