Williams lifts No. 6 Stanford over No. 13 Oregon 63-61
EUGENE, Ore. — Kiana Williams scored 20 points, Cameron Brink had 16 points and nine rebounds, and No. 6 Stanford beat No. 13 Oregon 63-61 on Monday night.
Lexie Hull had 13 points and seven rebounds as the Cardinal (19-2, 16-2) remained in first place in the Pac-12.
Taylor Mikesell made a free throw to put Oregon up 61-58 with 1:46 to play before Williams tied it on a 3-pointer with 1:28 to go. Brink made two free throws with 27.4 seconds remaining to put the Cardinal ahead 63-61.
“It was kind of a heavyweight fight,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “It wasn’t what either team probably is used to, but you know we’re excited to be in first place in the Pac-12 and we really want to win a Pac-12 championship and we had to come through Oregon for the chance to do it.”
Mikesell scored 13 points to lead the Ducks (12-5, 9-5), who sit fourth in the conference. Nyara Sabally added 12 points and seven rebounds before fouling out, and Te-Hina Paopao had 11 points and nine rebounds.
“I am really proud,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “We don’t believe in moral victories, we wanted to win and we played hard enough and well enough to win, but we didn’t. I am proud of the fight we showed. It was the first time against one of the elite teams that we played hard for four quarters. It just didn’t go our way.”
Oregon trailed by 15 in the first half but tied it at 47 on a 3-pointer by Erin Boley with 8:34 left in the game. Sabally scored four straight points to give the Ducks their first lead at 51-49 with 6:18 left to go.
After Brink tied it, Boley drove for a basket to put the Ducks ahead 53-51 with 4:28 left to play. Sabally gave Oregon its biggest lead at 58-53 with a basket before Hull hit a 3-pointer.
Mikesell missed a 3-pointer, but Stanford’s Lacie Hull missed two free throws with 12.3 seconds left to play. Paopao was called for traveling with 2.5 seconds left before the Cardinal ran out the clock.
“We need games like this,” Williams said. “Close games. This was like a tournament atmosphere game.”
Stanford led 20-16 early in the second quarter before Brink scored six straight points. After Sabally scored for the Ducks, the Cardinal rolled off seven straight points to take a 33-18 lead.
Oregon followed with the final eight points of the first half. Stanford scored six straight points early in the third quarter to pull ahead 39-28, but Oregon close within 43-41 on a 3-pointer by Mikesell late in the quarter.
“We kept fighting the entire time,” Mikesell said. “They are a Final Four caliber team and we can play with them when we are at our best. That is encouraging.”
Stanford: The Cardinal dropped one spot in the AP poll Monday but still look like one of a handful of top contenders to win the national title after being listed No. 3 in the NCAA Tournament projections released by the selection committee. The Cardinal have won eight straight since losing back-to-back games. Stanford is 4-1 against ranked opponents, including a season sweep of the Ducks.
Oregon: The Ducks have not lost to an unranked team all season but lost all five games against ranked foes. Oregon dropped two spots in the national rankings on Monday but were ranked No. 11 in the NCAA projections released Monday night.