A possible turning point in Georgia’s win was a finger injury that sidelined Stanford forward Taylor Greenfield early in the game.
With the Cardinal leading 11-2 just 7 minutes into the game, Greenfield was dribbling the ball with her left hand when Georgia’s Sara James kicked the ball. Greenfield crumpled to the ground, clutching her fingers.
Perhaps coincidentally, momentum shifted at that moment toward the Bulldogs, who outscored Stanford 20-10 over the next 7 minutes to get back in the game.
Greenfield went to the locker room after the injury. The fingers were splinted and she didn’t return to action.
“That really shortens our already short rotation,” said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. “It was very physical in there, and we really missed Taylor.”
Fans turn out
The lack a hometown team and the warmest day of the year couldn’t keep basketball fans away from Spokane Arena on Saturday.
Organizers didn’t know what to expect after Gonzaga was eliminated in the first round by Iowa State, but the Arena was more than half-full for Saturday’s double-header.
And even as temperatures hit the mid-60s in Spokane, 6,146 fans streamed in to see an elite field that included Pac-12 entrants Stanford and California and Southeastern Conference powers Georgia and LSU.
Even though the event is held in Spokane, the sponsoring institution is Washington State University.
It wasn’t pretty
They don’t award style points in the NCAA tournament.
Georgia certainly wasn’t looking for any Saturday.
The Bulldogs’ offense was hideous most of the game, but they made the shots when they counted most in the end.
Trailing 41-32 with 13:39 to go, Georgia made nine of its final 14 shots for the 61-59 comeback victory.
“Everybody did a really good job of sticking together and just keeping each other encouraged and motivated on what it was that we were trying to do, and we were able to pull the comeback off,” Georgia senior guard Jasmine James said.
Georgia coach Andy Landers wasn’t surprised by how the game played out.
“We felt like it could be a 50s game because Stanford is very, very good defensively,” Landers said.
“We hoped that our plan would hold up and we could defend them the way that we did.”