Stanford women pull away to beat UC Davis

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Stanford women pull away to beat UC Davis

March 16, 2011BOXSCORE NCAASCOREBOARDSTANFORDPAGE

STANFORD (AP) Tara VanDerveer hardly wanted to open the NCAA tournament against Northern California neighbor UC Davis and retiring coach Sandy Simpson, whom she counts as a friend.Turns out those NCAA first-timers gave VanDerveer's seasoned Stanford bunch a nice early test - for a half, anyway.Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds and the top-seeded Cardinal took their initial step toward a fourth straight trip to the Final Four by beating UC Davis 86-59 in the first round Saturday.Kayla Pedersen added 11 points and seven assists, Jeanette Pohlen had 11 points and eight assists as the Cardinal (30-2) ran their school-record winning streak at home to 62 games in packed Maples Pavilion, where an impressive contingent of Aggies fans was among the crowd of 6,515 after making the two-hour drive.Paige Mintun scored 17 points and Heidi Heintz 11 in their final collegiate games to lead UC Davis (24-9), which sent its 14th-year coach out in style.Stanford will play Monday night against ninth-seeded St. John's (22-10), a 55-50 winner over No. 8 Texas Tech in Saturday's first game. Pedersen and Pac-10 Player of the Year Pohlen will try to wrap up a perfect record on their home floor over their four-year careers.That streak would be plenty special. Yet this is a group that will settle for nothing less than capturing that elusive national title for a program that hasn't won it all since 1992.It took the Cardinal until well into the first half to get comfortable on offense against UC Davis' unconventional zone defense, which pressures on the perimeter in an effort to disrupt outside shooters and make it tough to pass inside. But once Stanford started hitting from long range, it quickly became a long day for UC Davis.Lindy La Rocque matched her career best with 14 points, knocking down four of Stanford's season-high 13 3-pointers, and freshman Toni Kokenis added 11 points with three 3-pointers. Pedersen and Pohlen also each had three 3s in their team's 24th straight win since a pair of December defeats at DePaul and Tennessee.This game had to be considered an improvement for the Cardinal after Stanford was forced to rally in the second half to beat UCLA 64-55 last Saturday for its fifth straight Pac-10 tournament title.UC Davis had hoped to make the best possible statement in its NCAA debut after winning the Big West Conference tournament for the first time in program history. The Aggies can walk away knowing they didn't beat themselves.Stanford shot 55.4 percent to UC Davis' solid 46.8. The Cardinal held a commanding 33-19 edge on the boards, something Simpson knew could pose problems for his smaller team.Fans cheered "Thank you, Sandy!" in the closing minute for Simpson, who guided the program through its four-year transition to Division I for the start of the 2007-08 season. UC Davis posted back-to-back 20-win seasons and got solid play from Mintun throughout her final season.She and Simpson hugged on the sideline as she came to the bench in the waning moments.Former Secretary of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cheered on the Cardinal and new Stanford football coach David Shaw and his family sat in the front row on one baseline. Former Stanford star and current Minnesota Lynx guard Candice Wiggins also attended the game.UC Davis matched Stanford in making four of its first six shots, with three 3-pointers. After Kasey Riecks hit a 3 at the 15:50 mark to put UC Davis ahead 11-8, Stanford responded with a 20-5 burst to pull away.This marked the 13th overall meeting between the schools. They played during the regular season in three of the previous four seasons, with Stanford winning each time.

Instant Analysis: Giants' rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Cubs

Instant Analysis: Giants' rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Cubs

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO — The Giants will need a win on getaway day to clinch their first winning road trip.

Wednesday's comeback attempt fell just short, as the Giants scored two in the ninth but lost to the Cubs 5-4. Since taking the first two games in St. Louis, they have dropped three of four, falling 11 games back of the Rockies in the division.

Here are five things to know from the coldest Giants game of the year … 

— Mac Williamson fouled off eight pitches before going the opposite way against Wade Davis, who entered with a 0.00 ERA in 19 appearances. The two-run homer ended a run of 19 consecutive solo shots by the Giants, two short of their own MLB record. It was the first homer off Davis in two years. 

— The sixth inning was one of the stranger escapes we’ve seen from a pitcher this season. With two on and one out, Jason Heyward blasted a Matt Moore pitch right down the line and it looked like it would give the Cubs a 6-2 lead. The wind blew the ball a couple of feet foul. Heyward then topped one down the line and Moore’s throw bounced away from first, allowing a run to score. But the umpires called — correctly — Heyward out for running inside the line. It’s a call you rarely see. Moore then struck out Addison Russell to keep what could have easily been a 6-2 or 4-2 game at 3-2. 

— Before the first game of this series, a Giant asked in the dugout, “I wonder what some of the Cubs’ numbers would look like at our place?” Anthony Rizzo is a .159 hitter with no homers in 18 career games at AT&T Park, but he had no issues on a night when conditions were worse than they are most nights in San Francisco. Rizzo homered off Moore in his first two at-bats. 

— Rizzo will occasionally put a bunt down to beat the shift — he had an accidental bunt in his third at-bat — which the Giants have long wanted Brandon Belt to do. Belt pushed one away from the shift in the sixth, and even though it was too close to pitcher Kyle Hendricks, the throw was off and Belt reached second. One of those a week would open up a few more holes. 

— This lineup has made a habit of making mediocre and downright bad pitchers look good, and the actual good ones are taking advantage, too. A night after Jon Lester recorded his first complete game of the year, Hendricks threw seven innings for the first time. 

Mullin sees potential Warriors-Cavs trilogy Finals going six games, but...

Mullin sees potential Warriors-Cavs trilogy Finals going six games, but...

As the defending champion Cavaliers are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals, the consensus is they will meet the Warriors there and, moreover, that Part III of the trilogy promises to be the most compelling yet.

Chris Mullin is not so sure.

The Hall of Fame forward and current St. John's head coach, a guest Wednesday on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast, perceives a reasonable chance of sweeping the series.

“I’m going on the record saying 4-2, just because maybe I want to see six games,” Mullin said. “I would not be surprised if it’s 4-1 or 4-zero. I think they’re that good.”

Recalling how the Warriors started sluggishly after a one-week layoff ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs, Mullin conceded there could be some rust but probably not enough to invite a loss.

“I don’t want to lay any . . . pressure, but the Warriors, to me, this team that we’re watching is going to go down in history as one of the best teams of all time,” he said. “I believe that. I think they will stay together and that’s we’re probably going to see four Hall of Fame players that have played together and have dominated and become a dynasty. That’s what we’re going to look back on.

“There’s just a huge disparity between them and the rest of the league -- and not just the Cavaliers. But there’s a huge disparity between them and the Cavaliers. “

The Warriors defeated Cleveland in six games to win the championship in 2015, but the Cavaliers recovered from a 3-1 deficit to take the rematch last June.

Though both teams have made substantive changes, Mullin is more impressed with what the Warriors have done, including the addition of four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant to a nucleus that included All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Mullin pointed out that the losses of Andrew Bogut, along with subtractions to their fabled depth and chemistry, led some to wonder if the Warriors might lose the magic of the previous two seasons. He also understands that point of view.

“But as I see it now,” he said, “I think they’re deeper and have better chemistry than they did last year when they won 73 games.”

It’s not that Mullin gives the Cavaliers, who have won 11 of 12 games in these playoffs, zero chance to win the series. It is just, in his view, very slim. “Cleveland, they’ve got really good people,” he said. “Their talent, I’m not discounting at all. LeBron and Kyrie and Kevin Love, these guys are great, great players.

“I feel like the Warriors are just a notch above everybody. I really believe that.”