SEATTLE – Alanna Smith scored 18 points, Karlie Samuelson added 14 and No. 10 Stanford overcame an early 13-point deficit to beat No. 6 Oregon State 48-43 and win the Pac-12 Tournament championship Sunday night.
The Cardinal (28-5) won their 12th tournament title, the most in conference history, and took the Pac-12’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
While Smith was carrying Stanford at the offensive end, the Cardinal shut down Oregon State and star Sydney Wiese, getting a bit of payback for a pair of regular-season losses to the Beavers. Oregon State (29-4) shot just 32 percent, made one shot in the fourth quarter, was held to a season low in points and lost for the first time since Feb. 10.
Wiese led the Beavers with 13 points.
In a season highlighted by Tara VanDerveer getting her 1,000th victory as a head coach, the Cardinal provided another title to their overflowing trophy case.
Smith was a big reason why. The 6-foot-3 sophomore made 6 of 14 shots and carried Stanford offensively with leading scorer Erica McCall held to eight points on 2 of 10 shooting.
Stanford took its first lead since the opening minute of the game on Smith’s layup underneath with 7:25 left. Wiese’s 3-pointer at the other end was long and McCall added a driving layup to push the lead to 40-36. Samuelson’s free throws with 4:23 left gave the Cardinal a 44-38 lead.
Wiese’s 3-pointer with 3:23 left cut the lead in half and was Oregon State’s only field goal of the fourth quarter. But the Beavers committed turnovers on two straight possessions and Brittany McPhee scored in the lane with 1:10 remaining for a five-point lead.
Oregon State was trying to become the first school to win consecutive conference tournament titles since Stanford’s run of seven straight from 2007-13. The loss shouldn’t penalize the Beavers NCAA seeding, but any outside hope of landing a No. 1 seed is likely gone.
After making their first six shots of the game and scoring 22 points in the first quarter, Oregon State was 10 of 44 shooting and scored 21 total points the rest of the way. The Beavers were 1 of 12 shooting in the fourth quarter and the 14 second-half points were a season low.
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