March 14, 2010 in Sports

Stanford aims to make history

Could cap perfect run with tournament title
Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Stanford’s Kayla Pedersen, front, gets past Cal’s DeNesha Stallworth to take a shot.
(Full-size photo)

LOS ANGELES – Given all that Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer has accomplished during her 31 years at the school, her players will get a rare opportunity to make history when the Cardinal try for their fourth straight Pac-10 Conference tournament title.

Second-ranked Stanford will attempt to become the first Pac-10 team to go undefeated in the regular season and win the conference tournament championship today.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 18 points and 10 rebounds as top-seeded Stanford routed California 64-44 in the semifinals Saturday.

“To have the opportunity to be her first team to go undefeated and to win the Pac-10 tournament, I think would be something none of us would ever forget and it would add to the legacy Tara has built at Stanford,” Stanford senior Jayne Appel said.

The Bears also lost leading scorer Alexis Gray-Lawson, who was taken away on a stretcher after landing awkwardly on her head with 5 minutes left. With Cal trailing by 26, Gray-Lawson landed backward and her head hit the court after she her shot was blocked by Michelle Harrison. The senior lay motionless on the court for about 15 minutes before being transported to a hospital.

Cal coach Joanne Boyle said Gray-Lawson was talkative and alert before leaving on a stretcher and that she would be undergoing precautionary tests.

She was averaging 17.9 points coming into the game for the Bears (18-13), but finished with just four on 2-for-10 shooting.

The top-seeded Cardinal (30-1) never trailed and have reached the tournament championship game every year since it started in 2002.

(23) UCLA 59, USC 53: Darxia Morris scored 16 points and the Bruins (24-7) held on to beat the Trojans (19-12) in the other semifinal.

Jasmine Dixon had 10 points and 12 rebounds while Markel Walker had 15 points and eight rebounds for UCLA. It will be the Bruins second trip to the tournament finals.

The second-seeded Bruins, making their sixth appearance in the semifinals, missed 11 free-throw attempts. But Doreena Campbell made four in the final 19.1 seconds to preserve the win.

USC scored its final basket when Heather Oliver made a 3-pointer putting the Trojans ahead 53-51 with 4:29 left.

Ashley Corral led the third-seeded Trojans with 15 points and Aarika Hughes added 12.

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