Cal State Northridge had been building for this moment ever since Jason Flowers arrived as coach back in 2010 and brought in a talented recruiting class the next year.
The Matadors had a six-point lead in the second half of an NCAA tournament game on Stanford's home court.
Then for a stretch of more than 10 minutes, nearly everything went wrong and Cal State Northridge was headed home disappointed.
Lili Thompson and Taylor Greenfield each scored seven points in a game-changing, second-half run that helped fourth-seeded Stanford overcome a long scoring drought in the first half to beat No. 13-seeded Cal State Northridge, 73-60, in a first-round game Saturday.
Ashlee Guay scored 27 points to lead the Matadors (23-10), who were in position with a 36-30 lead early in the second half, but Stanford (25-9) scored the next eight points starting with a jump shot by Thompson and never trailed again.
With the game tied at 40, Stanford went on a 14-0 run to take control of the game.
"We struggled to score because we had individual breakdowns," Guay said. "We got on our own islands at times. Once we brought it back together, we realized when we're together we can play well."
Greenfield finished with 19 points and Thompson had 17 overall for the Cardinal, which will play host to fifth-seeded Oklahoma on Monday.
The Matadors lost their only two previous NCAA tournament appearances to Colorado State in 1999 and South Carolina last year.