VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP)Nadia Fingall scored 18 points, Kiana Williams had 15, and Lexie Hull had 13 points and 10 rebounds as No. 3 Stanford held off Cal Baptist 83-78 Thursday night at the Greater Victoria Invitational.
The Cardinal (6-0) built a big lead before the Lancers (7-1) rallied over the final 20 minutes with sharp 3-point shooting.
Ane Olaeta led Cal Baptist with 18 points, Sydney Palma added 17 – while going 4 for 6 from 3-point territory – and Tiena Afu had 14 points.
CBU converted 17 of 40 3-point attempts while the Cardinal were good on just 4 of 23.
”That’s crazy,” Williams said. ”We just have to tighten up. We got a lead and then we let it go.”
Williams, who hit some key free throws to secure the win, said her team became complacent. She called the win ”a learning experience.”
The Lancers led by eight midway through the first quarter, but the Cardinal clawed back and took off, turning a 23-21 deficit after the first quarter into a 46-33 halftime lead. Williams capped Stanford’s first-half scoring after stealing the ball from Olaeta while she looked to coach Jarrod Olson for instructions from the sidelines.
”I was telling something to somebody else and (Olaeta) turned and looked because she thought I was talking to her,” Olson said. ”And, then zip, we went the other way. Things like that happen. It’s a long game. I’m glad we were able to come back from that.”
The Cardinal stretched their advantage to 59-38 early in the third quarter. Just when it looked like the game was over, the Lancers connected on seven 3s in the third quarter and kept hitting more in the fourth.
CBU pulled within 71-70 with just over six minutes left and stayed close, but the Cardinal managed to control the Lancers’ outside shooting down the stretch.
”It was a really fun game,” Olson said. ”Our team played really hard. We showed a lot of fight. Obviously, Stanford’s a great opponent who was going to be hard to beat.
”We gave them everything we could. Obviously, we came up a little bit short. But I was just really proud of how we played tonight.”
Stanford: With their high ranking, the Cardinal are the team to beat in this tournament. Mississippi State is the only other team here ranked in the top 10. The stage is being set for a Stanford-Mississippi State showdown in the final.
Cal Baptist served early notice that it might be a contender come NCAA tournament time next spring.
Stanford faces Syracuse in a semifinal game Friday night.
Cal Baptist takes on Houston on the consolation side of the tournament.
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