by Mike Potter
UNC will look to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament with an upset late tonight.
Tar Heel coach Sylvia Hatchell said tonight’s contest may be a battle of depth.
“They (Stanford players) all know their roles, they play well together, and that's a really big part of a team being successful - people knowing their roles and accepting those roles and they just have the pieces of the puzzle and they all fit in,” Hatchell said.
“When a team has depth and their depth can come out there and keep things going, then that really is a tremendous quality of a championship team. I feel like Stanford has that. I think we have that as well. I think our depth is one of the strengths of our team. So I think it's again we're hoping to give them a game and give them some competition and pull off an upset victory.”
The teams have met only once previously, with Tara VanDerveer’s Cardinal surviving 81-71 in the 1995 West Region semifinal.
Stanford is on a 25-game winning streak.
UNC senior guard Italee Lucas said she’s hoping to get the Cardinal in a position where the Tar Heels can simply outrun it.
“It will be fun up and down the court,” Lucas said. “We still have offensive half courts, our defense is going to be key too, but as far as running up and down the court, I think we'll be the better team to last longer.”
No. 14 UNC vs. No. 2 Stanford
[Saturday, 11:30 p.m., Spokane Arena]
Audio: WCHL 1360.
Records: UNC 28-8, SU 31-2.
Coaches’ records — UNC: Sylvia Hatchell 858-302, 586-222 at UNC; SU: Tara VanDerveer 757-193, 605-142 at Stanford.
Leading scorers — UNC: Italee Lucas 16.0; SU: Nnemkadi Ogwumike 16.8.
Leading rebounders — UNC: Laura Broomfield 7.8; SU: Kayla Pedersen 7.8.
Assist leaders — UNC: Cetera DeGraffenreid 4.9; SU: Jeanette Pohlen 4.8.