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Stanford runs past Sacred Heart 92-49 into NCAA Second Round โ€“ Hoopfeed.com

Stanford runs past Sacred Heart 92-49 into NCAA Second Round โ€“ Hoopfeed.com

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March 17, 2023 (Stanford, CA) โ€“ Sacred Heart vs. Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Photos: ยฉ Baranduin Briggs, all rights reserved.

Stanford, CA โ€“ While No. 16-seeded Sacred Heart had a hot start against the No. 1 seed Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament, reality set in after about five minutes, and the Cardinal earned a lopsided 92-49 win over the upstart Pioneers. Stanford (29-5,15-3 Pac-12) played without two players: starting forward Cameron Brink, who missed the game due to a non-Covid illness, and redshirt freshman guard Jzaniya Harriel.

โ€œI thought our team really played with a lot of energy today,โ€ said head coach Tara VanDerveer. โ€œYou know, we obviously were without two players, Cameron Brink, and Jzaniya Harriel, but I think everyone stepped up.โ€

A Hot Start, Then Reality

Coming into the contest, Sacred Heart (19-14,12-4 NEC) had a First Four 57-47 win, beating Southern U. in the tournamentโ€™s play-in round on Wednesday. In addition, the program was on a historical journey as a first-timer in the tournament, becoming the only NEC womenโ€™s basketball team to win an NCAA tournament contest.

Right off the bat, Pioneers freshman point guard Nyโ€™Ceara Pryor put her team on the scoreboard with a jumper. She struck again less than a minute later, and her teammate, fellow freshman guard Amelia Wood joined with a jumper of her own to give the Pioneers a 6-2 lead. The game was tied before the Sacred Heart led again by four at the 4:55 mark, 11-7. However, that was the most significant lead the visiting team would have as the tables quickly turned when the Cardinal finished the period on a 16-7 run capped with a three-pointer from senior guard Hannah Jump.

โ€œWe stayed with Stanford for the first quarter, and that will stay with me for the rest of my life,โ€ said Pryor, the NECโ€™s MVP and Rookie of the Year.

With a 23-18 lead heading into the second stanza, Stanford had the stage set for a monumental offensive stretch which they executed, outscoring the Pioneers in the ten minutes before halftime.

Despite the fearless play of Pryor, with a stature of 5-3, and key shots from Wood, the Pioneers struggled against a bigger, faster, and deeper roster of players. While Pryor had no trouble getting to the rim against Southern, her production halted when faced with Stanfordโ€™s 6-7 freshman center Lauren Betts, 6-5 senior forward Ashten Prechtel, and 6-1 senior…

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