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Kiki Iriafen carries No. 2 Stanford in 87-81 OT win over Iowa State, advance to Portland Regional

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Brooke Demetre hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in overtime and Kiki Iriafen scored 11 of her career-high 41 points in OT, securing No. 2 Stanford a place in the Portland Regional with a thrilling 87-81 win over seventh-seeded Iowa State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.

Addy Brown knocked down a 3 from the top of the arc with 31 seconds left in OT to put Iowa State ahead, only for Demetre to answer from nearly the same spot moments later — and six of her eight total points came on timely 3s. She also hit two free throws with 11.7 seconds left to help seal it.

“Kiki Iriafen, whoa!” Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said afterward.

Iriafen converted a three-point play with 3:41 left in overtime after drawing the fifth foul on star Iowa State freshman Audi Crooks and also contributed 16 rebounds and three blocks. Talana Lepolo added a 3 in the extra period and Iriafen had a go-ahead baseline jumper with 1:59 to go before scoring again the next time down.

The Cyclones’ Emily Ryan hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:45 to play, another 3 in overtime and tying free throws with 1:03 left in OT to finish with 36 points in her gutsy, spectacular finale.

Crooks had made 18 of 20 shots in her career-best 40-point performance to spark Friday’s comeback win over Maryland, when the Cyclones trailed by 20.

On Sunday, she missed her first three shots — more than she had the entire game Friday — and fouled out with 10 points, making just 3 of 21 shots.

“We have our own 40-point scorer,” VanDerveer said, looking at Iriafen next to her and calling her a “warrior.”

On a night Cameron Brink never got in rhythm because of foul trouble, Irifen did a little bit of everything to help the Cardinal (30-5) advance while still feeling the sting of a heartbreaking 54-49 loss to Ole Miss in the second round at Maples Pavilion last March.

Iriafen defended as Crooks missed a layup with 14 seconds remaining in regulation that would have given Iowa State (21-12) the lead, and Stanford got the ball with 11.5 seconds left. Then Iriafen missed a jumper over Crooks just before the final buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime at 66-all.

The teams headed into the final 10 minutes tied at 50 and the game featured 18 lead changes and 12 ties.

Brink had eight points, eight rebounds and five more blocked shots to bring her nation’s-best total to 120.

The Cardinal had reached 14 straight Sweet 16s before last year’s exit — marking just the second time in 16 years Stanford lost in the first or second rounds and first since No. 10 seed Florida State shocked the fifth-seeded Cardinal 68-61 at Maples Pavilion in the second round exactly 16 years ago to the day on March 19, 2007.

Iowa State committed turnovers on each of its initial three possessions of the game trying to get the ball to Crooks before Hannah Belanger hit a 3 at the 7:26 mark. The Cylcones didn’t score their first field goal of the second quarter until Belanger’s jumper at 5:02.

SPECIAL GUEST

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy sat on press row to cheer his alma mater, Iowa State.

“It means so much. As an alumni you’re so proud to see the program do so well and going through this tournament and having the success that they’ve had,” he said. “I’ve had their back. Blessed to be here to support them.”

And the Iowa State band got creative sitting just above Purdy and on the Stanford offensive end:

“Pass it to Purdy! Pass it to Purdy!” band members chanted while pointing their arms NFL star.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: Freshman Arianna Jackson hit her face on the court in the closing seconds of the third and went to the locker room, towel over her face. … Crooks had already set a single-season program record coming into the game and finished with 258 made field goals, passing Bridget Carleton’s 254 in 2018-19. … Belanger wore a face mask to protect her injured nose suffered Friday against Maryland. … The Cyclones held a 21-18 rebounding edge in the first half and finished ahead 42-36.

Stanford: Brink and Jump played their final home game in Maples, where their parents sat together a few rows behind the Stanford bench. Brink announced last week she would declare for the WNBA Draft and skip her fifth year of eligibility granted by the NCAA because of COVID-19. … Redshirt sophomore Jzaniya Harriel delivered a key stretch in the second quarter, getting a steal one possession before hitting a big 3 on the other end after passing into the paint to draw her defender away.

___

AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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