Van Gytenbeek and Brink help No. 2 Stanford hold off No. 8 Arizona, 75-69

The Rematch

In a highly anticipated rematch of last season’s national championship game where Stanford Stanford (16-3, 7-0 Pac-12) prevailed, the No. 2 team in the country hosted No. 8 Arizona (15-3, 5-3 Pac-12) at Maples Pavilion Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats have not won at Maples in over two decades, since 2001.

Stanford came away with a 75-69 win with stellar three-point shooting from sophomore guard Jana Van Gytenbeek and a double-double from sophomore forward Cameron Brink.

Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer called Van Gytenbeek “a clutch player” during the postgame TV interview.

“She really stepped up in a big moment. We needed her. Hannah Jump was out. She knocked down threes, played great defense.”

Junior guard Hannah Jump missed the contest due to COVID-19 protocols. She averages 11.0 points per game for Stanford.

A Close First Quarter

Stanford senior guard Lexie Hall knocked down a jumper to start the scoring action. She got an assist from her twin Lacie for her second made-shot. After a layup from Brink, Stanford had a 6-0 advantage before Arizona senior forward Cate Reese countered at the 8:16 mark.

Reese got her team within two points after free throws but committed two fouls herself that got her sent to the bench with about six minutes left in the period.

Arizona senior guard Bendu Yeaney took over and ended the quarter with a three-pointer. Stanford held the Wildcats off for a slim 17-16 lead heading into the second stanza.

Second Quarter Breakaway for the Cardinal

Arizona heated up offensively early in the second quarter and earned the lead over Stanford after a jumper from freshman guard Madison Conner at 7:52. The teams exchanged the lead once again in the quarter. However, Stanford has a crucial 5-0 run late in the period that helps them finish strong and head into the half with a 41-33 lead.

Overall, Stanford’s second-quarter success came with the three-point prowess of Gytenbeek, who knocked down three treys during the period.

Third Quarter Distancing

Brink’s free throws at the outset gave her team a 10-point lead to start the quarter. But, that cushion was short-lived as Arizona leaped into action with three treys from Reese to narrow her team’s deficit to one at 7:02.

Stanford retaliated first with free throws from guard Anna Wilson followed by layups and free throws from Brink, plus another three-pointer from Van Gytenbeek. Stanford entered the final ten minutes with a 55-46 lead.

Fourth Quarter Gets Dicey for Stanford

A high-octane fourth quarter that had the feeling of an NCAA tournament contest saw Arizona stay within double-digits after an early 12-point deficit.

It was a battle for the Cardinal to hold off the upset-minded Wildcats for most of the remaining period. Arizona kept its hopes alive with a balanced scoring effort.

Stanford prevailed in the end, with Brink leading the way. She finished with a double-double of 25 points and 15 rebounds. However, Van Gytenbeek’s shots from beyond the arc made a considerable difference in the outcome. She matched her season total of 18 points coming into the game, a career-high for the Colorado native.

Reese paced Arizona with 17 points and seven rebounds. Pellington was also in double figures with 16 points, plus five rebounds and five assists.

The Wildcats head home to Tucson to host Oregon on Friday. Stanford travels to Los Angeles for a meeting with UCLA on Thursday.


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