No. 16 Stanford women’s basketball (20-9, 14-3) took the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament off due to being the second-seed. Now, the Cardinal will face USC (20-10, 9-9) in the second round after the Trojans defeated Washington State 47-44 on Thursday.
The Cardinal begin their journey for their second consecutive Pac-12 championship. Last year, Stanford was the second seed in the tournament, and it defeated Oregon State in the title game.
Stanford was 2-0 against USC this season, winning 72-65 at home and winning 59-55 on the road. Senior forward Brittany McPhee scored a combined 33 points in both games. McPhee, who is sixth in conference scoring (18.2 points per game), was named to the All-Pac-12 team and was named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
McPhee’s performance for the Cardinal this season cannot be understated. She is the lifeblood of Stanford, and she will have to excel in every game in the tournament if Stanford wants a chance to win the Pac-12 title.
Freshman guard Kiana Williams was recognized this week as she was named to the All-Pac-12 Freshman team.
The Trojans started their season on fire as they won 11 of their first 12 games. However, once conference play started, USC fell apart. It lost three straight to Cal, Stanford and Oregon, and it couldn’t beat the better teams in the conference.
The Cardinal had the complete opposite trajectory. They began the season 6-6 and were unranked for the first time since 2001. When Pac-12 play started and when it got McPhee back, Stanford developed into a premier team.
Stanford will take on USC in KeyArena on March 1 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast by the Pac-12.
Contact Jose Saldaña at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.