Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stanford Hangs on to Beat Colorado

So there was the Stanford’s Women’s Basketball Team, going on a 16-2 run to start the second half over Colorado, and all seemed right with the Pac-12 World. With 14:26 left in the entire game, Stanford had a 21-point lead, after being up by nine at the half. Business as usual. Then something un-Stanford happened. They let Colorado come back, and in the next five minutes it was only a nine point Stanford lead. Colorado had gone on a 12-0 run.

Toni Kokenis hits the three!
Stanford's Toni Kokenis gestures after sinking a 3-point basket and being fouled by a Colorado player. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Somewhere around the eight-minute mark, Stanford’s leading scorer and rebounder Chiney Ogwumike collided with Colorado’s best player, Chucky Jeffrey and Chiney had a sprained ankle. She attempted two free throws, but you could tell she could not put weight on the ankle and missed both FTs. Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer took her out. Then Toni Kokenis hit a three with the shot clock expiring, and was fouled in the process. The ball went through the basket but the free throw did not, so the rare 4-point play did not happen. But Colorado could not keep their attack or keep Stanford from scoring, especially since Chiney got re-inserted right away and was hobbling, but still can score in the paint. The lead would stay in double digits and Stanford held on to win 69-56. 

It was a very physical game and the officiating was inconsistent at best and non-existent at worst. Maples favorite ref Melissa (Missy) was terrible and everyone voiced their displeasure whenever she made a call. Stanford also played sloppy for stretches and had some passes stolen. They would have 13 turnovers for the game. They also implemented that slow rotation offense, and that makes it hard to score points. Colorado also pressed at the 3-minute mark and gimpy Chiney either tried to dribble the ball up or pass. The ball or pass was stolen in those sequences. Finally Toni just dribbled up the court and that took care of that.

Last blog C and R talked about an inbound play under the Stanford basket with 3 seconds left. Normally they threw it in the air to Chiney Ogwumike. But last time, Chiney was on the bench so Joslyn Tinkle threw it to Mikaela Ruef, who caught and threw it back to  Tinkle without landing and Tinkle got the basket. Same thing this game, this time two seconds left, ball under Stanford’s basket, and Tinkle to Ruef to Tinkle for two. That play is now 2-2. Didn’t Colorado see the Utah footage?

Last blog C and R also said Coach Tara VanDerveer wanted others to step up besides Chiney and only Chiney and Tinkle scored in double figures against Utah. This game it was Chiney with 20, bad ankle and all, Tinkle with 16, and Toni with 15. Toni made some nice drives to the basket and some pull up jumpers, something point guard Amber Orrrrange usually does. Amber Orrrrange did not start this time, but did mange to contribute 10 points. So four players in double figures. That has to make Tara happy.

Three point specialist Bonnie Samuelson has been cold as of late from the three, and missed her first three shots in a row from behind the arc. If that is your specialty and you are missing, what do you do? Well, Bonnie then quickly hit two in a row for six total points. Okay, let’s hope she can build on that.

Cal beat Utah today, so Stanford is still tied for the lead in the Pac-12. Stanford takes their Pac-12 show on the road top Oregon and we won’t see them live and in person until February 8.

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