TUCSON, Ariz. (AP)Stanford hasn’t lost consecutive games in more than two years. It will be even longer after the Cardinal bounced back from one of their worst performances of the season with arguably their best.
Cameron Brink and Haley Jones each scored 18 points and the No. 6 Cardinal used a strong rebounding performance to beat No. 17 Arizona 84-60 on Thursday night.
The Cardinal (23-3, 11-2 Pac-12) won their sixth straight against the Wildcats (18-6, 8-5), a streak that includes the 2021 NCAA title game. Stanford moved into first place in the conference, a half-game ahead of No. 7 Utah.
Jones shot 8 for 11 from the field and added 12 rebounds and six assists. Brink scored all her points and added eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
Stanford outrebounded Arizona 45-27. It was a much better effort on the boards than in Sunday’s 72-67 loss at Washington. In that game, the Cardinal had a season-low 24 rebounds, which they surpassed in the third quarter against the Wildcats.
”Everything was 10 times better,” Jones said. ”I think this was one of our best games we played overall, 40 minutes-wise. I was really proud of the bounce back that we had tonight.”
Stanford tied a season-high with 59.3% shooting, narrowly missing becoming the first team to shoot better than 60% against the Wildcats since the Cardinal accomplished the feat in 2014.
”We wanted to be aggressive, we wanted to play fast, that’s how we want to play,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerVeer said. ”I think we can even do better. And I think I’ve been holding us back, honestly, I really do.”
Paris Clark, Esmery Martinez and Cate Reese led the way for Arizona with 10 points apiece.
The Wildcats were coming off their first road sweep of the Los Angeles schools since 2002, but needed three overtimes, including two in Sunday’s win at USC. The Wildcats shot 35.8% and had their most lopsided loss since falling by 27 points at home to Kansas in December.
”We just kind of died,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. ”I think we didn’t show a tremendous amount of effort until the last six minutes.”
Up 38-27 at the break, Stanford extended the lead to 21 points midway through the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Hannah Jump. The Cardinal were up 25 points after three periods and led by as many as 37.
Stanford: The Cardinal entered the week fourth in the NET rankings, keeping them in line for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It would be their third consecutive season as a No. 1, their longest streak since four straight No. 1 seeds from 2010-13.
Arizona: The Wildcats fell to 3-3 this season against ranked teams. Their last win over a top-10 opponent came in Nov. 2021 against No. 6 Louisville in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with their last home win against a top-10 team coming in Jan. 2021.
Stanford: Concludes its season-high four-game trip Sunday at Arizona State.
Arizona: Hosts California on Sunday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25