Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stanford Starts Slow, Then Beats Washington State

It was a dark and stormy night… and the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team was out of sync, not even a mouse. Whoops, wait, wrong appropriated story fragment. But it was such a weird night for all and to all a good night.

Stanford beat visiting Pac-12 foe Washington State 75-41, and although they brought some rain with them, the “storm” they promised never really happened. And the storm on the court never happened, either. Yes, a win is a win, and numbers don’t lie. Here they are. Stanford extended their school-record home wining streak to 72 games. Stanford won their 64th straight conference game. Washington State has never beaten Stanford, a streak going back 53 games. Stanford held Washington State to 27% shooting in the first half, 30% for the game. Stanford went on a 16-2 run to close out the first half. Player of the year candidate Nneka Ogwumike scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 29 minutes, for a double-double.  Sister Chiney scored 19 and had 12 rebounds for a double-double, too.

But… halftime score was 31-20, and Stanford looked ragged for most of the first half. Nneka had only 2 points in the first 7 minutes when she sank 2 free throws, and Washington State had the lead until the 5 and a half minute mark in the first. When your star scorer, who you depend upon the most, only has 4 points in the first 10 minutes of basketball, you know something is not right. And when the Stanford Tree Mascot only has one eye, you really know something is not right in the State of Denmark and Maples.
Stanford could not get the ball inside to Nneka or Chiney, and our guards were having trouble dribble penetrating. And they missed18 of their first 24 shots in that time span, thank you Stanford website for the stats.

And then the threes were not falling. Stanford was 4-20 for the night from behind the line. At one point, three-point specialist Bonnie Samuleson shot the ball three times in a row, and missed three times in a row. Of course that means we rebounded the ball after each miss and got it back out to her, but to miss so many wide-open shots is inexcusable.

It was a sloppy game for both teams. Washington had 18 turnovers and Stanford was close behind with 15. Still, Stanford came back from the dead in around the 6 and half-minute mark to go on the aforementioned 16-2 run. Toni Kokenis got a buzzer beater lay up to pad their halftime lead to 11.

In the second half, after a thorough discuss by Stanford had coach Tara VanDerveer we’re sure, they played better. Stanford opened the half on a 24-6 tear to give everyone some breathing room. Nneka had 9 points in the first 12 minutes of the half. Speaking of which, she became sixth on the all-time Stanford scoring chart tonight. She can pass others on Saturday. Another bright spot was the play of Jos Tinkle, getting another start and scoring 9 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.

Well, let’s hope Stanford comes out with more energy and intensity for Washington.

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