Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stanford Beats Colorado by a Mile

Utah, Colorado, a mile high, seal level, doesn’t matter, the Stanford Women’s Basketball team just keeps rolling along and winning games. This time Stanford met new Pac-12 foe Colorado and even though a sign in the Denver locker room advised against strenuous activity in the gym because of high altitude, Stanford prevailed 80-54.

Of course it helps if your defense holds the home time to 6.7% shooting in the first ten minutes. Yes folks, that is not a typo; Stanford’s defense held Colorado to 1-15 shooting. The first points for Colorado came at the 13-minute mark and it was 2 free throws. Then Colorado got their first basket at 11 and a half-minute mark , making it 11-4. Colorado would improve to 20% shooting for the half.

Stanford got a scare about four minutes into the game when Stanford superstar All-Everything Nneka Ogwumike tripped and fell out of bounds, hurting her right ankle. Although we didn’t get the televised game, the KSZU announcer said she was in obvious pain. She went to the bench, luckily with Stanford leading 7-0, but surprisingly both she and her scoring sister had zero points so far. Nneka had her ankle taped and returned mid way through the first half. Stanford didn’t need her. When she sat down for good around the five and a half-minute mark in the second half she had a pedestrian 15 points.

It was great to see sister Chiney step up and score when sister Nneka was on the bench. And speaking of sisters, Colorado has sisters, too, Ashley and Brittany Williams. It seems to be a Pac-12 requirement these days. So Chiney picked up the scoring slack early in the first half and then Nneka returned. And then our KSZU feed went out. Then we got it back. Then it was 30-11, Stanford with about 3 minutes to go.
Fun fact, Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer has been tinkering with her line up (tinkering with Tinkle specifically), adding Joslyn Tinkle and freshmen guard Amber Orrrrange to the starting line up. She did this in Utah and got the win, and again for this game and Tinkle scored 12 in the first half, making Tara yet again look like a genius. The half ended with Stanford up 32-15, and Tinkle was high scorer with 12 points.

It still is a little troubling to C and R to see the first half stats as this:
Tinkle- 12
Chiney- 8
Nneka- 6
Toni Kokenis-6
Everyone else zero
Only 4 players scored in first half
Okay, only 3 other bench players came in the game, but they have to score something
Amber Orrrrange, a starter- 0
Lindy LaRocque- 0
Sarah Boooohte- 0
You can’t go zeros.

In the second half, the only suspense was who would end up the high scorer. Most games, it defaults to Nneka. Her sister is usually close behind. Jos Tinkle had a head start on everyone from the first half for this game. Chiney came on strong on the second and would end up with 19. Guard Toni Kokenis, who got her groove back this road trip and scored a lot of Utah, also had 19. But it was Tinkle holding on with 20, making 2 of 3 three-pointers and tying her career high for points. And for the first time in a long time, Stanford has 4 players in double figures, and the amounts were high, 20,19,19, and 15.

Which brings us to even more troubling the final stats:
Four players, 20,19,19, 15 for a total of 73 points, 7 for everyone else.

After the game Head Coach Tara VanDerveer said this about Nneka when she hurt her ankle, “She tweaked her ankle, but we are not a one player team.” Hmm, some games it sure seems like it, although it was good to see Tinkle contribute more. Hopefully coach will start her more, too.
Stanford comes home for the next 3 games, including Cal!

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