STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — For months, Tara VanDerveer prepared every player on her roster to make an impact in March — whether as a starter or playing key bursts off the bench.
The Hall of Fame coach counted on everybody’s best efforts after star Cameron Brink got sick and had to sit out.
Haley Jones scored 17 points for a top-seeded Stanford team missing Brink because of a stomach bug, and the Cardinal advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by beating 16th-seeded Sacred Heart 92-49 on Friday night.
Freshman Talana Lepolo dished out seven assists in her NCAA debut as Stanford advances to the second round Sunday against the winner of Friday’s second game between No. 8 seed Ole Miss and ninth-seeded Gonzaga.
“We needed this, for our team, to kind of bust out a little bit and remind ourselves this is what we can do,” VanDerveer said.
Stanford, earning a No. 1 seed for a third straight year, notched the program’s 100th NCAA Tournament victory — third most all-time behind Tennessee and UConn. The Cardinal (29-5) have reached the Sweet 16 in 14 consecutive tournaments and haven’t lost in the first two rounds since falling to Florida State at home in 2007.
Freshman Ny’Ceara Pryor scored 12 points to lead cold-shooting Sacred Heart (19-14), which overcame a 2-9 start to the season, won its first NCAA Tournament game and kept…
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