Pac-12 basketball: Stanford defeats Cal, 61-60, for women’s title
Taylor Greenfield scored a career-high 20 points on eight-for-11 shooting, Amber Orrange had 10 points in the second half and No. 19 Stanford won its 11th Pac-12 Conference tournament championship with a 61-60 victory over California on Sunday night.
The Cardinal (24-9) earned the Pac-12’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, building an eight-point lead late in the second half and holding off Cal’s final rally. Stanford held on despite scoring just six points in the final 4:46.
Orrange finished with 12 points, and Lili Thompson added 13 for the Cardinal.
Courtney Range led Cal (23-9) with 17 points. Pac-12 player of the year Reshanda Gray was held to six points and was in foul trouble for most of the game. Gray, who averaged nearly 18 points per game, scored the first points of the game for Cal then didn’t score again until 12:33 remained in the game.
Coming into the conference tournament, Greenfield had gone 11 straight games played without scoring in double figures. She was scoreless six times during that stretch, and had just four points against UCLA in the tournament opener. However, she had 17 points and the go-ahead basket in the semifinal win over No. 9 Arizona State and showed up against Stanford’s biggest rival. She was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.
Mercedes Jefflo added 16 points for Cal and Mikayala Cowling scored 14 points, but the Bears fell short in trying to win the Pac-12 tournament title for the first time. The Bears played more than 13 minutes of the first half without point guard Brittany Boyd after she was elbowed in the face and suffered a cut. She returned late in the first half, but finished with just seven points on 2-for-9 shooting.
Stanford pushed its lead to 45-40 when Thompson out-hustled Gabby Green for a loose ball in backcourt and found Greenfield for a layup. Bonnie Samuelson added a three-pointer and two free throws from Erica McCall kept the Cardinal lead at five with 6:24 remaining. Boyd hit two free throws but Greenfield and Orrange scored driving baskets on consecutive possessions, the second a three-point play to give Stanford a 55-47 lead with 4:46 left.
Cal closed to 57-53 after Jefflo scored off a turnover but Cowling missed a chance to cut the deficit to two, and Kailee Johnson hit two free throws for Stanford. Cal closed to 61-57 on Boyd’s driving basket with 11 seconds left; Jefflo’s three-pointer at the buzzer only made the final score closer.
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