BY SPNW Staff 08:39PM 03/08/2013

Stanford ousts WSU, joins Cal in women’s semis

Stanford had its usual easy time with Washington State — the Cardinal is 55-0 against the Cougars — Friday night in the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament at KeyArena, getting 23 points and 21 rebounds from Chiney Ogwumike in a 79-60 triumph. Fourth-ranked Stanford (29-2) won its 15th in a row and will play Colorado in the Saturday semifinals, meaning the tourney’s top four seeds prevailed.

Earlier in the season, Ogwumike had 27 points and 24 rebounds against Oregon. Friday she was 6 of 7 shooting and 5 of 7 at the line and recorded a double-double within the first 13 minutes. At halftime, she had 17 points and 12 boards.

Lia Galdeira led Washington State (11-20) with 16 points. The Cougars welcomed back coach June Daugherty a day after she underwent emergency surgery to remove her appendix. Daughtery, the former Huskies coach, sat behind the bench and let her husband, Mike, an assistant, do the work for a second night in a row.

Cal 78, USC 59

In the noon game to tip off the tourney’s second day, regular-season champion Cal did the expected, scoring the game’s first 11 points and easily handling USC.

The second-seeded and fifth-ranked Bears were led by Gennifer Brandon’s 17 points and 16 rebounds. Cal’s 16th victory in a row made for 28 wins, a school single-season record. Afure Jemerigbe and Brittany Boyd both scored 15.

California, the No. 2 seed in the tourney despite sharing the regular season crown with Stanford, will face UCLA in the semifinals Saturday night.

Brandon’s 16 rebounds were her third-most of the season. She had a school-record 26 rebounds against USC earlier this season.

“I knew they were going to try and box me out so I just tried to slither my way through and be ready to go get the rebound anywhere I could,” Brandon said.

Cassie Harberts led USC (11-20), which beaten Oregon State in the the first round, with 24 points.

“The biggest thing was physicality,” Harberts said. “They gave us the punch and we just kind of fell flat on our butt and didn’t respond.”

UCLA 54, Utah 43

In the second afternoon game, 14th-ranked UCLA (24-6) blew an 11-point lead but but rallied quickly  for a quarterfinals win win that put them in the Saturday semis against Cal, which swept the series against the Bruins.

Utah put on a big rally to take its only lead of the game on Cheyenne Wilson’s baseline jumper with 9:30 left. It put the Utes in front 37-35 and capped a 15-2 run.  But UCLA answered with a 16-2 run to quell the upset bid. After shooting 35 percent for the season, Utah missed 13 of 15 3-point shots.

Jasmine Dixon and Atonye Nyingifa both scored 11 points to lead UCLA while Michelle Plouffe had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Utah (18-13), but made just 3 of 13 shots  Utah reached the quarterfinals after beating Arizona in the first round.


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