Stanford's Greenfield leads the way come tournament time
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Taylor Greenfield spent most of her senior season at Stanford as a little-used reserve who rarely made an impact on games.
That has all changed come tournament time.
After powering the Cardinal to the Pac-12 title, Greenfield is a big reason why fourth-seeded Stanford (25-9) is preparing to face fifth-seeded Oklahoma (21-11) in the second round of the Oklahoma City regional on Monday.
Greenfield has more points in her past three games in the conference and NCAA tournaments than she had in the entire Pac-12 regular season, earning her the nickname ''Tournament Taylor.''
''I would hope that someone could convince her we're not in a tournament,'' Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said Sunday. ''She seems to really like to play in tournaments. If we can figure out a way to convince her of that, we might have a better chance of stopping her.''
Greenfield came into the Pac-12 tournament averaging 3.7 points per game before breaking out in the semifinals with 17 points against Arizona State.
She followed that with a game-high 20 points in the championship game win against California and then led the Cardinal with 19 points in their 73-60 first-round win over Cal State Northridge.
''I think the turning-point game was against ASU,'' she said. ''Since then it's been repetitive in a good way.''
Greenfield's emergence has given Stanford another needed scoring option to go along with the talented backcourt of Lili Thompson and Amber Orrange and forward Bonnie Samuelson.
''No one has the spotlight,'' Greenfield said. ''If you don't perform, we have people who can pick up the slack. Then when you have four people doing it, you can't take everything away.''
That was the key for Oklahoma in its 111-84 win over Quinnipiac in the first round. The Sooners had six players in double figures and shot 55.6 percent from the field to roll to the win.
''Anytime you shoot the ball well, all feels well in the world,'' Coale said. ''Shooting well can have a way of masking things that you're not doing as well as you would like.''
Here are some other things to watch when Oklahoma plays Stanford:
FAB FRESHMEM: Oklahoma's freshman passed the test of their first tournament game with flying colors. Vionise Pierre-Louis and McKenna Treece dominated the post to combine for 29 points off the bench. Point guard Gabbi Ortiz controlled the floor and led the team with 16 points.
''Sometimes I forget she's a freshman because she's so mature for her age,'' forward Kaylon Williams said. ''Just a commanding general.''
LILI'S LOOK: When Stanford faced a six-point deficit in the second half, guard Lili Thompson took over. She responded right away with a jumper and then scored seven points during a 14-0 run that put Stanford in control. As soon as she made that first shot, her teammates knew what was coming.
''We joke about it on the team, you can tell she gets this look in her eyes,'' Samuelson said ''We know Lili is feeling it. We need to get her the ball and set her some screens.''
SEEKING PERFECTION: Quinnipiac called Oklahoma's performance in the first round almost perfect. Not so, say the Sooners. Coale showed her players video clips Sunday of their mistakes and the players got the message.
''We obviously could have played a lot better defense,'' Ortiz said. ''There are certain things we could have done better. But yes, we shot the lights out.''
FOUL PLAY: Oklahoma was one of the most foul-prone teams this season, committing nearly 21 per game with 34 disqualifications. The Sooners committed 25 fouls in the first round.
''They're an aggressive team,'' Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. ''I think it will be really important that we have a basketball game and not rugby or football.''
SERIES HISTORY: The Sooners and Cardinal have plenty of tournament history, meeting four times previously. The most recent came when the Cardinal beat the Sooners in the 2010 national semifinals. Stanford also won in 2004 and `06, while Oklahoma took the first tournament meeting at home in 2001.