No. 2 Stanford women’s basketball (22-3, 13-0 Pac-12) headed to Corvallis, Ore. to take on Oregon State (12-10, 5-7 Pac-12) on Friday night. The Cardinal used a big fourth quarter run to pull away and win 87-63, cliching the Pac-12 regular season title — its second in a row and 25th in school history.
To open the contest, the Cardinal scored two buckets to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. The following minutes would not run as smoothly for Stanford, however, as the Beavers scored six straight, and the Cardinal entered a six-minute scoring drought.
With a little over three minutes remaining in the opening quarter, sixth-year guard Anna Wilson was blindsided by a hard screen from an Oregon State player. In true a demonstration of toughness, Wilson, the reigning Pac-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, immediately got up and stole the ball from Beaver guard Talia von Oelhoffen. On the other end, Wilson drilled a 3-pointer to put the Cardinal ahead 7-6.
Stanford never trailed again.
The Wilson-von Oelhoffen matchup was on full display all night, as the two went head-to-head. Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer keyed in on this contest, assigning her best perimeter defender to stop von Oelhoffen, who entered the game as the Beavers’ leading scorer with 14.7 points per game.
It was von Oelhoffen who started off strong in the second quarter, scoring the first two baskets for Oregon State. However, Wilson tamed the Beavers’ star for much of the quarter thereafter.
Although trailing Stanford, Oregon State remained within striking distance, as the Cardinal lead never dropped below five nor extended beyond 12. To close the period, von Oelhoffen knocked down a jumper to leave the score at 36-27 entering halftime.
In the third quarter, junior guard Haley Jones found her footing. After a slow first half with only three points, Jones opened the period with a layup to extend Stanford’s lead to 11. However, the Beavers slowly chipped away at the Stanford lead.
Following a pair of free throws from forward Taya Corosdale, Oregon State managed to bring the score within four points, 45-41. After both sides exchanged scores, Jones took matters into her own hands, nailing back-to-back jumpers to give the Cardinal a 10-point advantage.
The two teams would go back and forth again before junior forward Fran Belibi hit a shot at the buzzer to give Stanford a 60-49 edge entering the final frame.
Down just 11 points, the Beavers still had hope of a comeback entering the fourth quarter. However, a pair of 3-pointers from junior guard Hannah Jump sparked a 14-0 run, all but eliminating the Beavers’ chances.
Senior guard Lexie Hull hit a three of her own to conclude the run, putting the Cardinal ahead by 23. Hull, who was recently named a 2021 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, led the Cardinal in scoring with 21 points on the night.
The Beavers were never able to recover, and Stanford ultimately prevailed 87-63 to capture the regular-season conference title. Prior to last year, the Cardinal had not earned the honor since 2014.
The Cardinal will look to extend their 28-game win streak over Pac-12 opponents when they finish off their road trip against Oregon (18-8, 10-4 Pac-12) in Eugene.
Tip-off versus the Ducks is set for 1 p.m. PT on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.