LAS VEGAS - The women’s basketball Pac-12 tournament started on Wednesday, March 2. Four games were played and here is how they turned out and who they will face in the second round on Thursday, March 3.
No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Washington
Colorado defeated Washington by a score of 64-52. Colorado was led by Mya Hollingshed who had 15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Peanut Tuitele led the team in scoring with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.
Washington had two players in double figures. Lauren Schwartz and Nancy Mulkey both scored 11 points in the loss.
“It's a great relief, but I'm incredibly proud because it was a team win. You know, three years straight not winning the first game is hard on you. But we came in this week. We had a really good week of practice. We talked about it and when it's unpredicted and I'm glad that we came out on top and we got this win,” Tuitele said.
Colorado will face No. 4 Arizona in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 3 at 1:00 p.m. MST.
No. 9 ASU vs No. 8 Oregon State
Oregon State came away with a win in a close game against ASU by a score of 59-54. Oregon State was led by a balanced attack from Ellie Mack and Talia von Oelhoffen. Mack scored 11 of her 14 points in the third quarter and von Oelhoffen rook charge in the fourth quarter scoring 7 of her 13 points.
ASU played Oregon State close in the second half after going down by as much as 17 points in the fourth quarter but was unable to complete the comeback. Mael Gilles almost had a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Taya Hanson also grabbed nine rebounds but scored a team high 18 points.
After Jade Lovillle dropped 33 points on Oregon State in their first matchup this year, Oregon State made sure to not let it happen again, holding her to nine in the game.
“We just defended her with a different intensity. That's the story of this team, a lot of people understanding what this conference is. It hits fast and it hits hard and if you make a mistake, you pay," Oregon State Head Coach Scott Rueck said.
Oregon State will face No. 1 Stanford in the quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m. MST.
No. 10 USC vs. No. 7 UCLA
While UCLA won this game 73-60, the final score does not tell the battle this game was. UCLA had many opportunities to pull away from the game, but everytime they threatened to break the game open, Jordan Sanders for USC would hit a shot and ignite a run for USC, leaving the game tied at 46-46 going into the fourth quarter. USC ended up not having enough gas in the tank, shooting 12.5% in the fourth quarter and UCLA pulled away to win the game.
UCLA had four players who scored in double digits, Iimar’I Thomas had 18, Charisma Osborne had 14, Jaelynn Penn scored 11 and Angela Dugalić had a 13 point and 12 rebound double-double off the bench. USC had two players in double digits, led by Sanders with 18 points and Rayah Marshall following with 17 points.
“I'm super proud of us in the fourth quarter. I think we've been talking about it for a while," Osborne said. "In the third quarter, people will punch back and we just let them keep punching and I felt like this game we were prepared and we knew that we had to fight."
UCLA will play No. 2 Oregon in the quarterfinals at 7:00 p.m. MST.
No. 11 Cal vs No. 6 Utah
In a matchup of the Media and Coach Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Cal’s Jayda Curry and Utah’s Gianna Kneepkens left it all on the floor. Neither team could gain much ground in the first half. Jenna Johnson led the way for Utah, scoring 11 of her 18 points in the first half. Curry scored eight of her 16 points in the first half and led Cal on a cruicial run to take a 45-44 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“We're definitely going to put in that work as soon as we get back and right back to it, getting ready for next season. We gotta put in the work in the offseason so we prepare for times like these, myself included, for sure," Curry said. "But overall, it was definitely a learning experience and a season of growth for me definitely."
Kneepkens started out slowly with only 4 points in the first half but flipped the script in the second half scoring 16 points on 7-8 shooting and hit the game sealing shot on a tough layup to give Utah a 64-60 lead. Cal had two possessions that could have tied the game but missed both and lost to Utah 66-60.
"I just tried not to force it. My teammates found me on -- they gave me good passes, all I had to do was finish it. I'll say I just tried to play the right way” Kneepkens said.
Utah will close out the quarterfinals against No. 3 Washington State at 9:30 p.m. MST.
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