Cameron Brink's 23 rebounds, 25 points power No. 4 Stanford past No. 11 Oregon State 67-63

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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Cameron Brink had a career-high 23 rebounds and 25 points as No 4 Stanford claimed the Pac-12 regular-season title with a 67-63 victory over No. 11 Oregon State on Thursday night.

Brink, a 6-foot-4 senior forward who leads the nation in blocked shots, was 11 of 15 from the field, pulled down eight offensive rebounds, and had four assists and one block. Her rebound total was within one of tying the single-game school record.

The Cardinal (25-4, 14-3) beat Oregon State (22-6, 11-6) for the 14th straight time, and locked up the No. 1 seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

“I told the girls just the other day, we should be really proud of the regular season,” said Brink, who was on Stanford’s last national championship team in 2021. “You can argue what’s harder to do, the (Pac-12) tournament or the regular season, but that was one of my biggest goals coming into this year. So I’m just really proud of us.”

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer won her 1,211th career game. She became the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history on Jan. 21 with a home victory over Oregon State.

The Cardinal led by as much as 11 points early in the third quarter, but Oregon State never wilted and made Stanford earn the win in the fourth quarter.

“This is a great win for us,“ VanDerveer said. “It wasn’t pretty, but it was gritty. We stayed with things and made some big plays.”

The Beavers played without leading scorer and rebounder Raegan Beers, who missed her fourth straight game after suffering a broken nose against UCLA on Feb. 16. The 6-foot-4 sophomore forward is averaging 17.5 points per game and 10.7 rebounds, and Oregon State is 1-3 without her.

With Beers out, the Beavers turned to Talia von Oelhoffen and Timea Gardiner for most of their offense. Von Oelhoffen scored 27 points, including a bucket in the paint that cut the lead to 64-62 with 1:06 left. Gardiner scored 15 points.

“Other people had to step up,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “Once (Beers) returns, we’re even better for it. I think this team’s taken a step forward even though we came up short.”

Stanford’s Talana Lepolo made two free throws with 19.9 seconds remaining to give Stanford a 66-62 advantage.

Von Oelhoffen made one of two free throws after drawing Brink’s fifth foul on a drive to the basket, cutting the lead to 66-63 with 7.2 seconds left.

Kiki Iriafen, who had 13 points and seven rebounds, made the second of two free throws with five seconds remaining to give the Cardinal a four-point advantage, essentially sealing the win.

Brink had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the first half, helping Stanford take a 35-26 lead at the break. The Cardinal went ahead early in the first quarter and never relinquished the lead.

Stanford had a 47-31 advantage on the boards.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: Cameron Brink and Kiki Iriafen are perhaps the top forward combination in the nation. The Cardinal, who are concluding their final season in the Pac-12 before moving to the ACC, are a lock to be a top-16 seed and host spot for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon State: Despite Thursday’s loss, Oregon State is in good position to be a top-16 seed and host spot for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers have five wins over ranked opponents.

UP NEXT

Stanford: At Oregon on Saturday.

Oregon State: Host California on Saturday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball