Haley Jones scored 17 points and Stanford unleashed another barrage of 3-pointers as the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament booked yet another trip to the Sweet 16 with a 73-62 win over No. 8 Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.
The Cardinal made 13 3-pointers after making 15 in their first-round win. All of those against Oklahoma State came in the first three quarters as Stanford built the lead as high as 20.
Stanford made the Sweet 16 for the 27th time in pursuit of its first national title since 1992. The Cardinal advance to play the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between No. 5 Missouri State and No. 13 Wright State in the Alamo Region.
The Cardinal (27-2) had four players score in double figures and all five starters made at least one 3-pointer as the Cowgirls struggled to cover every shooter.
Neferatali Notoa scored 14 for Oklahoma State (19-9).
The Stanford 3-pointers came from everywhere from the opening minute.
Anna Wilson opened the scoring with consecutive shots from long range for a quick 10-3 Stanford lead. The Cowgirls committed five turnovers in the first quarter then briefly turned momentum with a 9-2 run.
Energized by the run, Oklahoma State’s quick hands on defense were disrupting the Cardinal on both ends and Notoa tied it at 23 with a deep 3-pointer.
Then Stanford unleased from virtually everywhere in a long-range tidal wave for a 19-4 run that had all the Cardinal scoring weapons on display.
Cameron Brink started it from the left wing before Kiana Williams made three in a row. Williams then made a nifty 30-foot pass to sprinting Francesca Belibi for a transition basket. Wilson knocked down her third 3-pointer of the half and Stanford led 42-27.
Stanford stretched the lead as high as 20 before Oklahoma State made one last push with a 12-3 run to close the quarter keyed by Lexy Keys’ 3-pointer. Stanford then got a scare when Williams limped off after twisting her knee on a block, but she quickly returned early in the fourth.
Stanford wasn’t only about 3-pointers. The Cardinal opened the final period with Brink’s soaring put back of a miss, and a muscular post-move layup from Haley Jones and the lead was back to 15.
BIG BROTHER WATCHING
Williams is from San Antonio and brought a big cheering section, but none more famous than Wilson’s big brother. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was at the game to catch what may be his sister’s final NCAA tournament. She wears the same No. 3 he does and scored eight of Stanford’s first 10 points.