Pac-12 Conference Tournament Day 2 Notebook

PALO ALTO, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Stanford guard Kiana Williams (23) during the women's basketball game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion on February 22, 2019 in Palo Alto, CA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Stanford guard Kiana Williams (23) during the women's basketball game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion on February 22, 2019 in Palo Alto, CA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Day two of the Pac-12 women’s basketball conference tournament in Las Vegas is in the books. Some notes, observations and analysis on all four games:

In case you missed it, here’s the day one Pac-12 tournament notebook.

(4) UCLA 73, (5) Arizona State 69

Foul trouble limited the minutes of both team’s leading scorer in the opening quarterfinal of the day. Kianna Ibis (14 points on 7-of-12 shooting) returned with four fouls with about 7:30 to play and ASU trailing by seven. Robbi Ryan hit one of the key shots of the game, drilling a 3-pointer in transition to cut UCLA’s lead to three.

Michaela Onyenwere (20 points on 7-of-8 shooting) returned with four fouls after spending nearly 11 minutes on the bench. She scored coming out of the timeout after the Ryan 3-pointer over Ibis in the post. ASU got two chances to get back within two or three as UCLA missed some late free throws.

“We just got off to a slow start,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “Really, our defense. We weren’t locked in. We were switching screens we shouldn’t have switched. We were playing soft. So we let them throw the first punch and kind of jump on us.”

News broke Thursday that UCLA guard Japreece Dean (24 points, seven assists) had been granted another year of eligibility.

“You know, I couldn’t sleep last night because I was thinking about it and so much was on my mind, and I just tried to get it off,” Dean said.

Dean won’t need to think too much about next season quite yet. The Bruins will be dancing, but not before they get as many as two more chances to continue to bolster that tournament resume.

(1) Oregon 77, (8) Arizona 63

The Wildcats fared much better Friday than they had in the regular season, where they lost both meetings to the Ducks by an average of 31 points. Aari McDonald (34 points, five assists, three steals) led the way with several electrifying finishes at the basket.

Arizona stayed within seven for part of the fourth, but others struggled to generate and hit more open looks against Oregon’s zone. Ruthy Hebard (21 points on 9-of-11 shooting) was too much for freshman big Cate Reese inside.

“It’s a little difficult because Oregon is a tall team,” McDonald said. “They have length, they have long arms. So it was difficult. But I was used to it.

“I felt like we fought hard against the top team in the country, and I couldn’t be more proud of my team. There is a lot of basketball left. But on the bright side, we’re improving every game, and we’re making noise.”

The Ducks will play UCLA in the first semifinal. The two teams split their regular season series, including UCLA’s victory in Eugene as the Ducks played without Hebard (knee).

(2) Stanford 72, (7) Cal 54

Cal found themselves in a one possession game with their Bay Area rival late as Alanna Smith went to the bench with four fouls.

It was equally surprising seeing Stanford separate late without Smith on the floor as it was for the Golden Bears hang around so long despite poor shooting nights by Asha Thomas, Kianna Smith and Kristine Anigwe.

Shannon Coffee and Kiana Williams combined for an 8-0 run as Cal missed back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers. The lead had grown to 11 with Smith waiting to check back in at the table, and Williams hit another triple moments later to ice the Cardinal win.

“I think I was just playing within the flow of our offense,’ Williams said. “Alanna wasn’t in, and she’s our best player on our team, so when she’s out the game, other people have to make plays, and I made some shots. Made some plays. Shannon handed it off to me. I got a lay-up. So just playing within the offense, and not trying to do too much.”

Coffee logged more than 20 minutes for just the second time of the season. She spent most of her time on Anigwe, bringing value by simply getting into her body early to ensure she wouldn’t get a steady diet of deep post touches.

“Yeah, definitely doing my work early. That is the thing that Tara likes to say a lot,” Coffee said. “I like to start the contact at the free-throw line. Not let her get to where she wants to be.

“I kind of went into the game knowing that there was going to be a lot more physicality than some other games. She’s a great player. She’s going to make shots, so when she does, I can’t hang my head. I just have to focus on the next play.”

(3) Oregon State 67, (11) Washington 68

The Beavers won’t get their rubber match with the Ducks or a second crack at Stanford, unless their paths cross deep in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Missy Peterson (19 points, 5-6 3PT) hit the go ahead triple with 2.3 seconds to play.

Oregon State’s bench, out of timeouts by that point, was imploring the players on the floor to get the ball up the floor quickly as Washington’s player dog-piled onto Peterson. The officials blew their whistle and eventually indicated that UW’s Hannah Johnson had been dinged with a technical for leaving the bench to celebrate the shot.

Aleah Goodman made both technical free throws. The Beavers managed to then inbound the ball from the opposite baseline and advance it to Goodman across halfcourt. The last second heave was no good. Another stunning upset for the Huskies, who will see Stanford in the semis.

“When I had the ball out of bounds, the first thing I noticed was when they were kind of sagging off in a two-three zone, I waited a little and tried to see what was going on in the screening action,” Peterson said. “I stepped in and didn’t realize I was as deep as I was. But at that point, you’ve got to let it fly.”

“We assumed they’d go to the rim. That was one part of it, anyway,” OSU head coach Scott Rueck said. “We assumed maybe an on-ball screen. There was still five seconds, so there was time to make a play. That was clearly a quick look. We still had 2.3 on the clock. Where she shot it from, I mean, we were in the vicinity. It was somewhat contested.”

“In that situation it’s kind of pick your poison a little bit. If you extend out, they can throw it behind the second level of your defense and get a better look. It’s not often you see a shot like that go down though. That’s pretty rare.”

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