No. 7 Stanford (25-5, 14-4 Pac-12) played preseason-top-10 Oregon State three times this season, won all three and improved each time. In the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament, the Beavers were held to just 57 points, while Stanford earned 68 and a spot in semifinal action on Saturday.
Oregon State’s Destiny Slocum was held to 12 points on 4-of-14 after torching the Cardinal for 26 in each of the first two contests. Slocum was defended at times by her opposite point guard junior Kiana Williams, and often by either sophomore guard Lacie Hull or senior guard Anna Wilson.
“Lacie and Anna, they did a terrific job taking away what [Slocum] likes to do, making it tough for her,” Williams said. “Our bigs did a great job when they had to switch on her. It was a team effort.”
Williams led all scorers with 23 points, shooting 7-of-18 with four rebounds and three assists.
“And Kiana, this is how she’s playing, she’s a March basketball player,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer. “She kind of starts out, gets everybody involved, and then when it’s time, she asserts herself really well.”
Oregon State averages 20.6 3-point attempts per game, but shot just 13 and made a mere five on Friday night. VanDerveer credited assistant coach Tempie Brown with the scouting report, which included a focus on limiting the Beavers’ opportunities from behind the arc.
The Beavers’ Aleah Goodman and Kat Tudor were also shut down from 3-point land. Goodman scored 12 to tie for the team high, Tudor had five and Mikayla Pivec had just 10 on 3-of-13.
Hull scored 10 and shot 3-of-4, including 2-of-3 from deep, for her fourth game in double figures this season.
“Lacie got us going with her three-point shooting, to be a double-digit scorer for us,” VanDerveer said. “We count on her defense, and she worked very hard defensively against excellent players.”
Junior forward Maya Dodson scored all 10 of her points in a dominant first half on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. Senior forward Nadia Fingall tallied ten rebounds, two blocks and three points. Sophomore guard Lexie Hull scored six and was 0-for-5 on 3-pointers but balanced out her shooting struggles with five assists and four rebounds while limiting turnovers to three — an emphasis for the team this week.
“March is all about winning,” Williams said. “You have to up your play a little bit. The stakes go up. It is win or go home.”
Stanford led 25-10 after the first quarter, never trailed and survived a six and half minute drought without a field goal to close the game.
“We didn’t play as well as we needed to against UCLA [last time],” VanDerveer said. “I’m very focused on UCLA and us playing as well as we can tomorrow night.”
“I hope our team is too,” she added.
Stanford will play second-seeded UCLA today at 8:30 p.m. PT. The Cardinal dropped the first meeting 79-69 in early February, unable to Fontaine the Bruins’ Michaela Onyenwere.