Senior forward Alanna Smith scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as second-seeded Stanford recovered from a sluggish first half to earn its way into the Sweet 16 of the Women’s NCAA Tournament with a 72-63 home victory over seventh-seeded BYU on Monday.
Junior guard DiJonai Carrington scored 19 points, and sophomore guard Kiana Williams added 13 as the Cardinal (30-4) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 12th consecutive year. Stanford will face 11th-seeded Missouri State in Chicago on Saturday.
Freshman guard Shaylee Gonzales scored 32 points for BYU (26-7), which is now 0-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament against Nos. 1 and 2 seeds.
The Cougars looked poised for the upset early, scoring the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 15-11 lead. Stanford rallied back to take a 31-29 edge into halftime despite some shooting woes over the first two quarters.
Carrington scored 14 of Stanford’s 20 points in the second quarter and was 3 of 4 from 3-point range in the opening half. However, the rest of the Cardinal roster was just 1 of 19 from long distance over the opening two quarters.
Stanford turned halftime adjustments into third-quarter results, outscoring BYU 22-9 in the third period to take control of the game. Smith scored 10 points in the quarter, eight of which came in the final 2:26.
The victory was the 11th consecutive for Stanford, matching a season-best. The winning streak is tied for fourth-longest active streak in the nation with Notre Dame, whom the Cardinal could end up meeting in the Chicago Region final.
Sophomore guard Paisley Johnson scored 11 points as BYU saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end. It was the Cougars’ second longest winning streak of the season behind only an 11-game run that included the first nine contests in West Coast Conference play.
Stanford’s victory gives the Pac-12 Conference five teams in the Sweet 16 after UCLA and Oregon State earned their way in Monday. Arizona State and Oregon advanced Sunday.
—Field Level Media