No. 19 Stanford women defeat No. 7 Oregon State 69-58
ANNE M. PETERSON
Feb. 27, 2015
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Stanford played an unusual role — at least for the Cardinal — against No. 7 Oregon State: Spoiler.
Lili Thompson had 13 points to lead five players in double figures as the No. 19 Cardinal snapped Oregon State's 21-game winning streak at Gill Coliseum with a 69-58 victory on Thursday night.
The loss kept the Beavers from clinching the Pac-12 regular-season title outright for the first time in school history.
Stanford isn't accustomed to this; the Cardinal had finished atop the Pac-12 regular-season standings for the last 14 seasons.
"We knew that this was going to be a big game for them. But we know that we're Stanford. Stanford does big things. We call ourselves the party crashers," sophomore forward Erica McCall said.
McCall and Amber Orrange each added 12 points in Stanford's 29th consecutive win over the Beavers. The Cardinal (21-8, 13-4 Pac-12) wrap up the regular season at Oregon on Sunday.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Oregon State (25-3, 15-2), which has already won more games this season than any other team in school history.
Jamie Weisner and Deven Hunter each had 18 points for the Beavers, who had previously clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament next week in Seattle. Oregon State hosts California on Saturday in the regular-season finale.
The Beavers can still claim the outright title with a victory against Cal — or if No. 10 Arizona State loses at home to Utah on Friday.
Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said there were a lot of "strange dynamics" going on with the team's first title on the line, the Gill winning streak and the fact that the Beavers hadn't faced Stanford this season.
"Perfect storm tonight. A little bit strange. Stanford played great," Rueck said, boiling the night down to four quick sentences. "Next game."
The Cardinal, who led by as many as 13 points, improved to 53-6 all-time against Oregon State.
Guard Brittany McPhee earned her first start for the Cardinal, who were coming off a 63-53 loss at home to Cal last weekend. McPhee had 24 points off the bench in that defeat — which took Stanford out of the running for its 15 straight regular-season championship.
While the Beavers had a distinct size advantage, Stanford played aggressive defense through the first 10 minutes to take a 20-13 lead. The Cardinal bench stood and cheered enthusiastically for each basket.
McCall's layup extended Stanford's lead to 26-17.
Oregon State closed to within three points at 28-25 on Weisner's 3-pointer with 6:16 left in the half, but couldn't get closer until the final basket of the half, a layup by Hunter, narrowed it to 34-33.
Stanford pulled ahead 46-39 on Bonnie Samuelson's 3-pointer with 5:19 left. The Cardinal stretched the lead to double digits when McCall's tip in made it 52-41.
Briana Roberson was whistled for her fourth foul with just more than 8 minutes remaining and went to the bench. She finished with 11 points for Stanford.
"I think that some teams are tough matchups for other teams, and what our strength is, is what they don't like. And in some ways, it's the other way around: What their strength is we don't like to play against," coach Tara VanDerveer said. "It was a one-point game at halftime. We had to dig in. we made some big shots in the second half."
The last time Oregon State beat the Cardinal was on Jan. 11, 2001, an 81-65 win at Gill Coliseum.
Stanford: Roberson made just her sixth start of the season. Twelve of Stanford's 29 opponents this season were in the top 30 of the NCAA RPI. ... Karli Samuelson appeared to injure her right hand in a spill late in the first half and did not return. ... Stanford was 11-0 when four of their players scored in double figures.
Oregon State: It was the first time that both teams have been ranked for a game since 1996. Oregon State has never been ranked higher than the Cardinal for a game. ... Before Thursday night, Oregon State had lost just twice this season, at Tennessee in late December and then at Washington earlier this month.
That cheering that Stanford's bench does? It has a name.
"We call that benergy," VanDerveer said. "Bench energy. It's a big part of who we are. You know, this is a transitional year, without some of the post players that we've had or some of the upperclassmen. But this has stayed with us: We have excellent leadership on our team and we have excellent camaraderie."
Stanford: At Oregon on Sunday.
Oregon State: Hosts California on Saturday.