Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rebounding Key to Stanford’s 93-59 win over Fresno State

Once again, C and R had to miss the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team take on an opponent, this time Fresno State on Sunday, because of a conflict with our little girl’s team. We had practice at exactly the same time. (We need to get our head coach a refrigerator magnet with the Stanford Schedule on it for Christmas).

Oh wait, we just got one at the “Meet the Team Event” on Saturday in Palo Alto. That was an event that didn’t conflict. And it was a fun one. They promised prizes, and C was so happy when they called her name. Her prize? Was it tickets to the Tennessee game? No, it was courtside seats to the Princeton game. We saw so many old friends, who said they won tickets to the very same Princeton game in an online competition (and where the heck was C and R on that one?). Other friends who showed up also won tickets to the Princeton game. In fact, I think everyone there won tickets to the Princeton game, although you can’t blame the marketing department for trying. The Princeton game is December 17th, when it is Christmas break for the students and other fans are traveling or busy with the holidays. They are just trying to avoid a cavernous Maples Pavilion.

There was so much commotion and excitement at the autograph event that C spotted a lone figure in Stanford sweats. It was legendary Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. C, not shy, chatted her up (After all we did “coach” together” meaning C won a prize to sit on the end of the Stanford bench during a game and keep her mouth shut. On the plus side, both Jayne Apple and Candice Wiggins high-fived her, but she digresses). So there was coach Tara and C asked her all kinda questions about the freshmen, etc, then said they were having a devil of a time getting the middle school girls to remember what they did in practice and apply it in a game. And Tara gave this great advice. She said to make practices as much as a real game situation as possible so they will recognize when they need to implement the skill in a game situation. Brilliant! After all, the woman didn’t win 800 plus games by just expecting everyone will know what to do when the time comes.

So while C and R and team were busy scrimmaging and playing out real game situations five on five in practice, Stanford was busy taking care of Fresno State 93-59. We are trying to get our girls to box out and rebound in a game, and we think Tara has imparted her wisdom to her team on when to do it in a game. The answer is rebound on defense and offense. Especially on offense.  The Stanford team grabbed an astounding 67 boards to Fresno State’s 28. The mark of 67 is one shy of a Stanford record. The Twin Towers Ogwumike grabbed 28. Nneka had the team high score of 21 points as well as 12 rebounds and Chiney scored 13 points but grabbed 16 rebounds. That rebounding number was a career high for her.

Other highlights include freshman Bonnie Samuelson making 6 of 8 three-pointers, scoring 18, also a career high for her. Impressive, yet we can’t help but hear the echo of the SF Examiner reporter saying “Yes, but can she score when the game is on the line?” Sorry to put a wet blanket on that, but we also agree. Stanford needs her to step up in the big games, too, and not just the Ogwumikes.

Another positive note was that Lindy LaRocque was back in the line up, after sitting with a hurt foot. We asked her how her foot was at the meet and greet and she said she was ready to go. She scored 10 pints, 2 from three-point land.

Speaking of three-point land, Fresno State was coming into the game shooting 40% from behind the line, and Stanford held them to 23.5%. They launched 34 and made 8. Looks like Stanford played some D to go with those three-point shots and boards.

The Stanford Women’s Basketball Team take a break from games for finals (after all they are student athletes, and the University actually makes them take hard classes and work towards a degree-- wow, didn’t mean to imply other schools don’t-- well, maybe some). We next see them December 17th at home against… Princeton. Come on out, we hear they have plenty of tickets left.

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