Stanford gets past Pitt's grit

SPOKANE, Wash. -- For once, it wasn't easy for Candice Wiggins and Stanford. Then again, against rugged Pittsburgh it never is.

Jayne Appel scored 22 points to bail out roughed-up teammate Wiggins and lead second-seeded Stanford to a 72-53 victory over a tough Panthers squad Saturday night to advance to the finals of the Spokane Regional.

Kayla Pedersen added 10 points and 15 rebounds for Stanford (33-3), which takes its 21-game winning streak into Monday night's regional final against Maryland (33-3), which beat Vanderbilt 80-66 earlier Saturday night.

"We knew it was going to be a 40-minute game. We stayed together, that was the biggest thing," said Wiggins. "We could look in each other's eyes and trust we were going to do a good job."

Wiggins, the All-American who scored a career-high 44 points in the second round, scored just 14, on 5-for-13 shooting from the field.

"Our team really had to battle," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "It wasn't pretty. It was a very physical game, but I am proud of how our team stepped up."

Shavonte Zellous scored 22 points to lead sixth-seed Pitt, which trailed by one with 8½ minutes left before the Cardinal pulled away.