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No. 2 Stanford falls to No. 1 South Carolina after timeout blunder in overtime – Sports Illustrated

The Cardinal came out of the gate as hot as could be, looking to avenge last year's December loss to No. 1 South Carolina in Columbia. 
The No. 2 Cardinal hosted the defending champion Gamecoks in Palo Alto in front of a sold out arena. Thanks to a dominant first quarter by star forward Cameron Brink that saw her outscore South Carolina by herself, Stanford was able to jump out to a 10 point lead. Stanford also greatly benefited from the fact that Aliyah Boston was pulled early in the first half due to being in foul trouble.
Unfortunately for Stanford, Brink being in foul trouble was also a factor that helped lead to the Gamecocks getting back into the game. Despite having a prolific first quarter, Brink was limited to just one minute of action in the second quarter. Mind you she did have a spectacular assist in that lone minute, but her absence was certainly felt as the Gamecocks began building momentum after looking outmatched. 
To start the second half, Stanford was able to fend off South Carolina a tad longer but it was evident that Dawn Staley's bunch over on the other bench had not given up cutting the lead to as little as three points. Turnovers were keeping South Carolina in the game, being that the Cardinal were constantly giving the ball away turning it over 22 times. 
The fourth quarter is where it became evident that winning was going to be quite difficult for Stanford. The Cardinal went about half the fourth quarter before even recording a single point, while at this time in the game South Carolina was able to cut down the lead to three again. 
With 14 seconds left in the fourth, South Carolina Brea Beal drilled a three to bring the game within one. Haley Jones then missed the first of two throws with 12.5 seconds remaining, which of course gave Boston a chance to tie the game. Last year's  most outstanding player of the championship did just that, hitting a jumper to send the game to overtime. 
In overtime, Brink who finished with 25 points would go at with Boston who finished with 14, but Stanford's leading lady would foul out when they needed her most. The Cardinal did get some big shots to stay in it from Kiki Iriafen who had 11 points on the day, but it wasn't enough.
With just five seconds remaining in the game and Stanford trailing by two. South Carolina's Zia Cook missed her free throw which led to an unfortunate ode to Chris Webber, by the aforementioned Iriafen after rebounding the miss. 
Rather than pushing the ball down court or throwing it to her outlet, Iriafen turned to the ref and yelled for a timeout. A great decision that would allow for the Cardinal to draw up a last second play to tie to win, but there turned out to be a huge issue with the decision. Stanford actually had no timeouts left. 
South Carolina would get two free throws because of the technical for calling a timeout without having one, and would eventually go on to win. Very surprising way for a Tara VanDerveer coached team to lose a game, as it clearly looked like only one player on the court knew what was happening and was actually running down court after the rebound was secured. 
There definitely seemed to be some confusion in crunch time today as there was also a costly 5-second violation by Jones as she failed to inbound the ball, which cost Stanford a chance to try and win in regulation. The loss snapped a 17-game winning streak at home for Stanford, as they now have to learn and move forward. They take on Florida Gulf Coast next. 
Also seen during the game was the custom shirts sported by both coaches in honor of Britney Grinner, who is currently in a Russian prison while the United States works on extracting her. 

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