Women's Basketball

Fought To The Finish

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STANFORD, Calif. - No. 4 Stanford displayed both improvement and lot of fight in front of a nearly sold out Maples Pavilion on Monday night, but an early deficit was too much to overcome as the Cardinal dropped a 74-66 decision to No. 3 Oregon.

Lexie Hull led the way for Stanford offensively, scoring 27 points and hitting a career-high six 3-pointers. She was joined in double figures by 14 from Kiana Williams, while senior Nadia Fingall collected 12 rebounds, as the Cardinal outrebounded Oregon 36-34. Monday's loss is just the second time all season Stanford has lost a game when grabbing more boards than its opponent. 

"Our team competed in spurts. When we played really hard and took care of the ball, I think we did really well," commented Tara VanDerveer. "Oregon has a terrific team, credit to them ... This will only help us get better."

Stanford went blow for blow in the early minutes, grabbing an 8-7 lead after a long ball from Williams, but Oregon put the clamps down on the Cardinal, holding Stanford scoreless for over eight minutes to surge ahead 20-8.

The Cardinal had looks in the second period but still struggled to get into an offensive rhythm on a night where Sabrina Ionescu would become the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.

Despite the slow start, Stanford was down just 10 at halftime following a quick flurry late from Hull, 32-22.

Stanford cut the deficit to just five points early in the third, before Oregon's Satou Sabally helped extend the Ducks lead with strong play both inside and out. The Cardinal again found itself in a rut offensively, but were ignited by Hull's determination to score, and Fingall and Maya Dodson working in the post.

Never one to quit, the Cardinal fought to the finish with 11 points from Hull in the final quarter, cutting the lead back into single digits, but it was too steep a mountain.

"Hopefully we can take the good things from tonight, and do them to finish the regular season," said VanDerveer.

The loss for Stanford marks just the second time the Cardinal has been swept in a season by Oregon, and first since 1987.

No. 4 Stanford heads to the desert to close out the regular season, facing No. 13 Arizona on Friday, Feb. 28, before a tussle with No. 24 Arizona State on Sunday.