5:00 PM ET, January 29, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Washington State coach Sherri Murrell considers Stanford a Final Four team.Stanford (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) used a 30-6 run that spanned the halves and cruised to a 69-56 victory at Friel Court.Susan King Borchardt, Sebnem Kimyacioglu and Azella Perryman each scored 10 points and the Cardinal (19-2, 10-1 Pac-10) won their 10th straight game."This is a Final Four team, I really believe that, because they're working so well together," Murrell said. "They're not relying on just one kid."Five other Cardinal players scored between six and nine points.Charmaine Jones led the Cougars (5-15, 1-10) with 12 points. Ariana Scales had 10 points, and Pac-10 rebounding leader Kate Benz added 10 points and 15 rebounds. The Cardinal improved to 40-0 all-time against Washington State."We have lost to that team by so many more than 13 points," Benz said. "Of course, I'm not happy we lost, but it showed we're making progress."Stanford has won the last eight games against the Cougars by an average of 30 points, dating to February 2001."Washington State played very, very well," Stanford coach Tara VanDerVeer said. "They have really improved."The Cougars led 22-19 before Kimyacioglu made a 3-pointer with 6:27 left in the first half. That sparked a 16-4 run and the Cardinal led 35-26 at the break. Stanford used a 14-2 run to open the second half"The power of believing is an amazing force. When Stanford went on that run, they stopped believing," Murrell said. "We have to be able to maintain that belief."The Cardinal went 2-0 in the Washington road swing but return home with injuries. Reserve Eziamaka Okafor suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon tear in the 86-60 win over the Huskies onThursday. Then reserve Jessica Elway, the daughter of former NFL star John Elway, broke her right hand in practice Friday."I think we're ready to leave Washington as soon as possible," Kimyacioglu said. "(The injuries) really do hurt us emotionally."