Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stanford Survives South Carolina

The box score will say Stanford beat South Carolina 53-49, but the story of the game was turnovers. Stanford had 18, to SC’s seven. What the box score doesn’t show is how many were unforced. Couple that stat with six team assists, and you can see why Stanford did not score much. South Carolina must have seen that tape of Stanford beating Pacific, and the team passing it inside to Chiney Ogwumike, who went on to score 31 points. Although she score 21 tonight and got her eighth double-double (15 rebounds), she had to earn those points by herself. The passing game wasn’t working.

Chiney Ogwumike
It's all up to Chiney - Rainier Ehrhardt / AP Photo
The second biggest story of the game was Stanford’s bench scoring just two points, It didn’t help that Stanford also was 0-4 from three point-land. The long ball is the specialty of Bonnie Samuelson and Taylor Greenfield, and the bench mates were 0-3. Contrast that with the Baylor game where Greenfield went 4-6 from behind the arc and added 16 points to the total. Low, or no, bench production makes for a low score. And it was strange to see senior Joslyn Tinkle score zero points as well, although she did have a career high seven blocks. Five in the first five minutes or so. Chiney, her twin, added 4 blocks to make 11 for the game. 

How does no bench scoring and a starter not scoring affect you as a team? The score at the half was 24-17, still close, and Stanford’s lowest point total at half for the season. Another starter, Mikaela Ruef would only add four total points, but she got her first basket of the second half with 54 seconds left and the game dead-locked at 45. It would keep Stanford ahead for good as Toni Kokenis provided six foul shots in the final 23 seconds to hold off a late desperation three-pointer and foul shot from South Carolina.

So another Stanford win, and another Stanford game NOT shown on TV in the Bay Area. This is getting ridiculous. Are you listening PAC-12 Channel? So we can’t be sure if South Carolina had a great defensive game or Stanford shot themselves in the foot, as when point guard Amber Orrrrange passed the ball to Chiney’s foot.

It was equally frustrating to listen to the game on KZSU and have the game cut out with technical problems. Did it have to happen right around the 2:34 mark when South Carolina took a two-point lead? Thank Goodness for Twitter providing updates, as the game was tied twice more in that short time period, and Toni icing it for Stanford. She would score 15, and Amber nine, the only starters in double digits besides Chiney.

Next up is a bus trip to the Mountain Top; I mean Rocky Top, and Tennessee. Have to shoot better in that one.

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