February 28, 2016

Cardinal cruises past the Ducks on Senior Day

The Ducks came in a wounded team, with star Jillian Alleyne out from a recent ACL tear, so this was expected to be a win. Still, it is always a concern that, after Friday's thrilling and powerful performance against OSU, the Cardinal might lose focus.

Happily, any concern about that was erased in the first four minutes. The Cardinal came out playing as they had in the previous game, fast and confident. When Oregon coach Kelly Graves called an early time-out at 5:58, Stanford was up 9-0 -- and was ahead 12-2 on rebounds, including 7 offensive rebounds. The time-out didn't help, and Oregon didn't see its first basket until the 2:30 mark. The first quarter ended at 24-4.

The Ducks, who were also missing senior guards Lexi Petersen and Jordan Loera, pulled themselves together and played well the rest of the way, but they couldn't close the 20-point gap, and the Cardinal cruised to the final score of 69-42.

Bird had another sparkling performance, matching her career-high 25 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds. It was her fifteenth double-double of the season, and she had it early in the second quarter. It included her fourth career three-pointer. She also matched her career-high four steals and blocked three shots.

Bri added offense to her defense tonight. She scored ten points, including two of four three-point attempts. It was her first double-digit score since the Gulf Coast Tournament in November — she's peaking just in time for the Pac-12 Tournament. Bri also tallied four assists with just one turnover and a career-high four steals.

In all, six players sank three-point baskets this afternoon: Bird, Brittany, Bri, Karlie, Alanna and — Kiran in her final minute as a senior.

Following the game, the crowd honored the departing seniors — Alex Green, Kiran Lakhian, and Tess Picknell.

In other Pac-12 action this afternoon, OSU beat Cal and UCLA beat ASU. So OSU and ASU are co-champions at 16-2, with OSU the #1 seed by virtue of having defeated ASU. Stanford is tied with UCLA for third place at 14-4, with UCLA the #3 seed and Stanford #4.

The Cardinal's first Pac-12 Tournament game will be at 8:30 on Friday, March 4 against the winner of the #5 Washington vs #12 Colorado game.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference audio, with Tara and Bird,

A gallery of photos by Samuel Stringer (Icon Sportswire),

A gallery of photos from Stanford Athletics, which includes three of the threes:

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