LAS VEGAS (AP) — DiJonai Carrington scored 22 points, and seventh-ranked Stanford erased some unpleasant recent history against No. 6 Oregon, beating the Ducks 64-57 to win the Pac-12 Tournament title on Sunday night.
For the Cardinal, it was their 13th tournament championship in the last 18, and they took a measure of revenge after losing to Oregon in the title game last season. The Ducks also routed Stanford by 40 points a month ago, the worst defeat in Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer’s career.
With the game tied at 51, Carrington made a layup, then stole the ball and drove the length of the court for another lay-in to make it a four-point game. After Ruthy Hebard made a free throw to get Oregon within 55-52, Kiana Williams hit a 3-pointer from the wing to give the Cardinal their biggest lead of the fourth quarter.
Sabrina Ionescu, who led Oregon with 27 points and 12 rebounds, ended a four-minute field goal drought with a jumper with 1:14 left. She was the only Oregon player to hit a basket for the Ducks in the final eight minutes.
Stanford made all six of its free throws in the final minute to seal the victory. As the final seconds ticked off, the Cardinal players ran to half-court to celebrate.
Alanna Smith added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinal.
VanDerveer said after Stanford beat Washington in the semifinals on Saturday night that her team didn’t play well offensively against the Ducks in the meeting last month and that they would “battle and play their game” this time.
Stanford (28-4) gave Oregon everything it could handle. The Cardinal built a 14-point lead early in the third quarter. It was the largest deficit the Ducks had faced this season. But then the offense went cold and the Ducks (29-4) scored 10 straight points at the start of an 18-3 run and took their first lead of the game on two free throws by Ionescu with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
The teams traded the lead in the fourth before Carrington took over with 4:02 left.
Stanford got off to a quick start and led 33-24 at the half behind 14 points from Carrington and seven points and nine rebounds from Smith. Ionescu was only bright spot on offense for the Ducks as she had 13 points.
This was the ninth meeting of the top two seeds in the Pac-12 Tournament. The top seed is 7-2. Stanford now has the only two wins by the two-seed, having beaten Oregon State two years ago.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
Cardinal senior center Shannon Coffee joined the Stanford Dollies and the band to provide a sign-language interpretation of the national anthem. Coffee is in her fifth quarter of American Sign Language. She’s been doing it since the team played at UCLA on Feb. 15. The band has been doing it for years.
Stanford: Will most likely host a first-round NCAA Tournament game.
Oregon: Also should begin the tournament at home.