No. 2 Stanford defeats Utah 73-48 in a Pac-12 matchup to win another title

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Haley Jones had 19 points and Cameron Brink added 16. No. 2 Stanford won its second consecutive Pac-12 tournament on Sunday with a 73 to 48 win over Utah.

The Cardinal (28-3 and 17-0) dominated the Utes’ defense in the second half, allowing them to win by two points. Reigning national champions held Utah (20-11), 8-8) to 7 of 33 shooting in the second period and had a 40-12 lead in the paint to win their 15th Pac-12 Tournament in 21 attempts.

The Cardinal extended their winning streak to 20 consecutive games heading into the NCAA Tournament. They’ll be undoubtedly a No. 1 seed. Stanford is 30-0 all-time against Utes

Utah’s forward Peyton McFarland was injured in a match against Washington State. She also struggled to keep up with Stanford’s length indoors, especially in the second half.

Brynna Maxill had 16 points for the Utes. They went 2-13 from 3 in halftime as Stanford won.

The Cardinal won their 19th Pac-12 championship game by beating Oregon State and Colorado, a total of 39 points. The Cardinal won 71-45 over the Buffaloes, marking Tara VanDerveer’s 1,000th win at Stanford. It was also the Cardinal’s 33rd consecutive victory against Pac 12 rivals.

Stanford looked ready for another runaway. It used an 11-1 run in the first quarter to take a 12-point lead. After holding Utah scoreless for over 3 1/2 minutes, Maxwell made a turnaround jumper at quarter’s end and took the lead 21-11.

It wasn’t going to be easy for the scrappy Utes.

Utah won its first Pac-12 Championship game by being hot. Utah hit 24 3-pointers against Washington State, Oregon, and California in Las Vegas.

Three Stanford players were on the bench and the Utes capitalized by taking advantage of them. They started scoring from 3-point range in quarter two to win the game. Utah was 4 of 5 from behind the arc, Dru Gylten hitting one from 10 yards behind. The Utes then used an 8-0 run for a 32-30 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Jones, Brink, and Lacie Hull returned. Stanford also played defense. After three quarters, the Cardinal held Utah scoreless for almost 4 1/2 minutes.

In the fourth, the Cardinal swept away the Utes. Hull made a pair 3-pointers in the 16-1 run, which stretched Stanford’s lead up to 71-46. The Cardinal continued the pressure and cut down the nets for a second consecutive year in Las Vegas.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford was no match for Utah in the second half. However, it was a great achievement for a Pac-12 team that finished 10th in their preseason poll.

After Utah was allowed to play in the first half, Stanford won the second half and will be the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament in just two weeks.

NEXT

Utah: Should be in great shape to participate in the NCAA Tournament for first time since 2011.

Stanford: Stanford will be the No. Stanford: Will be a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament. Should have a good chance of repeating as champion.