You would think C and R would be used to it by now; Stanford falling behind a little in the first half, battling back, taking a slight lead into the locker room. Stanford head Coach Tara VanDerveer working her adjustment skills magic, second half opens, Stanford goes on a XXX run, where X does not equal anything pornographic, but a large number to their opponents small one. Then, boom goes the dynamite, the subs come in and the Stanford Women’s Basketball team wins the game. It has happened all season long (except when Stanford played UConn, they lead that one wire to wire, hee hee), so you think C and R would not worry when Stanford is down. But no, worry they did. The Stanford seniors starters (an alliteration, my third grade students like to point out), of Pohlen and Pedersen (double alliteration, they would say) looked tight and… uh, can’t think of another “T” word to fit the theme, let’s just say they looked not as comfortable as they usually do at Maples. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact their 62 home game wining streak, of never having to walk off Maples without beating their opponent, of being the first Stanford senior class to accomplish this feat was on the line. A sense of history can do that to a person or two.
But, as C and R already spoiled the ending. Stanford beat their second round opponent St. John by a score of 75-49, after a slow start, for a record 63 staight home victories. Half way through the first half, Stanford was down by eight, yet when the half ended, it was Stanford up by eight, 38-30. How did that reversal of fortune happen? Nneka Ogwumike happened. Granted, St. John’s didn’t leave her open, it’s just they played her one on one. They denied her an easy path to the basket. This time she would turn around quickly, elevate, and we mean elevate, and then shoot, ands she must be taking a class in geometry because she banked in some crazy angles. It really was Nneka to the rescue. It helped little sis Chiney picked up any and all rebounds, six on the offensive side, six on the defensive side, a little of everything, and happy birthday to her, she just turned 19 during the game!
So remember the half time score being 38-30, Stanford. St. John’s would score only seven more points in the first fourteen minutes of the second half. They got stuck on 37 points for eight whole minutes! Stanford has some great D! Mikaela Ruef stepped up big for Chiney when she was on the bench. St. John’s got 12 more points against the bench.
Scary moment of the game with 2:20 left before half time, Toni Kokenis, who already gave Stanford a spark off the bench with three three-pointers and eleven total points, went for loose ball and a St. John’s player rolled up her leg, injuring her. She left the game for treatment, and came back on the court in the second half (to thunderous applause) but she was wisely rested for the rest of the night. Hope she heals by Saturday, it is being listed as an ankle injury. Chiney also go hurt, the injury being listed as her finger (dislocated pinkie), but C and R know from their playing days that any jammed finger hurts and hurts for awhile. Hope both of them are better by Saturday.
It was great to see another almost full house. About 5,900 people came out to see Stanford and their seniors make history. (And again, watching the other games on TV, hardly anyone in some of the stands). When Jeanette Pohlen came out of the game around the 4-minute mark, she got a Stanford ovation. Same for Kayla Pedersen at the 3:20 mark. Both C and R said good-bye to them, as we will never see them live and in operson in a Stanford uniform again, boo hoo!
Stanford has the late late game on Saturday. No wonder the East Coast gives the West no respect. They never see them, as they are all fast asleep.