Cameron Brink’s NCAA career ends in misery with Stanford problem repeated

Cameron Brink enjoyed a brilliant career at Stanford, but she dealt with a rough 2024 NCAA Tournament and will not get the send-off she imagined before going to the WNBA Draft.

Stanford forward Cameron Brink fouled out with about eight minutes remaining on Friday, and the Cardinal suffered a season-ending 77-67 loss to NC State in the Sweet 16.

It was the second straight game Brink fouled out. She also made an early exit in the second round against Iowa State, which nearly cost Stanford before head coach Tara VanDerveer’s team won in overtime to set up NC State contest.

According to ESPN, Brink hadn’t fouled out in consecutive appearances since January 2021.

Brink, a First-Team All-American, already announced that she would leave Stanford after the NCAA Tournament for the 2024 WNBA Draft. So, Friday’s letdown represented an unfortunate finish to a legendary college basketball career.

Many analysts expect the Los Angeles Sparks to draft Brink at No. 2 overall, a testament to the dominance she usually displays on the court. This month, though, the foul problems that plagued the earlier stages of her time with Stanford crept back.

Cameron Brink fouled out in both the second round and Sweet 16, unable to be the same difference maker she was during the regular season

Before fouling out, Brink scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and made seven blocks. Stanford led by 10 at halftime but fell apart down the stretch, with NC State star Aziaha James catching fire.

“I think watching their game against Iowa State, we knew that it was possible to get their bigs in foul trouble,” said NC State star Saniya Rivers. “Coming in we knew we needed to attack their bigs. Once we saw we got her (Brink) out of there and Kiki in foul trouble, it definitely gave us some momentum.

James finished with 29 points. She nearly outscored the Cardinal on her own in the second half. “We had to show out and that’s what we did,” she said to ESPN afterward. “It feels real good.”

Stanford will return emergent forward Kiki Iriafen next season, so all is not lost for the Cardinal as they try to regroup.

This is the second earlier-than-expected NCAA Tournament departure in a row after they fell in the round of 32 to Ole Miss in 2023.

However, Brink still leaves with a national championship under her belt, as Stanford won it all during her first year at Maples Pavilion. She scored 10 points and blocked three shots in the title game against Arizona in 2021.

“It’s really sad this is Cam’s last game,” VanDerveer said via the San Francisco Chronicle. “Cam is a phenomenal player and person and I’m sad this is her last game in a Stanford uniform.”

The 22-year-old calls time on her Stanford career with an array of individual honors, including three All-American recognitions, three Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year awards and two NCAA All-Region listings.

NC State will face either Texas or Gonzaga in the Elite Eight this weekend, continuing a dream run after being picked to finish middle-of-the-pack in the ACC before the season.

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