LOS ANGELES - The fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins (10-10, 17-15) were defeated by the top-seeded Stanford Cardinal (19-1, 29-4) Saturday night at the Galen Center, 73-47.
Stanford swept UCLA again in the semifinals, just as it has done three times this season. UCLA has dropped three of four tournament semifinal games, and all of them have been against Stanford.
Stanford's freshman forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike had a fantastic game, scoring 15 points and 10 rebounds, followed by junior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and freshman forward/center Sarah Boothe, who had 12 points apiece.
“In the beginning of the season, as a freshman, you're new not only to the team, but also to the school, and you're trying to get used to things," Ogwumike said. "Right now, I feel like I really know what's going on. I have our sets down. I know how we need to get things done, so I'm mixing my game into that.”
Stanford is 25-0 when leading at halftime and will be making its eighth tournament championship game appearance Sunday night.
The Cardinal came out hungry at the start of the game and quickly took a 10-point lead before surging ahead to a 20-plus-point lead in the second half, which they held through the rest of the game, even leading by as many as 35.
“I thought that was a really important game for us," Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, who won her 600th coaching victory with the win, said. "I thought our team was very focused. We had seen the end of the USC-Cal game and we knew we had to play really well. UCLA is an extremely athletic and aggressive team. They're very talented and we had to work very hard to come out with this win.”
UCLA sophomore forward Nina Earl had eight points and sophomore guard Doreena Cambell had six points and six rebounds. Bruins freshman forward Atonye Nyingifa grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
“Stanford is solid across the board," UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell said. "They are a team that has multiple weapons offensively. They are big, they are strong, they they are long. They did a great job of really disrupting us offensively and exploiting some of our defensive looks we had.”
The Stanford Cardinal will take on the USC Trojans Sunday night for the Championship at 6pm at the Galen Center. The game will also be broadcast on FSN.
Courtesy of SportsPageMagazine.com
Photo Courtesy of Eric Wade