The Hampton University women’s basketball team fell 73-51 to Stanford in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on March 17 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University.

The 16th-seeded Lady Pirates (26-5 overall record), who won their second straight MEAC regular-season title and third straight MEAC Tournament crown, finish the season setting a school Div. I record for victories in a single season.

Stanford (32-1 overall record), the top seed in the Fresno Region, picked up its 29th straight win and will face West Virginia in the second round on Monday.

“They’re good,” Lady Pirates head coach David Six said. “There’s no denying that they’re good. We didn’t play our best today, but Stanford had something to do with that.”

Sophomore forward Alyssa Bennett (Hampton, Va.) led Hampton with 19 points on 7-for-20 shooting, while sophomore guard Nicole Hamilton (Hampton, Va.) came off the bench to add 10 points. Junior forward Ariel Phelps (Virginia Beach, Va.) pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Senior guard Jericka Jenkins (Lancaster, Texas) added nine points and four assists.

Stanford led by as many as six in the opening minutes, but when senior guard Choicetta McMillian (Fairfield, Texas) nailed a 3-pointers with 6:57 left in the first half, the Lady Pirates found themselves down just one, 22-21.

But the Cardinal answered by scoring 13 unanswered points, going up 35-21 at the 3:39 mark after Toni Kokenis hit a jumper.

Stanford’s run ballooned to 22-5 to give the Cardinal a 42-27 lead at the half. Stanford shot 64.0 percent (16-for-25) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, while also hitting two of its four 3-pointers and eight of 11 free throws.

The Cardinal out-rebounded Hampton 24-10 in the first half. Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 22 points and eight rebounds at the half.

Bennett had 10 points at the break to lead Hampton.

Bennett hit a pair of free throws with 18:26 left in the second half to bring the Lady Pirates within 13, cutting Stanford’s lead to 42-29. Joslyn Tinkle then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Cardinal a 48-29 lead with 17:28 left to play.

After Phelps hit a free throw at the 16:27 mark to cut Stanford’s lead to 50-32, the Cardinal went on a 17-4 run to take a 67-36 lead with 10:08 to play after a layup from Chiney Ogwumike.

A Kokenis jumper with 6:47 to play put Stanford up 71-40.
The Lady Pirates shot 31.7 percent (20-for-63) from the floor and went 2-for-12 from 3-point range, while hitting nine of their 17 free throws. Hampton turned Stanford over 19 times, scoring 13 points off those miscues.

Stanford, ranked No. 2 in the nation in both polls, shot 58.0 percent (29-for-50) from the floor and hit six of its 12 3-pointers. The Cardinal also went 9-for-14 from the free throw line and held a 44-25 edge on the glass.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike led Stanford with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Joslyn Tinkle hit all four of her 3-pointers en route to 16 points.

Amber Orrange dished out 11 assists.

Jeff Cunningham

Special to the AFRO