Cardinal women ready for their hoops rematch with Buckeyes

Alanna Smith recorded her fourth career double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds in Stanford's 74-53 win over Belmont on Friday night. Photo by Bob Drein/

Alanna Smith scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and the No. 14 Stanford women's basketball team downed Belmont, 74-53, in the semifinals of the Play4Kay Showcase on Friday night in Las Vegas.

Smith connected on 10-of-16 shots from the floor for Stanford (4-2), which had its hands full in the first half. Belmont's Sierra Jones buried a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the second quarter to pull the Bruins (4-2) even at 37 entering halftime.

Marta Sniezek
But the second half was a different story. Stanford held Belmont to 16 total points on 6-of-24 shooting, including a 10-minute stretch across the third and fourth quarters without a point.

Kylee Smith hit a 3-pointer and then made a layup on back-to-back possessions for Belmont to cut the Cardinal lead to 45-44 with 7:19 left in the third quarter, but the Bruins wouldn't score again until Maura Muensterman hit a triple at 7:18 of the fourth.

Stanford scored 19 during Belmont's dry spell, dominating down low.

Alexa Romano hit a 3-pointer to start the spurt and the final 16 points came in the paint with seven from Smith, four from Kaylee Johnson, three from Maya Dodson and two from DiJonai Carrington.

At one point during the stretch, Stanford stole the ball and used two crisp passes without a dribble to go the length of the court for a breakaway Carrington layup.

Stanford went on a 24-0 run against Kent State on Thursday night.

Romano made half her 10 shots in a career-high 35 minutes and scored 11 for Stanford, her second game in double figures.

Thirty-six of Belmont's 56 shots were from behind the arc. Belmont made 8-of-22 (.364) in the first half, but just three in the second on 14 attempts.

Marta Sniezek collected seven of Stanford's 12 assists and turned the ball over once. She has 14 assists three turnovers in the first two games of the tournament.

"You watch the game and they are all running the floor," Sniezek said. "You gotta get them the ball when they run the floor. Alanna, Maya, Mikaela (Brewer) ... they're all running the floor."

Stanford gets a rematch with No. 9 Ohio State in Wednesday's championship at 8 p.m. The Cardinal opened the season at then-No. 5 Ohio State on Nov. 10 and lost 85-64.

"We've grown so much since then," Sniezek said. "Our team has done a great job of developing. It should be a great rematch."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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