For the fifth straight year the Stanford Cardinal (35-2) fell in the Final Four, this time on Sunday night to the Baylor Bears (39-0), with Terran Condrey highlighting her team’s 59-47 win. The Bears will play Notre Dame Tuesday night for the National title.
With Baylor down 27-25 at 18:14 in the second, head coach Kim Mulkey put Condrey on the floor.
"Terran Condrey, she's a great shooter, a senior, and I didn't hesitate to quickly insert her in the lineup," Mulkey said. "She can nail that shot down."
Condrey made a jumper to tie it 27-all, then followed with two more field goals, a defensive rebound, two free throws and a layup, eventually matching junior Brittney Griner’s point total of 13 in just 26 minutes. Condrey was 5-for-9 in field goals and had two rebounds.
"(Condrey) hit some big shots," Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She hit one 3. She's made 10 all year. She had a couple of shots for them that she stepped up nicely. I think she gave them some momentum."
Stanford sophomore Toni Kokenis said the Cardinal were well prepared for the game with a great game plan and that they were executing well, just struggling offensively.
"(We) missed some shots that would have definitely helped us, like a few 3s that we stepped out of bounds a few times," Kokenis said. "And I think also their offensive boards kind of hurt us, and we needed to box out better and get more rebounds because they got too many second-chance points."
The team stats read pretty evenly, but Baylor edged, going 36.5% over 33.3% in field goals made, 25.0% over 11.8% in three-pointers made and 73.1% over 71.4% in free throws made.
Stanford senior Nnemkadi Ogwumike – who led the Cardinal to four straight Final Four appearances – added to Kokenis’ thought that her team had difficulty figuring out what they wanted to do on offense. They were worried about Griner.
"I was definitely psyching myself out," Ogwumike said.
Griner, the face of women’s basketball this year, had a mediocre night for her standards with 13 points, nine boards, two blocks and she went 7-for-9 at the line.
Ogwumike led Stanford with 22 points and nine rebounds, but was 0-for-5 from the arc; Stanford overall was 2-for-17.
Although Ogwumike wasn’t able to lead Stanford to a title game in what was her final game as a Cardinal, she has no regrets.
"I just kind of look back and reflect on what it took for us to get here, and I would have rather gone down with my team than up with any other team."
Ogwumike’s younger sister Chiney, a sophomore on the team, had four points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in the game. Maybe she’ll be able to help Stanford next season and continue the great name.