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Lady Dogs ousted in a rout
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Stanford pounded the ball inside to the player it has counted on for so long: All-American Jayne Appel.
The Cardinal's height was way too much for Georgia to handle.

Appel had 17 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes while playing on a tender right ankle and top-seeded Stanford rolled into the Sacramento Regional final with a 73-36 rout of fifth-seeded Georgia on Saturday night.

Kayla Pedersen added 13 points and matched her season high with 15 rebounds and Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 11 points and 11 boards in the 25th straight win for the Cardinal (34-1) since losing at No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 23. Stanford moved one step closer to that anticipated rematch with the undefeated defending champion Huskies, whose last loss came to Stanford in the national semifinals two years ago.

Anne Marie Armstrong scored eight points to lead cold-shooting Georgia (25-9), which couldn't handle Stanford's height advantage, trailed by as many as 40 points and shot 20.3 percent.

The Cardinal shot over the Lady Bulldogs, outreached them for rebounds on both ends, and easily passed through their defense, too. Georgia was held to a season low in points, while Stanford matched its lowest total allowed — the third time it held an opponent under 40 points this season.

Appel received a rousing standing ovation when she took a seat early with 13:32 remaining — a common practice by coach Tara VanDerveer to keep her star player well rested considering her nagging ankle. By the 6:16 mark, every Stanford starter was on the bench.

The game began as an intriguing matchup of two well-respected, veteran coaches who have known each other for decades. Georgia coach Andy Landers is in his 31st season and VanDerveer her 24th-year at Stanford.

The longtime friends hugged and shared a laugh at midcourt following pregame introductions before the first meeting of schools in the NCAA tournament in 10 years.

Then VanDerveer's veteran team took charge.

It took a few minutes for Stanford to start clicking, but the Cardinal quickly took control once they did. They used a 26-4 run to build a 37-15 halftime lead, and held Georgia to 12-for-59 shooting overall. The Lady Bulldogs were 4 of 22 from 3-point range.

Georgia 6-foot-5 center Angel Robinson was held scoreless, while fellow post Porsha Phillips went 2 of 12 for seven points. She was ineffective after scoring Georgia's first four points. Leading scorer Ashley Houts shot 2 for 11 and missed all five of her
3-point tries.

Stanford point guard Jeanette Pohlen effectively penetrated and dished off to Appel and Ogwumike for five assists to go with 12 points. She played in control a day after VanDerveer said: "Sometimes she's going 100 mph, which we like, but then has a 100 mph car wreck."

After Jasmine Hassell's basket at the 15:16 mark of the first half put Georgia ahead 8-4, Stanford responded with an 11-0 run capped by Pedersen's three-point play.

The Lady Bulldogs had won five of six to reach their 18th Sweet Sixteen, including a thrilling 74-71 overtime win over Oklahoma State in the second round. But Landers' young team couldn't get Georgia back to its first Final Four since 1999 — and its longtime coach is still waiting to win his first NCAA title.

Stanford reserve Michelle Harrison took an elbow to the face with 3:22 remaining.

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