Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stanford WBB Pac-12 Champs

They were calling her “Tournament Taylor.” The can now call her MVP. Taylor Greenfield helped propel the Stanford Women’s Basketball team over the semifinal hump from an ASU team that beat them twice, and helped them knock out Cal to win the championship. She, of course, was named the tournament MVP. (Curious she was not on the All-Pac-12 Tournament team, though Stanford’s Amber Orrange was). She is also the first non-starter to win the Most Outstanding Player in Pac-12 tourney history.

In the semifinal game vs Arizona State, Greenfield's driving basket with 44 seconds left gave Stanford the lead for good and hold off ASU 59-56 (although Stanford had built a 12 point lead and again failed to stop ASU). The last minute was filled with wild plays, fouls and non-called fouls. Boy it gets rough in the Pac-12. Taylor finished with 17 points (one off her career-high) including a key offensive rebound and free throw with 10 seconds left.

Wearing their road uniforms for the first time in Pac-12 tournament history, Stanford leaned on senior guard Amber Orrange and her 18 points, and Greenfield all game. How bad was the Pac-12 officiating? With about 5 minutes left in the game, Stanford had been whistled for 17 fouls, ASU just one. Finally ASU had to play the foul game in the closing minute.

In the finals vs Cal, Stanford once again leaned on Taylor. Could lightning strike twice? It could. Taylor G came off the bench and went off for 20, breaking her career high and winning the afore-mentioned MVP honors.

Stanford Women's Basketball wins Pac-12
Stanford beats Cal for Pac-12 Tournament Championship.
(Photo courtesy of Pac-12 Official site)

Unfortunately, at the 15:32 mark or so in the first, Stanford’s Brittany McPhee went for a rebound against Cal’s Brittany Boyd. McPhee hit Boyd in the face (certainly not intentionally) and cut her cheek. Boyd left the game, and we were told stitched up in the locker room. She came back with a bandaged cheek about 2:22 minutes left in the first and it was clear she as not herself the rest of the game.

BB’s stat line was seven points, two rebounds and three assists. Matters were not made batter when a Stanford player, I think Taylor Greenfield, also accidentally hit Boyd on the other cheek in the second half. That is a shame. We hate to see an athlete injured in the course of a game, and you always want to beat your opponent at full strength. Cal was also affected by the super center Reshanda Gray getting in foul trouble early in the first half and limited her minutes. Her stats were six points and three rebounds, although other CAL players (Cowlings and Range) stepped up in their absences. Cal lead at the half 25-23.

Stanford took the lead with 12:53 minutes left in the second on a Taylor G jumper. Cal wouldn’t go away, and it was a four point Stanford lead with a minute left. That gave Stanford some breathing room to let Cal score. Cal hit a three at the buzzer, but were down by four. Stanford won 61-60.
More importantly, Stanford wins the automatic bid in the NCAA tournament and is placed in the part of the bracket away from UConn. They also have chance at hosting the first and second rounds, too. Home court is so huge come March.

Congrats on Stanford persevering in the Pac-12 tournament!

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