Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stanford Seniors Remain Unbeaten at Home

Just got back from watching the Stanford Women’s Basketball beat…Seattle? A rare non-conference game during conference play. The two teams have never played each other. Stanford has a 79-straight game wining streak going on at Maples, longest in the country. Seattle is making the three-year transition from Division II to Division I. C and R were so confused when Betty, the Maples announcer, kept saying Seattle’s team name, we thought she was saying “The Red Hots” instead of Redhawks, all one word.

Subbing in for the Red hots….
Foul on number 11 of the Red Hots...
30-second shot clock violation on the Red Hots….
You get the idea.

Even though senior night already happened on Saturday, there was no way the Stanford seniors were going to lose this last home game of the season. In fact they built a 14 point lead with 7 minutes to go on the first to make it very clear who was boss. But Seattle didn’t get the memo. Maybe not being beat year in and year out by Stanford, they were not intimidated. They hustled after loss balls (while Stanford seemed flat-footed) and applied a trapping half court defense that exposed the Card being a little too casual with the ball. In fact Stanford recorded 9 turnovers in the first. Seattle would cut Stanford’s lead to 6 before Stanford woke up and realized they were for real.

The score at the half was 43-29, Stanford. Freshmen Amber Orrrrange had a great first half scoring 8 points by attacking the basket. She would finish the game with 10 points and a season high 9 assists. She added 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot, too.

The second half was all Ogwumike. Senior Nneka Ogwumike, who was seemed a little off in the first would come to life in the second. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Nneka scored 5 points and sophomore sister Chiney scored 6 straight to go on a 14-5 run and extend their lead 59-36. Chiney would end the game with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Nneka would have 19 points and 11 rebounds, for a double-double. That would make her 15th double-double of the season and 47 th of her career.

Again, though, C and R do not like the offensive set in the first half. We saw that one-four, the guard bringing the ball up and 4 in a line near the three-point line. Every once in a while Nneka or Chiney would break to the basket and Amber would hit them. When Seattle went to their half court trap, Stanford went to 3 perimeter players with Nneka and Chiney taking turns flashing from the block to the free throw line. Options looked pretty limited but in the second half as Seattle tired, and Nneka and Chiney scored at will, hence the 14-5 run. Still, as one fan yelled out to the perimeter players who stood in their spots instead of moving without the ball, “You won’t beat Baylor that way.” Forget Baylor, we still have to get past Cal on Sunday, and then the Pac-12 tourney.

To stop our harping for a moment, Stanford did hit 7 of 16 three-pointers, for 43%. Noted three-point specialist Bonnie Samuelson hit 4 of them herself for 12 total points. Jos Tinkle hit 2 out of 3 from beyond the arc, and ended up with 14 points. Once again, Stanford had 4 players, all starters, in double figures. And that will beat Baylor.

Visibly hurt was the fifth starter Toni Kokenis. She rode a stationary bike when not in the game and seemed to walk with a limp. Last game she had a heating pad (or ice) on her thigh. She would still turn on her jets when needed, but she doesn’t seem right. Hopefully she can rest for a few days.
Cute Game Note:

Sometime in the second half, mini tree came out to dance, and danced just like Poppa tree. The Stanford Tree Mascot has a cone of wires strapped to back pack frame (we surmise) and min-tree was wearing an inverted tomato cage with green leafs. It was A-Dor-able! See SGC72’s photo:

Happy Leap Year and see you at Cal! Expect some Questions from Cal Golden Blogs soon.

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