Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stanford Seniors

Sorry for posting this story so late but C and R finally stopped crying. It was senior night and Jayne Appel’s last game at Maples in the regular season. (There’s a chance she and Stanford could play the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Maples).

Four other seniors were also honored, although three of them could come back. Strange, I know. The true seniors are Jayne and Ros Gold-Onwude. The other “seniors”, JJ Hones, Michelle Harrison and Melanie Murphy, each have a year of eligibility left, although only JJ hinted she would be back.

Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer finally figured out after Jayne’s freshmen year that the seniors get too emotional to do the tribute before the game and don’t play as well, so they have wisely moved the senior tribute to after the game on the Maples floor. Then the real fun begins as a smaller party moves a building over to sit down with the families and listen to them tell funny and embarrassing stories about the seniors. Last night most of the stories involved golf carts and Jayne’s flip-flops.

But first there was a game to be played against Oregon State. So, remember how C and R said when the Stanford Women’s Basketball team played Oregon and Oregon pushed the ball up court and played a quick game, we enjoyed it and responded with a lot of energy and baskets? ‘Member? Well, Oregon State came out slower and more plodding and we did too, missing Oregon’s energy. We took an 11-1 lead with five minutes gone in the game and with 10 minutes gone it was 21-7 Stanford. We know, we know, we are spoiled and we should be happy for the lead, but it just seemed so…routine. Every time we spotted Jayne one-on-one, we gave it to her and she scored. Nneka Ogwumike couldn’t be stopped or even held to the ground, except when she was all alone on a fast break, and we mean ALL alone, no one from Oregon State even in the front court with her and she did a stutter step without dribbling to get the traveling call. Who was she trying to fake out? The cheerleaders?

Jayne ONLY scored 12 and got 10 rebounds, a double-double, but around the 8 minute mark she got her 2,000th point. That, coupled with her over 1,000 rebounds puts her as only the third Stanford women’s basketball player to get to the 2,000-1,000 club. The other two are Val Whiting and Nicole Powell. What’s more astounding to C and R is the fact she is 13 rebounds shy of Lisa Leslie’s PAC-10 career record. Jayne has 3 road games left, so we are confident she can do it. Wow, to pass Lisa Leslie is fantastic!

Oh, the win in the game (you didn’t doubt the outcome, did you? Final score 82-48, Stanford) gave us a tie for the PAC-10 regular season title, and a win in any of our next three road games will clinch it outright. But as we said, our opponent was lacking in energy and made us feel slow, too. In the first half Oregon State could only muster 26% shooting percentage for 21 points. Contrast that with 70% shooting percentage for Stanford and 46 first half points and you can see why we won.

It was interesting when they did the senior tribute on the big video screen. They showed still pictures and video of the women in action. The song playing in the background had the lyrics “Here comes the rest of our lives”. Basketball has been a big part of these players’ lives for so long. Will they be able to walk away from it? Jayne Appel has a good chance to be drafted by the WNBA. We wonder if she really wants to go? She has mentioned she would love to go to law school and give back to the community by being an advocate for the mentally and physically challenged. Maybe she should get on with “the rest of her life” and go to law school. Then again, a few years in the WNBA might enable her to build up tuition for law school. With her eligibility used up, she can’t keep attending Stanford for free, ya know. Still, it’s nice to know she has options.

We’ll get to see Stanford again at Cal’s senior night in two weeks!

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