STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Tara VanDerveer pulled each of her star post players aside and asked them to stay within themselves and play to their strengths.
Cameron Brink and Kiki Iriafen made all the right decisions two days after a rare loss.
Brink had 19 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocked shots, and No. 4 Stanford beat No. 7 UCLA 80-60 on Sunday.
Iriafen scored 18 points as the Cardinal (20-3, 9-2 Pac-12) bounced back nicely after losing 67-58 to JuJu Watkins and No. 15 Southern California on Friday night.
“For us the most important thing honestly is that after a loss our team didn’t throw anybody under the bus. No one liked it, we were all very disappointed. I personally took it really hard just because I just felt like I hadn’t done a good enough job,” VanDerveer said. “So I really talked to Cam and Kiki about helping us run our offense and the first couple plays you could see they were totally locked in, doing the right thing.”
The chat with VanDerveer meant a lot to both women.
“Just instilling that confidence in us,” Iriafen said. “We’re both All-Americans and we should be confident in what we can do. So she just instilled that confidence in us and reminded us that we can run offense better and facilitate more.”
Brink and Iriafen combined to shoot 16 for 26 and helped Stanford to a 43-29 rebounding advantage on a day when a sellout crowd of 7,207 braved a wild Bay Area rain and wind storm to pack Maples Pavilion.
“I just think we were ready to play against anybody,” VanDerveer said.
Charisma Osborne scored 13 points for the Bruins (17-4, 6-4), still missing second-leading scorer Lauren Betts because of undisclosed medical reasons. The 6-foot-7 center, a Stanford transfer who is averaging 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds, was sidelined for a fourth straight game.
Coach Cori Close said she expects Betts back at some point this season.
Osborne followed her 32-point performance in Friday's 78-58 win against California in Berkeley by shooting just 5 for 18 in the final regular-season meeting between the storied programs in Pac-12 play before the Bruins leave for the Big Ten next season.
“Tonight was really embarrassing playing out there,” Osborne said. “We have to figure it out.”
Close said discussions are underway and went on this weekend with Cal and Stanford about future home-and-home matchups for nonconference play.
Stanford wanted to move forward from its first home loss, when it was unable to stop Watkins as the freshman poured in a Trojans-record 51 points — the most in major NCAA women’s basketball this season.
VanDerveer challenged her players to take better shots and take care of the ball — and her team wound up with its best shooting percentage since November 2014 at 64.3%.
“If we shoot 60% I’ll be a pig in slop,” the Hall of Fame coach said.
The Cardinal have never been swept in a home conference weekend series as a member of the Pac-10 or Pac-12 dating to 1986-87. Stanford made its first six shots to get rolling, including two 3s by Hannah Jump.
“Nobody wants to play Stanford after a loss,” Close said. “I knew they were going to come out with a vengeance. And we were going to have to not only match it, but exceed it. And we just didn’t do that.”
After making its first shot, UCLA went 2 for the next 11 before Osborne hit consecutive 3s. The Bruins settled for a Bay Area split after a tough loss at home to Washington State last Sunday, but Close wasn't happy.
“We didn’t execute the scouting report, we didn't do the things we needed to do,” Close said. “And we've got some hard choices that need to be made coming up.”
UCLA: UCLA came into the weekend averaging 82.8 points per game, ranking second in the Pac-12 and 12th nationally. But the Bruins shot just 5 for 20 in the opening period, 20 for 68 (29.4%) overall and 8 of 25 from 3-point range.
Stanford: Brink totaled 15 blocks in the two games vs. the L.A. schools after swatting a season-high eight Friday. ... The Cardinal shot 9 for 13 in the first quarter to take control. ... VanDerveer was disappointed with Friday's game, when her team committed 13 turnovers and got outscored 15-11 by Watkins in the third quarter.
UCLA: Hosts Arizona on Friday night.
Stanford: At Washington on Friday night.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball