West Virginia falls to No. 1 seed Stanford 72-55 in second round of NCAA tournament
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 00:03
The Mountaineers got down early and could not fill the big hole they were in, as the West Virginia women’s basketball team was defeated by Stanford 72-55 Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Norfolk, Va.
Stanford got out to a large first-half lead and never looked back, leading for the entire game.
West Virginia had no answer for the quick, athletic Cardinal team. Stanford, who has made the Final Four each of the last four years, was able to execute its offense with ease, using backdoor cuts and transition buckets to pull away from the Mountaineers.
Stanford shot 43.6 percent on 23-of-54 from the field in the game, while West Virginia shot just 31.1 percent on 19-of-61 shooting. Stanford was lead by the sister duo of Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike, who combined for 29 points and 11 rebounds.
The most impressive player on the floor, however, was Stanford freshman point guard Amber Orrange, who shredded the Mountaineer defense for 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, with no turnovers for the Cardinal.
Orrange was able to get into the lane with ease and feed the ball to her teammates for easy baskets, and WVU was never able to contain the freshman throughout the game. So much attention is placed on the Ogwumike sisters, but the role players for Stanford did their part to propel Stanford to the next round.
Orrange also made eight shots on the night, the most by any player on the floor.
"We weren’t efficient on the offensive end," said West Virginia head coach Mike Carey. "On the defensive end, we took away the sisters a little bit in the first half and then midway through we had to stop doing that because their point guard was just killing us. They were getting into the paint and we weren’t getting over the picks. We weren’t doing what we needed to do."
The Mountaineers failed to get into an offensive rhythm early, forcing them to get away from their high-low offense. Turnovers really hurt WVU, as Stanford recorded 19 points off of the Mountaineers 13 turnovers.
WVU shot just 22.2 percent from the 3-point range on 4-of-18 shooting. Stanford was led by Josylen Tinkle, who shot 2-of-4 from the 3-point range and had 9 points on the night. WVU sophomore guard Taylor Palmer went 1-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line, for her only points in the game.
Junior centers Asya Bussie and Ayana Dunning combined for 25 points and 15 rebounds, but didn’t have enough touches for long stretches, as the Stanford defense did a nice job of double-teaming and at times triple-teaming the Mountaineers’ big duo.
Bussie and Dunning combined to shoot 9-for-22 in the game, while the rest of the Mountaineer squad shot 10-for-39 from the floor.
Freshman point guard Linda Stepney, who was playing in her hometown, tallied 9 points and five rebounds on 2-of-5 from the field. Stepney became more aggressive in the second half, getting to the basket and attacking the Cardinal defense, but it was too little too late for the Mountaineers.
The closest the Mountaineers got in the second half was at the very end of the game when they cut the lead down to 16 points after Stanford had taken some of its key players.
Stanford got out to an early 16-2 lead in the first half, but WVU climbed back to cut the lead to 17-12 halfway through the half. The Cardinal then went on a 17-0 run in a 6 minute span, to build its lead back to 33-12.
Stanford led 38-21 at the end of the half.