Friday, March 12, 2010

Stanford Vs. Arizona in the PAC-10 Tourney

So the Stanford Women’s Basketball team takes the floor against Arizona for their first PAC-10 tournament game. No Jayne Appel, of course, still bum ankle, so Joslyn Tinkle starts. Then, we lose the jump ball. We NEVER lose the jump ball. So much so that C has a superstition if we lose the jump ball, we will lose the game. Not sure how scientific it is, but C is nervous.

For the first three minutes or so we offensively try to work it inside to Tinkle standing in Jayne Appel’s spot in the low post, but she is still a freshmen and is not able to drive aggressively to the basket as Jayne does so effortlessly. Tinkle does pass quickly and seems to be on par with Jayne’s court vision and ability to assist. Unfortunately, Stanford is cold, cold, cold and missing everything. Our top scorer, Nneka Ogwumike, is especially missing everything. Is she too tight?

At the first media time out, they announce they will show senior tributes to the seniors playing in their last games. Stanford goes first and of course they lead off with Jayne, who is not playing this game. She mentioned it was neat to travel to the PAC-10 schools and loved the history of playing on their courts. Then they show Ros Gold-Onwude. RGO was aware how as a student-athlete kids looked up to her and was always amazed little kids wanted her autograph. Well, that was C and R’s little girl’s basketball team most of this year!

Back to live action, Tinkle sets a nice screen to free Jeanette Pohlen for her second three and we go up 10-5. Now Michelle Harrison comes in for Tinkle and C and R like having the fifth year veteran in there. JJ Hones comes in at 11-minute mark, in what is still a low scoring game. Stanford is up 12-7. Lindy LaRoque gets into the game, too, and C and R are glad to see  Head Coach Tara Van Derveer using her bench to give rest to the veterans and experience to her second string. Lindy gets to experience fouling Arizona, too. Mel Murphy gets in as well and we almost didn’t recognize her, as she does not have her black tights.

Arizona’s Ify Ibekwe and Nneka are guarding each other, each being the other’s dopple ganger. Then it looks like our Nneka is going top take over the game like she did with Cal but it is their Nneka, Iky Ibekwe, who takes over.

Then our Nneka says, “Oh not you don’t” and tries to match her baskets. But Kayla Pedersen says, “Don’t forget about me, ladies,” and gets a hot hand. Those three will score most of the points in the first half.

At the half, Nneka has 15, and their Nneka has 15 points. Kayla has 6 and Jeanette Pohlen says, “Don’t discount the three”, going 4-6 from behind the line and she has 9. So with the score 34-24 at the half, oh, don’t make me do math… Those four players have combined for 45 of the 58 points scored.

When the second half starts, Nneka gets her second personal foul at the 16:45 mark but credit to Tara for leaving her in the game instead of yanking her out. She knows how important she is to us offensively. Nneka later drains 2 free throws and Nneka is 100% from the free throw line, 7-7 with just under 15 minutes left. The PAC-10 tournament record is 11 made, attempts are 13 and Nicole Powell has the free throw percentage record of 100% (8-8).

As we are contemplating records, Arizona gets a three and are within 3 with 13:27 left. The score is 43-40. What the heck happened? Must have been losing that jump ball in the beginning of the game.

OMG then Tara must be nervous because Jayne Appel comes in the game! We have been told all week long she would not play in this game, or practically any game in this tournament, yet one little scare and there she is. Tara needn’t have worried as we drain 2 three-pointers and are back to up by 9. Tara would say later in the post-game press conference that having Jayne relaxed us (and her). No doubt, Jayne is our emotional leader.

Their Nneka scores a basket around the 6 and a half minute mark and C and R realize it is her first points in the second half. Wow, great D on her, Stanford. She would end up with 18 for the game, after 15 in the first, with no one else from her team getting into double digits. Hard to win if you don’t have a supporting cast.

Our Nneka is fouled at the 5:02 mark. Oh goodie! With Stanford firmly in control of the score again (58-46), we can concentrate on her record, or attempt of being a perfect 8-8 from the line to tie Nicole Powell’s record. She is now 7-7. She was fouled as she made her basket, so she gets one attempt to tie. She lets go… She misses! Arrgh!

Jayne looks ragged, not jumping much for rebounds or a lay-up. She would get fouled several times going to the basket. She would score 7 points and comes out after 10 minutes when we have a 13-point lead. She did give us the confidence we needed, though.

Nneka makes two more free throws now that the record is no longer there. She would end up 9-10 on free throws. The tournament record is 11 made. Maybe next game. Nneka did end up with 25 points for the game, than Jeanette with 15 and Kayla with 11.

Our subs come in and we go on to win 72-52. But the game was closer than it needed to be. Tara said her the post game press conference that we need to play better if we want win in the PAC-10 Championship. She’s not one to sugarcoat things, is she?

Next up is a repeat with Cal. This time Jayne Appel will be in the mix!

More Stanford Goodies at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

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