Thursday, March 10, 2011

The field thins

By Wally Mersereau

The second day of the Pac-10 Tournament was again held at the Galen Center, featuring only half as many games as yesterday--a reasonable two. The first upset of the tournament occurred in the first game when #6 seed Cal beat #3 seed Arizona State in a low-scoring game 48-43. The Golden Bears move on to face UCLA on Friday afternoon at the Staples Center. In the second game #4 seed Arizona topped #5 seed USC 72-61. With their losses today, both ASU and USC lost not only their respective games but any hope of earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Attendance did not improve by much on Day Two. Only about 150 were present for the start of the first game with 100 more arriving by half-time. For the second game, with host USC playing for the second day, the peak attendance at Galen Center was achieved with about 350-400 attendees. Stanford fans began to arrive in noticeable numbers to see the second day of eliminations. The UCLA team and coaches watched the first game whose winner, Cal, will play the Bruins on Friday. Tara and her entire coaching staff watched both games and the entire Stanford team watched the second game whose winner, Arizona, will play the Cardinal at Staples at high noon on Friday.

Kate Paye was introduced before the first game as part of the series highlighting former Pac-10 players for the 25th anniversary of Pac-10 women's sports.

The Cal-ASU game was close, with Cal up at the half 27-23 and then maintaining a narrow one- to three-point lead in the second half. With 47 seconds remaining in the game Cal led by only one point, 44-43. Free throws expanded the Cal lead to the final 48-43. Clarendon of Cal, named to the Pac-10 team, was high scorer with 22 points. Becca Tobin led the Sun Devils with 10.

The second game was hard fought throughout and was very close in the first half. The half-time score was Arizona 29, USC 28. Arizona extended its lead in the second half to a maximum of 17 points, but USC whittled it down to 9 points with 1:24 left, before ending up with a 72-61 loss on its home court. Davellyn White had 24 points, Soana Lucet had 20 and Ify Ibekwe had 13, all for Arizona. White and Ibekwe had been named to the Pac-10 team. Both have played well in the tournament, as has Lucet.

On Friday the women's tournament action moves to the Staples Center. Fresh #1 seed Stanford and #2 seed UCLA will meet Arizona and Cal, respectively. Arizona and Cal have both played two demanding games in two days which must have produced some fatigue. Their reward will be to play against one of the significantly strongest teams in the conference, both of whom have had a week off. The winners of the Friday games, which should be Stanford and UCLA, will meet at 11:30 am in the Staples Center on Saturday for the tournament championship.

No comments:

Post a Comment