Georgia defeats Stanford 83-64 in West region
Posted: Monday March 20, 2000 11:52 PM
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- One of the most demanding coaches around, Georgia's Andy Landers has no complaints after the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.
The top-seeded Lady Bulldogs moved into the semifinals of the West Regional with a pair of convincing victories on their home court, including an 83-64 triumph over Stanford on Monday night.
"I am really pleased with our basketball team after these first two games," said Landers, whose squad opened the tournament with a 74-46 rout of Montana. "Individually and as a team, we played well."
Georgia (31-3) set a school record for victories in a season and remained on course for the first national title in school history. The Lady Bulldogs have reached the Final Four five times, including last season.
Stanford (21-9), a two-time national champion and six-time participant in the Final Four, broke a streak of two straight first-round losses in the NCAA tournament with an 81-74 overtime victory over Michigan on Saturday night. But the Cardinal didn't have enough quickness to keep up with the host Lady Bulldogs.
"They have a lot of weapons and they play well together," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "They executed very well tonight."
Georgia took control with a 17-2 run in the first half, then put the game away after Stanford closed to 40-34 on a 3-pointer by Milena Flores with 16:04 remaining. In the space of just over a minute, Tawana McDonald scored on the inside, Nolan hit a pull-up jumper and Coco Miller made another jumper after Angie Ball's steal to push the Lady Bulldogs back up 46-34.
The Cardinal didn't get any closer than nine the rest of the way and Georgia pushed the lead as high as 20 points, advancing to meet the winner of the North Carolina-Rice game in the semifinals of the West Regional at Portland, Ore.
Nolan hit 10-of-16 shots from the field and also led the team with six assists.
"She's an amazing athlete," Stanford's Milena Flores said. "It's hard to stay with her. She's probably the fastest player on the court."
Georgia, which shot 56 percent in the second half, had five players in double figures. Coco Miller scored 19 points, Crawford and McDonald had 14 apiece and Kelly Miller added 12.
Jamie Carey led Stanford with 15 points but the Cardinal couldn't overcome 7-of-27 shooting in the first half.
"We missed some easy shots early," VanDerveer said. "But give credit to Georgia. They make you rush. It's not like we're trying to go out there and miss shots."
Crawford, a 6-foot-4 junior who was inconsistent during the regular season, came up big against Stanford and its twin towers on the front line, 6-6 Carolyn Moos and 6-7 Cori Enghusen. Moos hit only 2-of-10 from the field and finished with 12 points.
"Our post players don't get enough credit on this team," Landers said. "We played nicely inside and didn't give them any second chances to score."
Crawford's play was especially important when McDonald picked up two fouls in the first half, limiting her to eight minutes, and Ball hit only 1-of-6 shots in the game.
"I'm excited," Crawford said. "I've never played in anything like this before. Every game is more important than the last one."
Coco Miller made a 3-pointer with 14:58 remaining in the first half to put the Lady Bulldogs ahead to stay, 9-6. She scored 10 of Georgia's first 16 points.
The Lady Bulldogs grabbed their biggest lead of the opening
half, 30-16, when Crawford converted the first in a trio of
three-point plays. Stanford trailed 30-20 at the half.