STANFORD, Calif. -- Home was not that comfortable for the fourth-seeded Stanford Cardinal on Saturday. Cal State Northridge pressured and harassed the Cardinal into mistakes, took a lead at halftime and then charged back late in the game, before Stanford settled down and finished with a 73-60 victory at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford went into the locker room at halftime looking at a 29-28 deficit -- shocking, considering that at one point, the Cardinal led 20-7 and looked to be on their way to winning handily.
Northridge went on a 22-8 run to close the first half and assume the lead. Stanford regrouped with a big second-half run and then withstood the Matadors' late charge, led by senior guard Ashley Guay, who closed her college career with a 27-point effort.
Turning point: Stanford watched Northridge take a 36-30 lead with 18:01 to go in the second half and then decided it had had enough. The Cardinal unleashed a 24-4 run that took them to a 54-40 lead, a charge led by guards Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson.
Key stat: Defensive rebounds. With 30 defensive rebounds, Stanford limited the Matadors' ability to get second-chance points.
Key player: Taylor Greenfield. Just like in the Pac-12 tournament, the senior forward was a catalyst for Cardinal success on Saturday. She finished the game with 19 points and four rebounds, with 13 of her points coming in the second half.
How it was won: Eliminating mistakes. The bigger, stronger Cardinal committed 10 first-half turnovers and suffered through an eight-minute scoring drought. Halftime adjustments, increased defensive intensity and refocusing on getting the ball into the paint put Stanford back in control.
What's next: The Cardinal move on to face fifth-seeded Oklahoma on Monday, with the winner headed to the regional semifinals next weekend in Oklahoma City.