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Stanford women to play for Pac-12 Tournament title

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LAS VEGAS — Lexie Hull had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead No. 7 Stanford to a 67-51 win over No. 8 UCLA on Saturday night in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

The third-seeded Cardinal (27-5) will meet No. 1 seed Oregon in Sunday’s championship for a third straight year, and fourth time in five years. Stanford beat the Ducks in last year’s title game, 64-57. Oregon beat the Cardinal in the championship the year before that, 77-57.

Kiana Williams added 12 points for the Cardinal, while Francesca Belibi contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Stanford, which ranked second in the Pac 12 with 74.3 points per contest, ranked fifth in the conference in giving up a mere 59.63. The Cardinal’s +14.67 scoring margin was second in the league. And where the Cardinal thrived was limiting opposition in getting high-percentage shots throughout the campaign, which resulted in it ranking No. 1 with its field-goal percentage defense (35.0%).

All of which is why it came as no surprise the Cardinal shut down UCLA’s potent offense.

The Bruins (26-5) were stymied after holding a 15-13 lead after the first quarter. UCLA managed just 16 points in the second and third quarters combined, while Stanford took over.

Michaela Onyenwere, Japreece Dean and Charisma Osborne each had 14 points for the Bruins.

The Cardinal improved to 47-0 when holding its opponent under 70 points at the Pac-12 Tournament.

Stanford closed the door with a 16-0 run in the second half, and eventually took a 50-31 lead into the fourth quarter and cruised to its 17th Pac 12 championship game. The Cardinal is now 47-5 all-time at the event — 17-1 in the semifinal round — and has won 13 of the 18 titles.

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