Cougars Tripped Up By No. 8 Stanford
By JANIE McCAULEY
STANFORD, Calif. - When someone pointed out to Nicole Powell she finished a rebound shy of a triple double, she turned slightly to her left and smiled at her coach.
"I know," Powell said with a chuckle. "But stats aren't important."
She already has six career triple-doubles anyway, the only player in Pac-10 history with more than one.
Powell had 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds and No. 8 Stanford beat Washington State for the 38th straight time, 91-67 on Saturday.
Susan Borchardt added 14 points, making four of the Cardinal's 15 3-pointers, one off the school record. Krista Rappahahn came off the bench to make three from long range and T'Nae Thiel scored 13 for Stanford.
"Over half their shots were 3-pointers," Washington State coach Sherri Murrell said. "That's pretty amazing. It's one thing to take, it's another to make."
Stanford (17-3, 10-1 Pac-10) has never lost to the Cougars in the all-time series, and won its 25th straight conference game at Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal seem to be back on track after last Sunday's loss at USC, and they'll need to be sharp heading into a showdown with second-place Arizona on Thursday in Tucson.
Coach Tara VanDerveer still had a complaint.
"I pulled people out who weren't taking their shot," she said. "I saw four or five people who had wide-open 3-pointers and they didn't take them. ... We shot 31 3-pointers and we could have shot 10 more."
Kate Benz added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars (5-15, 1-10), who snapped their 12-game losing streak with a 64-59 win at Cal on Thursday - their first Pac-10 road victory in nearly three years.
Benz slammed her face to the ground late in the game against Stanford when someone rolled on her as she tried to control a loose ball and she left with her hand over her mouth. She cracked a tooth.
The hustle play was appreciated by Murrell, who hollered at her team at halftime for playing as if it had already lost.
"After coach's speech at halftime, I tried to come out in the second half and attack and forget about the first half," McCall said.
Powell, a 6-foot-2 forward and All-America candidate, leads the conference in scoring and rebounding. She also had four steals before leaving the game with 3:51 left.
Powell has been focused on finding her teammates more often.
"We're emphasizing trying to get the posts more shots," she said. "Our posts can play with anybody."
The Cardinal took a 25-5 lead on Borchardt's 3-pointer with 10:24 left in the first half and it only got uglier from there. The Cougars never got within 15 points the rest of the way.
Stanford made nine 3s in the first half to take a 49-22 lead at the break, making 51.5 percent of its shots and forcing the Cougars into 10 turnovers.
Stanford played without 6-foot-5 freshman center Kristen Newlin, who hurt her right knee in Thursday night's rout of Washington. She underwent an MRI exam Friday, but the results won't be available until Monday.
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