Stanford women find their groove in the second half

Stanford women's basketball team needed a half to sweep the cobwebs off its collective minds following a week of finals and a week without games.

In the end, the fourth-ranked and top-seeded Cardinal used the second half to pull away from ninth-seed Colorado on Friday afternoon, recording a 69-54 victory in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle.

Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef each posted double-doubles in the victory and two others reached double figures in scoring.

Ogwumike netted 19 points and 11 rebounds, Ruef had 10 points and 16 rebounds, while Lili Thompson added 16 points and Bonnie Samuelson 15.

Stanford recovered from a season-low 21 first-half points to outscore Colorado, 48-31, over the final 20 minutes.

"At this point with your conference teams, they've scouted you. They've played against you for three or four years twice a year," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "So I think that this is the best preparation for the NCAA Tournament. They're going to make you do things that maybe aren't comfortable. They put you out of your comfort zone a little bit. I think that Colorado did that a little bit to us."

Seeking its seventh straight Pac-12 Tournament title and 11th overall, Stanford overcame 35.6 percent shooting, mostly due to converting 21 of 30 foul shots.

Colorado, which was held to 33.3 percent shooting, was led by Brittany Wilson's 16 points and Arielle Roberson's game-high 17 rebounds.

Ogwumike, who scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half, gave Stanford the lead for good after knocking down her third 3-pointer of the year to spark a 16-2 scoring run.

Ogwumike now has 2,599 points, 31 points away from breaking Candice Wiggins' Pac-12 record of 2,629 points.

Ogwumike continued to pad her Pac-12 all-time rebounding mark to 1,494.

Colorado led 23-21 at halftime, as both squads struggled from the field. The Buffaloes made 27.6 percent while the Cardinal was limited to 24.1 percent.

Stanford faces No. 5 USC on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the semifinals. The Trojans edged No. 4 Arizona State, 59-57.

— Stanford Athletics


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