Geez, here C and R were all raggin’ and braggin’, ragging on Duke not looking like a number three team and bragging on Stanford looking like a number three team that is, and then Stanford has a bit of a clunker game at Arizona State. Stanford let Arizona State hang around for much of the first half before Ogwumike squared and Kayla Pedersen muscled it inside in the second half to win 72-54.
Let’s back up a bit, first of all, it was a minor miracle C and R could see this away game as it was not televised (rant number 762 about Stanford not being on TV). The local Arizona Fox Sports affiliate “broadcast” the game on the web and after opening five hundred windows, we finally got the video player to play (technology is not C and R’s strong suit, although, C did get out her phalanx of cables the cats play with and found the correct one to hook up to her fancy HDTV so C and R could watch it on the big screen without having to travel to Mike’s Sports Bar). Cool, and we didn’t have to pay the $14.95 internet access fee yet. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (emphasis on old).
Anyhoo, we tuned in just in time to see Stanford’s Toni Kokenis dribbling (and love the black away uniforms). Glad to see she was back after missing games with a head injury. Speaking of which, Arizona State’s lead scorer Dymond Simon missed the game because of a concussion she suffered against USC. Wow, there is so much awareness and caution around concussions these days across the sports board, not just football. Unfortunately, Toni didn’t stay in long and did not return for the rest of the game. The official stats say she only played a minute. Hope she is okay. (PSsst, to our spies in Arizona, did you find out what’s up with Toni?).
This was Kayla’s last collegiate women’s basketball game in her home state of Arizona (And our spies reported her parents are also tall trees!), and although she got a double double of 15 points and ten timely rebounds to pass Nicole Powell on the career rebound list, she also made a lot of bad passes, which is uncharacteristic of her. To Arizona State’s credit, they jumped in passing lanes and got steals and attacked Stanford players when they picked up their dribble and C and R have never seen so many balls ripped from Stanford player’s arms. Stanford also let Arizona State get offensive rebounds and put-backs (Trees gotta play like trees). And when Stanford was in man to man in the first half, Arizona State got quite a few lay-ups by driving to the basket and no help coming, although coach Tara VanDerveer did adjust by going to a zone defense. Stanford just seemed to have an energy let down in this game, not taking care of the ball well, not rebounding or boxing out well and giving up easy baskets. At half time, it was 32-27 Stanford. We are sure Tara did and will continue to address those issues.
Of course our feed went down (internet!) and when it came back on we saw Jeanette Pohlen pick up her fourth foul about 5 minutes into the second half and we saw her sit. And sit and sit. Until about 5 minutes left in the game, and when she did come back, she was on fire, driving and scoring. She wants it, she wants a national championship, that’s for sure. Her energy and drive were welcome and must have felt good for her after sitting on the bench for 10 minutes.
We also enjoyed watching Jeanette post up down low and score in the first half. It was annoying to have to listen to the regional broadcasters because to C and R’s ears, they seemed so biased (and C and R never get like that!) and kept using the same obscure terminology. We mean, call it the half court line, not the time line, as in “Pohlen just crossed the time line” and quit saying the right angle and the left angle to mean the left and right side of the court! However, the woman announcer made an excellent observation when Jeanette posted up her smaller guard when Arizona State was in man to man by saying most guards do not know how to defend a post player as they don’t often practice that. So not only does Jeanette use her size advantage, she is forcing the other guard to be uncomfortable and play out of position.
Next up is Arizona (not Arizona State as we originally reported!) and let’s hope Stanford looks a little sharper as befitting a number three-ranked team.