Pac-12 Tournament Semifinal
(1) No. 4/3 Stanford Cardinal (29-2)
- vs. -
(5) USC Trojans (20-12)
Saturday, March 8, 2014 – 6 p.m. PT
KeyArena (17,000) – Seattle, Wash.
Series History: Stanford leads USC, 53-19
Last Meeting: Feb. 21, 2014 – Stanford 64, USC 59 – Los Angeles, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Anne Marie Anderson, Analyst: Tammy Blackburn)
Webcast: Pac-12 Online (http://www.pac-12.com/live)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - For the third time this year Stanford and USC will come face-to-face as the Cardinal and Trojans meet in Saturday’s Pac-12 Tournament semifinal round at 6 p.m. The Cardinal earned its semifinal berth with a 69-54 win over Colorado Friday afternoon. Saturday’s game will air live on Pac-12 Network with Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn on the call, and can also be heard on 90.1 KZSU.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal opened the Pac-12 Tournament with a 69-54 victory over No. 9 seed Colorado Friday. Stanford recovered from a slow start and 23-21 halftime deficit to outscore the Buffaloes 48-31 over the final 20 minutes. Chiney Ogwumike (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Mikaela Ruef (10 points, 16 rebounds) each had a double-double, the fourth time this year in which the pair has done it in the same game, while Pac-12 All-Freshman Team guard Lili Thompson (16 points) and junior forward Bonnie Samuelson (15 points) combined for 31 points and five 3-pointers. Defensively, the Cardinal excelled, holding Colorado to a 33.3-percent (21-for-63) showing from the field.
USC (20-12), the No. 5 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, picked up victories over No. 12 seed Arizona (59-54) and No. 4 seed Arizona State (59-57) Thursday and Friday, respectively, to earn its spot in the semifinals. The Trojans, with Cynthia Cooper in her first year at the helm, are led by the play of Ariya Crook (15.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Cassie Harberts (15.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg).
All-Time Against USC
Stanford leads the all-time series with USC, 53-19, and swept the two regular-season meetings between the teams this year. The second of those wins this season came in Los Angeles on February 21, with the Cardinal overcoming a 19-point first-half deficit to escape with a 64-59 victory. Stanford trailed 32-13 with 6:08 remaining in the first half of that contest, but went on to finish the half on a 17-5 run en route to taking the lead for good in the second half.
In The National Rankings
Stanford moved up a spot to No. 4 in the Associated Press Poll and up one to No. 3 in the USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll this week following its home sweep of Washington and Washington State.
Ogwumike And Ruef: The Next Great Buddy-Cop Comedy
They may have different styles, but Stanford forwards Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef help the Cardinal reach the same objectives: rebounds and victories. The Pac-12’s top post combo, averaging a combined 21.7 rebounds per game, features the smooth post moves and scoring of Ogwumike, the only player in the nation to rank in the NCAA top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and double-doubles, along with the durability and passing of Ruef. Friday against Colorado, each player posted a double-double, as Ogwumike went for 19 points and 11 rebounds with Ruef’s 10 points and 16 rebounds, marking the fourth time this season that the pair had pulled the feat. While Ogwumike was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Ruef deservedly earned her first-career All-Pac-12 nod, being named honorable mention for a career year which features her scoring 7.0 points with 9.7 rebounds and 3.19 assists per game.
Big Contributions From Thompson And Samuelson
Another pair to play huge roles in Friday’s Stanford win featured freshman guard Lili Thompson and junior forward Bonnie Samuelson. Thompson helped fuel the Cardinal’s 23-4 game-changing run in the second half with eight straight points over a span of just 1:18, and went on to finish with 16 points. Samuelson, who entered the Cardinal starting lineup for the first time in her career back on February 23 at UCLA, continued her rise, hitting a trio of 3-pointers to finish with 15 points. The pair was also nails from the stripe, combining to go a perfect 10-for-10 in the win.