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Women’s basketball shocked by Washington in first round of Pac-12 tourney
Marta Sniezek (above) recorded 13 assists against Washington, the most by a Stanford player since 1991. The freshman guard's stellar performance was not enough to slow Kelsey Plum and the Huskies, however, who upset the Cardinal 73-65. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

Women’s basketball shocked by Washington in first round of Pac-12 tourney

Despite going into the Pac-12 Tournament having won nine of its last 10 games, the No. 11 Stanford women’s basketball team, defending champions of the conference tournament, could not come up with an answer to Washington’s Kelsey Plum as the Cardinal fell to the Huskies 73-65 on Friday night in Seattle.

For the first time since 2000, the Stanford women’s basketball program won’t have won either the Pac-12 regular season or conference tournament title. The upset came off a historic performance from Plum, who scored 29 points on her way to becoming Washington’s all-time top scorer with 2,282 career points as a junior.

Stanford trailed for nearly the entirety of the first quarter, with the Huskies extending their lead to double digits in the second period and going into halftime with a 37-25 lead. Washington held two 16-point leads in the third quarter, but Stanford was able to put together a comeback on a 12-2 run with contributions from juniors Erica McCall, Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson that brought the game within two with less than three minutes to play.

Three free throws from Washington and a 3-pointer from Talia Walton with 23 seconds left paired with five missed jumpers from Stanford to ice the game, handing Stanford its earliest exit from the tournament since its inception. Stanford has won 11 of the 14 tournament titles, while Oregon State brought home a program-first this year.

After scoring only 6 points in the first half, McCall led the way with 22 points, while freshman Marta Sniezek recorded 13 assists, the most a Stanford player has had since 1991. Samuelson and Thompson, who came off the bench after missing the last two games of the regular season due to a family matter, also notched 14 apiece. The team’s subpar 31 percent shooting during the first half improved after halftime, as the team would go on to shoot 46 percent from the field, but it would not be enough to overcome the Huskies and Plum’s historic performance.

Besides Plum, who went into the game as the nation’s third-best scorer, Washington had three other players notch double figures, with the team shooting a respectable 47 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc.

Stanford will await its postseason fate, which will be announced on Selection Monday, held on March 14 at 4 p.m. The show will be streamed on ESPN.

 

Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Alexa Philippou

Alexa Philippou '18 is a political science major and a former Managing Editor of The Daily's sports section. She switched from the sports section to news her junior year, where she has worked on the university/local beat since. Being from Baltimore, she is a die-hard Ravens and Orioles fan who cried when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. To contact Alexa, please email her at aphil723 'at' stanford.edu.