March 07, 2015

Pac-12 Tournament, Semifinals


Stanford 59, Arizona State 56

Stanford started off a bit slow tonight, but did well in the first half, staying ahead of ASU despite the Sun Devils' seeming to snarf up every loose ball (rebounds for the half were ASU 20, Stanford 11). At the break, Stanford led by four, 29-25, in large part due to nine points from Taylor and 15 from Amber.

Stanford continued to do well in the third quarter, reaching a 13-point lead at the 11-minute mark, at which time rebounding had almost evened out at 25-28. At this point, ASU began scoring and Stanford slowed down. Over the next eight minutes the Sun Devils crept back into the game and took a one-point lead, 55-56.

Taylor made a layup at 0:44, bringing her total score to 17 and putting the Cardinal ahead by one.

At this point, just as in the prior night's game against UCLA, the referees became uncertain about which team should have the ball after an out-of-bounds. They reviewed and conferred and reviewed again, and ultimately gave the ball to Stanford under the ASU basket.

At this point, ASU had only one team foul. In order to get the ball back, they had to foul Stanford six times. They fouled on the inbound five times, during which the action worked its way down the court towards the Stanford end.

On the sixth inbound attempt, the ball went to Bonnie who was unable to hold it (largely because an ASU player was draped across her back). Rather than call a foul, the referee called out of bounds, Sun Devil ball. This could have decided the game for ASU had they been able to score. However, Elisha Davis' shot hit the rim and was rebounded by Kaylee, who was instantly fouled. That finally put the Cardinal in the bonus with 11 seconds left to play.

Kaylee made the first shot of the 1-and-1, putting Stanford ahead 58-56. Her second shot bounced off the side of the rim and was snatched and cradled by Taylor.

Taylor's first free throw was good (Stanford 59-56). Her second was off and rebounded by ASU, but Elisha Davis' three-point shot fell short as time expired.

So for the second night in a row, Stanford let a comfortable lead slip away but snatched a close win by rebounding when it mattered most.

The victory was a great team effort, but there have to be two game balls — one for Amber, who led her team with 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals; and the other for Taylor, who played the best game of her career when it was most needed.

Here are game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

A video interview of Tara about reaching the Pac-12 Championship,

A video interview of Taylor after edging ASU in the Pac-12 semifinals,

The game highlights video,

And the press conference audio, with Tara and Taylor.

Cal 68, Colorado 55

The Buffs had a lot of fight left in them, but not quite enough to pull off a third upset.

They struck first and hard against the Bears, were ahead for the first ten minutes, and were down by just six (29-23) at the break.

The Buffs kept the scoring deficit to less than ten points for most of the second half, but never succeeded in overcoming it. They lost 68-55.

Here are game reports:

And the box score and play-by-play


The championship game tomorrow is Stanford vs Cal at 6:00.

The game will be televised by ESPN.

There will be a chalk talk at 3:30 and a sendoff with the band at 3:45 at the team hotel (the Westin Seattle) and a no-host gathering at 4:00 at the Tap House Grill. Click here for a map of both locations and the Key Arena.

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