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Ex-Stanford star can't thwart alma mater in NCAAs

Tara VanDerveer. Jennifer Azzi. The first-round matchup of no. 4 Stanford vs. no 13. San Francisco had the makings of a marquee matchup. Who would leave as the "Queens of the Bay Area"?

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Palo Alto, CA -- The San Francisco Dons came into Saturday's NCAA Tournament game with high hopes, fresh off a monumental upset of Gonzaga to win their first West Coast Championship since 1997.

However, the Stanford Cardinal would have none of it, showing their home-court dominance in an 85-58 drubbing of San Francisco at Maples Pavilion.

The team's two head coaches, Tara VanDerveer of Stanford and Jennifer Azzi of San Francisco, were the main story going onto the game. VanDerveer not only coached Azzi when they won their first NCAA Championship together in 1990, but also the first gold medal for the USA Women's Olympic team in 1996.

When it came to the opening tipoff, however, the Cardinal players took it upon themselves to end the homecoming for Azzi and San Francisco.

Fresh off a long layoff due to their quarterfinal exit in the Pac-12 Tournament, Stanford's defense went to work early, holding USF to a 3:25 drought without scoring in the first quarter. After finishing the first with a 17-12 lead, Stanford went on an 8-2 run to start the second, and would build a 32-17 lead halfway through. At halftime, the Cardinal led 43-25.

From that point on, it was a slobberknocker for Stanford, though San Francisco didn't go out without a fight. In the third quarter alone, there were 17 fouls; both teams finished the game with a combined 45.

Stanford finished the game shooting 51.7 percent from the floor, and outrebounded the Dons 49-22, giving VanDerveer a chance to rest her key starters for big stretches of the game.

Kaylee Johnson led Stanford with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Taylor Proctor led USF with 13 points.

The Cardinal will get a chance for a clean sweep on Monday, as they go toe-to-toe with no. 12 South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits, champions of the Summit League, shocked the basketball world when they upset no. 5 Miami (FL) earlier in the day 74-71. The game tips off at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time.