C and R open up their computers to get to that stupid Gametracker going when we suddenly remember KZSU streams their radio feed of the game live on the Internet. We tune that in and like the interplay of the two announcers.
They warn Stanford not to look ahead to Saturday’s game against high-flyin’ and high-scorin’ Oregon. Good advice. They tell us Jeanette Pohlen is in hose and good to go. Must be the black tights we saw Melanie Murphy wearing to keep her legs warm and avoid injury. Pohlen is listed as day to day with her ankle sprain. Lindy LaRocque will start in her place, her second start of the year. The last thing we learn is that Stanford is wearing their black road uniforms C and R love so much.
Nneka wins the jump and then does everything else for the next 8 minutes or so, scoring 6 points until she picks up first foul. Head Coach Tara VanDerveer pulls her and C and R groan. She’s our go-to offensive player, our steady hand. The announcers say Ros Gold-Onwude is playing aggressively on offense, driving in and not backing down, but she is not consistent enough in her shooting to make up for Nneka being gone.
Pohlen comes into the game and later, JJ Hones, so it is good to see our injured point guards are able to play. Joslyn Tinkle comes in and we shake our imaginary tinkle bells. The announcers tell us that Tinkle, a former two-time Montana Gatorade Player of the Year, is guarding another former Montana Gatorade player of the year, Oregon State’s Kirsten Tilleman. Wonder if they ever played against each other? I mean, Montana’s a big state…hee hee, just a little dig to Joslyn and our head coach of our little girls team!
With all this subbing and Nneka on the bench, Stanford stays stuck on 13 points. Oregon shoots a rainbow three and by the crowd’s reaction, we know before the announcers tell us that Oregon is up now 13-14 with about 8:45 left in the game.
Then Stanford hits their own three, shot by bench player Michelle Harrison of all people, to put us up 16-14. The teams trade points until they are tied at 19 and the announcers say not the kind of play you expect from the number two team in the country. Ouch, that hurts. Then one announcer says how can a team like Oregon state that doesn’t have a player over 6’1 contain Stanford’s tall trees? He backs it up with stats, saying Oregon State has 17 rebounds to Stanford’s 8 with 3:38 left. And Oregon State’s Talisa Rhea has 17 points!
Stanford gets the last shot, and Kayla makes it plus the foul. She is a good enough shooter to make the bonus shot and Stanford takes a 29-27 lead (barely) into the locker room. Ohhh, wonder what Tara is going to say?
One bright spot is that our Miss Montana Joslyn Tinkle has four blocks.
The half starts with Jayne Appel scoring over their Miss Montana, and then not wanting to be out shown by our Miss Montana, makes a block of her own on the other end. Jayne follows that with another score over Montana Tilleman. The third time is not the charm, as Jayne tries to go over her again, and instead gets called for the offensive charge. Jayne was not happy getting bested by Montana.
So Stanford puts in Montana Tinkle, their Montana misses and our Montana scores over their Montana. Then our Montana blocks her fifth shot of the game. Our Montana misses but Nneka puts it back in and then on a fast break, our Montana hits a three! The score is 40-32 with about 15 minutes to go, to give Stanford their largest lead of the second half. Is anyone else on the floor? The announcers seem to be calling nothin’ but Joslyn’s name.
During a time out, the announcers struggle for something to say so they concentrate on the game of music chairs being played on the court. They mention it is funny, but no one is there to see it, estimating there is only about 750 fans. Only 750 people came out to see the number two team in the country? I blame marketing. When Stanford came to Gonzaga this year, the school advertised this was the highest seed to come to their gym and they filled the place. Did Oregon State publicize this match-up? Oregon State took the lead, imagine if they had a bigger home crowd to cheer them on and help them gain momentum?
Tinkle is fouled and she makes both. Good, then C and R do not have to remind the rookie that “this ain’t high school” and every point counts. The score is 42-34 with 12:39 left in the game. Joslyn has 9 points so far, which is good as Jayne Appel is in foul trouble and on the bench.
JJ comes in and when she inbounds the ball, she throws it right to Oregon State. JJ fouls, and then fouls again as they are shooting and she is just not in the rhythm of the game. VanDerveer pulls her.
Rhea makes herself know again, already having 24 points and stealing from Tinkle as she is shooting. How do you steal the ball when someone is shooting? The score is 42-39 and our lead is only three. Tinkle comes out and Jayne come in. Jayne gets the next rebound and is fouled. Come on, Jayne, we need you to take up the slack.
We get four-for-four free throw shooting from Kayla and Jayne. Then they call Jayne for a charge and that is her fourth foul. She goes out but Tinkle comes in for her so let’s hope there is not a drop off. Nneka makes both of her free throws and we are up 54-45 with about five minutes left.
Stanford solves their rebounding problem and is in control for the last five minutes. The subs come in with 40 seconds left. KSZU gets pulled off the air but we see Stanford wins 63-47. Yes, we also turned on GameTracker to get the stats. Funny, Kayla Pederson is listed as having 23 points. When did she score? We were so obsesses with Tinkle we must have missed her points. Tinkle did end up with 6 blocks, which we are sure is a career high and matches Jayne Appel’s career high for blocks.
KZSU comes back online and announce they are going to talk to Tinkle. They also say the official stats only credited Tinkle with 2 blocks, and we are not sure if they mean for the second half. GameTracker had her at 6.
A win is a win, no matter how ugly, but we have to do better against Oregon on Saturday. Hey, the powers that be is actually broadcasting the game on TV at 11AM. Look for it on your local cable channels. Should be an interesting game!