From the opening tip, the New Mexico Aggies did not play like a 15-seed. On offense they moved and passed with dazzling speed. They hit eight of their first twelve shots. At the end of the half, they had five threes, one from each of five players.
Meanwhile the Aggies' zone slowed the Cardinal. In one memorable possession, Stanford missed five successive shots but got five successive O-boards before Brittany sank a jumper.
At the end of the first quarter, the Cardinal were in the hole 20-23. The score would have been similar at the half, 31-35, except that with two seconds left, the Aggies missed a free throw, scooped up the rebound and sank a three on the buzzer sending Stanford to the locker room down 31-38, leaving their fans to spend the half with dark thoughts of making the wrong kind of history.
After the break, Karlie helped to erase most of that deficit with two three-pointers. The Aggies and the Cardinal exhanged a narrow lead throughout the third quarter, which ended with the Cardinal down one, 48-49.
As the fourth quarter began, some of the New Mexico players were visibly tired. Brittany, Alanna and Bird scored, and the Aggies missed several successive shots. Stanford finally had a lead that was not immediately erased; and soon after, its first two-possession lead.
The Aggies were unable to muster an answer, and the buzzer gave the Cafrdinal passage to the second round, where they'll play Kansas State (who defeated Drake 76-54) in front of a home crowd on Monday.
Alanna led the Cardinal with 19 points and eleven rebounds, plus six blocks.
Karlie had 17 points including 5-9 from long range, and five assists and three steals. Her last three-pointer of the day brougnt her caeer total to 238, one more than sister Bonnie's.
Brittany had 16 points, several in the crucial fourth quarter that sparked the Cardinal's march to victory; plus three assists, five steals, six rebounds and two blocks.
Bird had nine points, twelve rebounds, and three blocks.
Bri added six points from two three-pointers, plus three assists and two steals.
Marta had five points and five steals.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- the Associated Press game recap, (posted by Stanford Athletics)
- Aggies Finish the Season in a Nail-Biter with No. 6 Stanford, the New Mexico State Athletics game recap
- No. 2 seed Stanford survives upset-minded New Mexico State by Mechelle Voepel (espnW)
- No. 2-seed Stanford keeps its cool, earns date with host Kansas State by Mechelle Voepel (espnW)
- No. 2 Stanford comes from behind to beat No. 15 NMSU by Jason Groves (Las Cruces Sun-News)
- Stanford women survive scare, beat New Mexico St in NCAA opener by Tom FitzGerald, with photos by Charlie Riedel (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Second-seed Cardinal survive scare to live another round by Lorenzo Rosas (The Stanford Daily)
- WBB: Stanford 72 New Mexico State 64 from the CARDboard
The game highlights video from Stanford,
The game highlights video from ESPN,
Postgame video interview of Tara and Alanna,
Transcript of the press conference , with Tara, Alanna and Karlie,
A gallery of photos by David Mayes Photography,