No. 3 Stanford wraps up at least a share of Pac-12 regular-season title, beating Arizona State 81-67

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Kiki Iriafen had 22 points and 20 rebounds, Cameron Brink added 14 points and No. 3 Stanford beat Arizona State 81-67 on Sunday, responding after an upset loss to Arizona without Brink to wrap up at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title.

Brink, who also had nine rebounds, seven assists and five blocks while playing at a self-described “60%,” returned after missing the previous game with the flu and had a strong all-around performance in what might have been her last regular- season home contest.

“It's bittersweet,” said Brink, who is undecided on returning next season.

Brink and guard Hannah Jump were honored after the game in a Senior Day ceremony.

“I’m just taking everything in and really appreciative," Brink said. "Just enjoying my girls, and we’re really happy for the championship.”

Stanford (24-4, 13-3) hosted its final regular-season Pac-12 home game, with the Cardinal moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season and Arizona State (11-17, 3-1) going to the Big 12.

Stanford has beaten Arizona State 12 straight times. The Cardinal, looking to lock up the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament next month, have a two-game cushion over both No. 7 Southern California and No. 9 Oregon State with two games to play with both of those schools losing Sunday.

The Cardinal took at least a share of the regular-season title for the fourth consecutive season, and 27th time in program history.

“If you look right up there where it says ‘conference championships,’ that spot is waiting for 2024,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said in postgame remarks to the crowd, pointing to the banner in the rafters. “And we're not done.”

Jalyn Brown led Arizona State with 18 points. After the Sun Devils cut it to 43-37 late in the third quarter, Stanford answered with back-to-back layups by Nunu Agara and Iriafen to push the lead back to double figures to start the fourth.

“We let Arizona hang around too long and didn’t really take care of business,” Jump said. “So, I think that was something that we communicated as a team.”

The Cardinal had 30 second chance points to 11 for the Sun Devils, which Arizona State coach Natasha Adair said was the main difference.

“I thought it was really a gritty game,” Adair said. “The score may not indicate how close the game was.”

The Cardinal pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring the Sun Devils 23-8 after a tight first quarter. A 3-pointer by Jzaniya Harriel off an assist by Brink opened up a double-digit advantage for Stanford, which took a 36-23 lead into halftime.

Adair said that she hopes it isn’t the final time these two teams meet, and that she spoke with VanDerveer about potentially keeping the game on the schedule moving forward.

“There’s history here, what Tara means to all of us — as a pioneer, as a competitor, but just as an advocate for women’s basketball,” Adair said. “Every night you get to play the best. You get to play pros. You get to play on a big stage. So you’re going to miss that camaraderie throughout.”

With the postseason looming, VanDerveer said she is not yet ready to reflect on the end of the Pac-12.

“I want to enjoy this ride,” VanDerveer said ."And I’m not even going to think about anything else."

BIG PICTURE

Arizona State: The Sun Devils ended the Pac-12 regular season with just one road win and have not beaten Stanford since 2018.

Stanford: The Cardinal control their own destiny to claim the regular season conference title outright, poised to earn the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament if they win their final two games regardless of other scores.

UP NEXT

Arizona State: Hosts No. 12 UCLA on Thursday night.

Stanford: At No. 9 Oregon State on Thursday night.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball