The No. 2 Stanford women's basketball team completed a second consecutive undefeated Pac-10 season and extended its home winning streak to 61 games with a 75-51 win against rival California on Senior Night at Maples Pavilion. I could only listen to the game, and could hardly believe my ears in the first half as the Golden Bears, a team Stanford dominated in Berkeley in early January, took an early lead and seemed determined to hang around.
The feeling was similar to the one I had during the first quarter of last year's Big Game, when Cal marched deep into Stanford territory after the Cardinal took an early 3-0 lead. This isn't happening. Is it? Then Richard Sherman intercepted Brock Mansion, Andrew Luck ran over Sean Cattouse, and the rout was on.
The turning point last night came at the start of the second half, when an 8-0 run stretched the Cardinal's lead to double-digits. Cal pulled to within nine points on a couple of occasions, but never seriously threatened again.
Jeanette Pohlen and Kayla Pedersen combined for 40 points, and with Stanford's 55th consecutive conference victory well in hand, fellow seniors Melanie Murphy, Ashley Cimino, and Hanna Donaghe entered the game for what may have been the final time in their collegiate careers. Stanford's five seniors were honored with a ceremony and video (see below) after the win.
"There's no way somebody else will come in and fill their shoes," head coach Tara VanDerveer said of Pohlen and Pedersen. | SF Chronicle
Stanford turned up the defensive pressure in the second half to pull away. | Mercury News
Perfection wasn't easy for the Cardinal. | Stanford Daily
In her second game back from an ankle injury, Nneka Ogwumike contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds. | Daily Axe
Jake Curtis says Pohlen, who finished with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, should be the Pac-10 Player of the Year. | Examiner
Here's the video, via the Stanford Women's Basketball YouTube channel, that was shown after the game: