ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Despite winning 30 of its first 32 games, Stanford was thought to be without quickness and in danger of being exposed by a shifty Cincinnati team.
But the Cardinal must have been faster, because last night it ran straight past the Bearcats in the second half for a 78-65 West Regional semifinal victory.
Casey Jacobsen had 27 points to led four double-figure scorers for Stanford (31-2), which shot 65 percent from the field and overcame careless ball-handling in the first half to defeat Cincinnati (25-9) for a spot in tomorrow's regional final against Maryland.
"When the game is on the line, more often than not, we have guys who can make plays," Jacobsen said. "To get to this point in this season ... every team has worked hard, but it's been a long way."
The Bearcats, in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996, got 24 points from point guard Kenny Satterfield. But Cincinnati was doomed in the second half by 33 percent shooting and foul trouble.
Going into the game, the main issue for Stanford coach Mike Montgomery was how -- even with first-team All-American Jacobsen in the backcourt -- his guards would match up with Cincinnati's Kenny Satterfield and Steve Logan.
Jacobsen seemed to do fine offensively in the early going, coming out with 13 first-half points. But his backcourt mate, Michael McDonald, had a rough time, fouling twice before halftime and contributing only one basket and one assist.
The Bearcats duo, on the other hand, seemed to have their way in the first half. This was particularly true as Satterfield (11 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals) pushed Cincinnati out to a 38-34 halftime lead.
Though shooting 60 percent in the first half, the Cardinal committed 12 turnovers against Cincinnati's five.
After the break, Stanford stopped the turnovers and continued the hot shooting. The team hit four of its first seven shots, getting two buckets from Jacobsen during an 11-2 run that ended on Jason Collins' two free throws for a 45-40 lead at the 16:23 mark.
"The second half was more typical of what we needed to have happen," Montgomery said. "Cincinnati disrupted us in the first half, got us out of our flow. When they were pressuring our wings, we rode Jason [Collins] a little bit. ... Once things smoothed out, they quit double-teaming and Casey got off and hit some shots."
Until Stanford's run, the Bearcats seemed to be on a path similar to Maryland's. Cincinnati had a rough beginning to its season, but went 12-2 since Feb. 1 because of Logan's and Satterfield's acclimation to sharing the point and the emergence of big men like Jamaal Davis.
"In the first half, I may have tried to get too smart," Montgomery said. "I had them playing their guards to the left and not challenging them on their drive. In the second half, we talked about playing them stronger up front."
Foul trouble played a major part in knocking Cincinnati from Maryland's path. B. J. Grove, Donald Little and Davis all ran into foul trouble during the first 10 minutes of the second half, as the Cardinal went seven of nine from the line.
"We were attacking," said Bearcats guard Steve Logan. "In the second half, we started playing not to lose. We wanted to put pressure on the ball, but that's hard to do when they're going to call every knick-knack foul."
Beginning at the 13:13 mark, Stanford got to the line on four straight possessions to start a 17-6 run over 5:35, going ahead by 64-52 on Jarron Collins' layup with 7:38 to go.
"I thought we competed," Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said. "We got into some foul trouble, and we just couldn't score."
In addition to Satterfield, Logan also had 11 points for Cincinnati. For Stanford, Ryan Mendez had 16 points, Jason Collins had 15 points and Jarron Collins had 14.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.