Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stanford at Santa Clara

The Stanford Women’s Basketball team traveled down El Camino Real to Mission Santa Clara to play the Broncos. C and R rode their bikes approximately one mile and saw the original Mission Wall and their stunningly clean campus on a clear and crisp fall day. That, coupled with a 92-57 Stanford win and promise of free burritos, made it a great day.

C and R have always had a soft spot for Santa Clara sports, what with it being in the city where we live and all. C remembers taking her girl’s soccer team to many Santa Clara soccer games, especially when they had that one player who would do a complete flip when she did a throw in. She also took her Girl Scout troop to a couple of SCU basketball games, too. In one memorable game, the player's program said if Santa Clara hit a three and spelled out ”Santa Clara, ” everyone would get a free burrito. Now, ten three-pointers in a game are hard to make. Those girls cheered and cheered, most not understanding the intricacies of the game or the rules, but they knew what a three pointer was and what free food was. In the closing seconds, Santa Clara hit the 10th three, won the game and endeared their team to our troop. As fate would have it, the troop was visiting the Fire Station right down the block from Mondo Burrito the next day, and we got our free burritos.

Fast forward to present day, and we see on Santa Clara’s jumbo jumbo-tron if Santa Clara hits threes and spells out “Mondo, ” everyone wins free burritos. Now five three-pointers are much more manageable. So, although we were rooting for the Stanford win, we wanted those five threes. The Broncos obliged once again. Unfortunately, Mondo Burrito is closed on Sundays, a fact C and R did not discover until we rode our bikes there in the early afternoon. So R will have to go Monday to pick up some yummy burritos. Keep in mind, in the past, there were just plain bean and cheese burritos, nothing on them, so you might have to spring for the full size thing to get the whole Mondo effect.

It was a festive day for the Stanford team as well. They had a new line-up with Erica Payne and Jasmine Camp added to Chiney Ogwumike, Joslyn Tinkle and Amber Orrrrange. The extra energy was a tonic for a lackluster outing just two days ago against Fresno State. Stanford worked it early and often inside to Preseason All-American Chiney, and Amber Orrrrange drove and penetrated and pulled up.

In fact, Amber lead all scorers for most of the game, and C and R were thinking this might be the first time in more than a year that someone other than an Ogwumike might be high-scorer. But Chiney wouldn’t have any of that, and took over late in the game, driving inside and putting the ball up strong. Her strength is clearly around the basket, although she did hit a jumper at the free-throw line. Chiney would lead all scorers with 22, and become the 33rd Stanford player to score 1,000 points.

Back to the first 5 minutes of the game: Stanford went up 15-5. Then Chiney went to the bench. And Stanford looked flat. And Santa Clara almost caught up, 19-14. Granted, head coach Tara VanDerveer was subbing people in and out to try to give everyone a tryout again, and that might be disconcerting, but it is a bad omen when Chiney is on the bench, Stanford becomes ordinary and teams gain confidence to score.

With Chiney in the game, she got help from Tinkle with 19 points and Amber’s 18. Glad to see this triangle doing well. However, it is a huge drop off from there. Stanford as a whole also shot the three better, making 5-12, for 41%. Stanford also out-rebounded Santa Clara 37-25, a better job than last game against Fresno State. Still, it is not clear who the fourth and fifth starter will be. Stanford better figure it out quickly, as the next game is Baylor in balmy Hawaii.

It was kinda ironic that C and R were sitting right next to the Santa Clara guys with the Vuvuzelas. Remember those horns from the World Cup, when blown make that deep, obnoxious noise? They had a version of that. We are all for fan fun and games. I mean, we did start the Tinkle Bell tradition. We now know that you can’t bring any artificial noisemaker to a basketball game. However, we never rang the Tinkle Bells during anyone shooting a free throw, as these guys did. There has to be some sportsmanship! They gave a sharp blast when a Stanford player shot a free throw. The second time, the ref caught him and made an official go over and confiscate the horns.

Does anyone know if the Baylor-Stanford game November 16th will be on TV or online anywhere? Right now we don’t see it scheduled. Let us know.

Follow C and R for more bike rides and Stanford games on Facebook and Twitter, too!


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