Stanford upset by USC in Pac-12 Tourney

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: Bumped for national significance. For more thoughts on the upset from a USC perspective, check out the recap at SB Nation's USC blog Conquest Chronicles.

For the first time in the history of the Pac-12 Women’ Basketball tournament, the championship game will not include a Stanford team. Stanford fell to USC 72-68 in the semis of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Other records that fell:

  • First time in 13-year history of the Pac-12 Tourney, no Stanford in the finals.
  • Stanford had not lost a conference tournament game since 2006.
  • (And will this affect their NCAA seeding?)

How maddening was this game?

  • Stanford held USC’s best player center Cassie Harberts to three points all game, until she scored 10 straight points in the final three minutes.
  • Cassie Harberts even fouled out with 23 seconds left but Stanford could not take advantage.
  • Mikaela Ruef was held scoreless for the first time in a long time, and her extra points could have helped.
  • Stanford was up by as much as six points in the second, but this time could not close the door.
  • Stanford shot 28% from the 3-point line (4-14) and USC was 50% (8-16). At one point they were shooting 60% from behind the arc.
  • Chiney Ogwumike scored 30 points and grabbed 21 rebounds to break her sister Nneka’s Pac-12 Tournament record of seven double-doubles, yet USC held Ogwumike scoreless over the final seven minutes. To make it worse, she tied Candice Wiggins’ school and Pac-12 career scoring record of 2,629 points, but she could not get that last bucket to pull ahead. Story of the game.
  • Guards Lili Thompson and Amber Orrange scored 13 and 11 points, Bonnie Samuelson added nine but Stanford only got five points from their bench. Taylor Greenfield scored all five, so only one bench player scored.
  • Stanford got it within two twice in the final minutes and had a chance to tie when the score was 71-68, but Stanford could not find their three point shooters and with time running down, only Chiney Ogwumike was able to shoot the 3-pointer with about two seconds left. It missed and game over. No bashing of Chiney, just other Stanford players could not get open or get the ball to the right people when it counted.

Keep your heads up Stanford: playing two games in two days without a strong bench is hard. Learn from your mistakes and get ready for the NCAA tournament. More adversity is coming your way, C and R know you will step up.

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