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Lexie Hull leads No. 1 Stanford past No. 4 Maryland

Mar 25, 2022; Spokane, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinal forward Francesca Belibi (5) shoots the ball against Maryland Terrapins guard Diamond Miller (1) in the Spokane regional semifinals of the women's college basketball NCAA Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in her hometown, Lexie Hull scored 19 points and collected nine rebounds as defending champion Stanford rolled to a wire-to-wire NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 victory, 72-66 over Maryland Friday night in Spokane, Wash.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Haley Jones delivered 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Cameron Brink provided 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks before fouling out.

Top-seeded Stanford (31-3) advances to a matchup with second-seeded Texas (29-6) in the West Region final on Monday night. The Longhorns, who beat the Cardinal in November, advanced Friday with a 66-63 win over sixth-seeded Ohio State.

In losing to Stanford for the second time this year, fourth-seeded Maryland (23-9) got 25 points, nine rebounds and three blocks from Angel Reese. Diamond Miller added 11 points before fouling out.

Cold shooting doomed the Terrapins from the start. In the first quarter, they made just 3 of 16 shots from the floor on their way to shooting 33.8 percent for the night.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal made 10 of 14 shots in the first quarter and finished 45.6 percent from the floor. Stanford also owned a huge rebounding edge, 50-32.

Jones, who made just six 3-pointers in the regular season, hit two in the first three minutes as Stanford took a lead it would not relinquish.

Francesca Belibi and Brink made two buckets apiece as Stanford scored eight straight points to grab a 20-8 lead late in the first quarter.

Before the half was over, Hull scored on a backdoor layup and her twin sister, Lacie, added a 3-pointer to trigger a 9-0 run that stretched the Cardinal lead to 36-19.

Lexie Hull scored 10 of her points in the third quarter as Stanford gained its biggest lead of the night, 59-33.

Maryland answered with a 10-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and then cut the deficit further late in the game. A 3-pointer at the final buzzer by Reese provided the final margin.

–Field Level Media