STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Each member of Stanford’s 1990 NCAA championship team in attendance for Sunday’s 30th anniversary celebration offered a little something to the current players as they gathered in the locker room postgame.
Freshman Francesca Belibi scored a season-best 20 points to go with eight rebounds, and No. 6 Stanford beat Utah 82-49 on Sunday to run its home winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 16 games dating to last season.
“Hopefully 2050 we’ll be back celebrating the 30th anniversary of our national championship this year,” senior forward Nadia Fingall said.
“I’ll be in my wheelchair,” Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer quipped.
Fellow freshman Hannah Jump added 14 points as four others scored in double figures for the Cardinal (18-2, 7-1 Pac-12), who made 5 of 12 3-pointers in their decisive third quarter that put them ahead 55-38 going into the final 10 minutes. Stanford then shot 12 for 16 in the fourth.
Kemery Martin scored 13 points as the cold-shooting Utes (10-9, 3-5) had their three-game winning streak snapped. Utah went 4 for 15 in the fourth, including 2 of 10 on 3s.
Lexie Hull, coming off a career-high 29 points as Stanford held off Colorado 76-68 in overtime Friday, struggled to find her stroke shooting 4 of 13 for 10 points — but she had plenty of support.
Cardinal freshman star Haley Jones, ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country last year on some lists, missed her second straight game with a right knee injury suffered in last Sunday’s 61-58 road victory at Oregon State. VanDerveer has remained optimistic of Jones returning this season.
Brynna Maxwell had 27 points and six rebounds for Utah two days earlier against Cal, hitting three of her team’s four 3-pointers, but was limited to 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting. The Utes shot 4 for 16, 1 of 6 in the opening quarter.
Utah hung tough though Stanford built a 31-22 lead at the break, then the Utes used a 7-4 burst to begin the third quarter before Nadia Fingall’s 3 at the 8:09 mark as the Cardinal got rolling.
The Utes split their Bay Area trip after a 71-62 win over California on Friday in Berkeley.
TITLE TEAM REUNION
Stanford recognized the ’90 NCAA champion team — the program’s first title — with a pregame ceremony, introducing those members in attendance including Final Four MVP Jennifer Azzi.
“It’s awesome,” Azzi said, holding her son on the court. “It’s like no time has passed.”
VanDerveer appreciated seeing the women are still close, and the example they provided as being student-athletes.
“I was a little sentimental I have to admit going out there before the game. I just kind of had to let it go,” VanDerveer said. “I love that team. The ’90 team put Stanford on the map for basketball.”
The women gathered for a brunch together before the noon local time tipoff.
“What’s special about it is how normal it feels when we get back together,” said Katy Steding, who had 18 points and seven rebounds to be named player of the game in Stanford’s 88-81 win over Auburn in the title game. “Some of us haven’t talked in years and you fall right back into our old ways. To be with a group of people, and I said this at the breakfast that we just had, you were at your best when you were with them because everybody pushed each other to be at their very peak, whether you’re talking about academics or athletics or just being a good person. We always talk about being our best version of ourselves with kids and this is where we were our best version of ourselves. You strove for excellence with these guys.”
VanDerveer requested a boxscore and took a quick glance then exclaimed, “five turnovers.”
Yes, something to celebrate for this young group. It’s a season-low, and the program’s fewest since also committing five on Nov. 24, 2017, against Belmont.
The total also was Stanford’s lowest in a conference game since finishing with four at Arizona on Feb. 27, 2010.
The Utes were 15 of 23 on free throws Friday then only managed six attempts Sunday. They shot 7 for 23 on 3s. … Getting just four assists against Cal, Utah had 12 this game.
Stanford: The Cardinal shot 1 for 10 on 3s in the first half before finishing 8 of 26 from deep. … After being outrebounded 36-32 by Colorado two days earlier, the Cardinal held a 42-29 edge on the boards. … Stanford is 12-0 at home this season. … The Cardinal improved to 24-1 all time against Utah, 11-0 at Maples.
Utah: Hosts No. 4 Oregon on Thursday night.
Stanford: At Washington on Friday night.
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