Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

UCLA gives Stanford a run for their money in Pac-10 tournament

Published on March 13, 2011


LOS ANGELES – What a difference a year has made.

In the 2010 Pac-10 tournament championship, Stanford routed UCLA in a game where the Bruins seemed to lack energy and life.

This time, UCLA almost snatched the crown from the reigning champions in a commanding display of defensive intensity that took the Cardinal out of their game.

“They had us on the ropes, and we really had to battle to come back,” said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. “We weren’t in any rhythm offensively, we weren’t defending – we weren’t doing a good job in any phase. We were out of sync.”

Stanford was so discombobulated that Pac-10 player of the year Jeannette Pohlen didn’t score until just under 15 minutes to go in the second half – a three-pointer. And when she did the same thing one play later, it still wasn’t enough to fully ignite the Cardinal. They kept chipping away at the Bruins’ lead little by little, until a Nnemkadi Ogwumike three throw at the 6:14 mark gave them a one-point lead. They turned on the gas and never looked back.

“We did a good job for the first 32 minutes,” said UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell, “and then came the run, and you knew it was coming.”

Ogwumike, who finished with 15 points and was named tournament MVP, said the Bruins limited them for much of the game, and forced them to reach deep inside.

“They were taking away a lot of the things that we’re good at,” said Ogwumike.

VanDerveer pointed to the UCLA defense: “They were clogging things up in the paint.”

The coach pointed to the composure of the team.

“We had the absolute worst first half, but the team did not panic, and they kept working hard and talking to each other,” she said. “We had to dig down and see what kind of character we have.”

Freshman Toni Kokenis lead the Cardinal with 17 points, and Kayla Pedersen added 12.

Doreena Campbell posted 16 points for UCLA, and teammates Darxia Morris and Markel Walker each had 12.

This was Stanford’s fifth consecutive Pac-10 title, but this was the first year that the Bruins have spent most of the season ranked in the top 10. It’s clear they have earned VanDerveer’s respect.

“I hope that on Monday (when NCAA tournament selections are announced) that we are given a number one seed,” she said. “And I think UCLA deserves a number two seed. They really have improved a lot.”

Pac-10 all-tournament team

  • Doreena Campbell – UCLA
  • Darxia Morris – UCLA
  • Chiney Ogwumike – Stanford
  • Cassie Harberts – USC
  • Soana Lucet – Arizona

MVP – Nnamkadi Ogwumike, Stanford


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