December 1, 2019 12:07:46 AM
VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Haley Jones scored 13 points, Kiana Williams added 12 and No. 3 Stanford won the Greater Victoria Invitational tournament championship with a 67-62 victory over No. 10 Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Cardinal (8-0) took control in the third quarter and then held on after losses earlier in the day by top-ranked Oregon and No. 2 Baylor.
Rickea Jackson had 15 points for Mississippi State (8-1), and Jessika Carter added 12.
The Cardinal (8-0) remained unbeaten while the Bulldogs (8-1) took their first loss of the young season.
Both teams showed jitters early. The first basket was not scored until Stanford converted more than a minute and a half. Both squads then found a rhythm of sorts and a tight battle ensued with the lead changing hands a number of times before the first quarter ended in a 17-all tie.
The teams continued to trade the lead in the second quarter, with neither squad managing to go ahead by more than four points. Jackson's layup cut Stanford's lead to 35-33 edge at the half.
The Bulldogs tied the score early in the third quarter, but the Cardinal got a fast-break basket by Alyssa Jerome's layup off a fast break that broke the deadlock, and started a 12-2 run. Stanford stayed ahead by double digits until the Bulldogs closed the gap to 55-47.
The Cardinal lost Williams to an apparent knee injury with 3:24 left in the game as she fell hard to the floor. Williams favored her right knee as, unable to put weight on it, she was helped off the court. She later came back and sat on the bench with ice taped to her knee.
The Bulldogs closed the gap to 65-60 on Jackson's layup with just over 2 minutes left and pulled within three in the final minute on JaMya Mingo-Young's free throws. But they could not get closer despite forcing some turnovers in the closing moments.
Stanford: The Cardinal got through arguably their toughest test of the season and may have a chance to reach No. 1 after losses by the two teams ahead of them.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs showed that they can battle back when necessary.
Stanford: The Cardinal will get a long break for exams before taking on Ohio State at home in mid-December.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs will try to get back on the winning track at home Dec. 9 against West Virginia after getting a week off.
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