Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stanford’s Defense Whips Washington

Stanford played Washington tonight in Seattle, and the game opened with some weirdness for the Stanford Women’s Basketball team.

Bad passes, turnovers, fouls, Stanford’s leading rebounder Chiney Ogwumike losing rebounds out of bounds, Sanford was not itself and out of sync. Ruef makes a pass to Chiney for the easy basket underneath, but no, she is called for charging, and the Washington player gets a belated Oscar. Jos tinkle blocks someone from behind, twice, yet the Huskie gets both rebounds and scores on the third.

Then it rained in Seattle. Rained Stanford threes that is, hee hee! Three-point specialist Bonnie Samuelson came off the bench and missed her first one. Then hit her next four. Stanford went on a 23-2 run, making six three-pointers, to take a 26-11 lead. Joslyn Tinkle had two in that run.

Then Stanford starting bombing fours…well, you can’t get four points on a regular shot, but they were so far away from the line, they might as well have. Guess what, shooting from that far back, they lost their accuracy. And the rain all but dried up in the second half. Stanford would shoot 9-39 from behind (way behind) the line for the game. The 39 attempts were a season high They gotta temper that a little.

Washington had some weirdness of its own. The Huskies played without leading scorer Jazmine Davis and third-leading scorer Talia Walton. According to EspnW, “the pair, along with Deborah Meeks, was suspended earlier this week for one-game by coach Kevin McGuff for violating team rules.”  Washington’s coach said the suspension “did not involve academics, drugs or alcohol.” So what’s left? Luckily it is only for one game, and the players will be in full force against Cal.

When Stanford went cold while shooting, Stanford dominanted defensively. Washington shot just 17% and Stanford allowed a season low in points. The half time score was 39-18. Anytime you can hold a team under 20 points for a half, that is good defense. In fact, those 18 points would stand until 13:30 in the second half. Now that IS some good defense. The final score was 71-36. Stanford also had 11 blocks for the game.

Chiney Ogwumike scores 24 and grabs 13 rebounds
Chiney Ogwumike scores 24 and grabs 13 boards (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Chiney Ogwumike scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, for her 23rd double-double of the season, and her continuing team record setting 53rd of her career. It was also her 22nd 20 point game of the season.

Mikaela Ruef grabbed 12 boards, one away from her career high. She also had 6 assists, I think all to Chiney. Bonnie Samuelson had 15 points on her five three pointers.  Stanford was able to take advantage of Washington’s zone by quick passes to hit an open Bonnie. Tinkle and guard Amber Orrrrange each added 12 points and each had two three-pointers. With four scorers in double figures, you know Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer was happy.

So the Pac-12 Regular season title all comes down to one game. Stanford and Cal are tied, but they are not playing each other this weekend. Stanford plays Washington State and Cal plays Washington.

Last year Cal and Stanford were in the exact same situation. They were tied, same as this year, and Cal went into Washington and LOST, lost the game, lost the title. This year, Cal will come into Washington again, and Washington will be back in full force with all starters reinstated and has a chance to play spoiler, again. We shall see.

Follow the last Pac-12 game and C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Chiney Ogwumike’s Record-Setting Performances Sinks Oregon

Sorry this is so late, C and R were up late watching the Oscars. Stanford was all business and dismantled Oregon in a very business-like manner. They beat the Ducks 74-50. Oregon was stuck at nine total points until 5:45 was left in the first half. The crowd exhorted Stanford’s stingy defense to hold them under 20 for the half. Oregon got 19 points with 40 seconds left in the half, and although Stanford hustled on defense, The Ducks got a three-pointer with five seconds left. Half time score was 40-22.
Chiney Ogwumike sets records for single season rebounds and career double doubles
Chiney Ogwumike Scores Down Low against Oregon. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
First, we cannot say enough about Chiney Ogwumike’s ability to score down low. She is so explosive and quick to the basket. And she is fierce putting that ball up in the air and in the hole. She is virtually unstoppable if she catches the ball with her feet in the paint (In the UConn loss, she was pushed out of the paint before she touched the ball, and therefore could not score). Tonight against Oregon, she scored and scored some more. 

She scored so much she had a double-double by halftime. She scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. For the game, she scored 27 points and grabbed an eye-popping 24 rebounds. Yes, her 52nd double-double of her career, which breaks the Stanford record previously held by her sister, Nneka. Her 24 rebounds was also a career high. What is the Stanford single game rebounding record? Well, it was 23, previously held by, you guessed it, her sister Nneka. Well, if anyone is going to break Nneka’s records, it might as well be Chiney. Chiney also became the sixth player in Stanford history with at least 1,000 rebounds (1,010) and 1,000 points (1,600).

It was senior night at Maples, with Mikaela Ruef and Joslyn Tinkle wearing the Stanford “S”  on their home court for the last time (unless you count the two NCAA games they could play there). C and R wore their Tinkle bells one last time, and heard several others tinkling throughout, but Jos had a quiet night. She scored a basket on a turn-about-is-fair-play with Sara James. Tinkle had given up the rock to a streaking Sara James and the next fast break Sara gave it back. But that two points were the only two of the night for Jingle. Gonna need more at that tournament time. Ruefie was getting the few rebounds Chiney missed. She was a woman on a mission. She would end up with nine for the night and five points.

The rest of the team didn’t fare so well. Amber Orrrrange scored 12, and did a great job driving, pulling up and scoring. However, no one else for Stanford got in double figures. That is a little disconcerting. “I don’t think we played particularly well,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I thought we were kind of flat, honestly.” She doesn’t pull punches.

After the game, the Stanford faithful gathered near the Stanford bench to hear some heartfelt stories from the Stanford Senior Dads. Ruef has always had a head for basketball, and might get into coaching some day. She also might play again next year. She just got accepted into her Master’s program. Chiney decided they were going to “retire” Jos’s bow, and Tinkle was asked how she keeps her make-up on during a game.

Cal had a scare, coming back from a 17-point deficit to win by two points to beat Oregon State. Must admit we were crossing our fingers that Oregon could pull it off so Stanford would win the Pac-12 regular season title outright. Looks like Cal and Stanford are going to share it. The Pac-12 tournament will sure be interesting.

Follow C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stanford Obliterates Oregon State

Oregon State figured if they can’t stop the Stanford Women’s Basketball team from scoring, maybe they could limit them by tackling. They tackled Chiney Ogwumike after she stole the ball and went up for a lay up, wrapping her up and wrestling her to the ground. That Oregon State player got a flagrant foul, and if you get two flagrant fouls in a game, you are ejected, unless you are Brittney Griner. Bonnie Samuelson was jumped while trying to dribble and that should have been a flagrant foul, too. She just got two free throws out of it.

Chiney scores onteh push out of bounds!
Chiney Ogwumike reacts after scoring against Oregon State. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Chiney got the best of the wrestling match when she was being pushed out of bounds behind the backboard and threw the ball up. It arced high and straight thorough the basket without touching the rim. Since she was knocked to the ground, she had no idea what happened until her teammates pulled her up and said it went in. The look on her face was priceless. She also sunk that free throw shot to give her 11 made FTs, which was a career high for her. 

Once Oregon State realized they couldn’t tackle, it was all over. They had no defense. They played Chiney one on one and let her score. They let four Stanford players get in double digits, and lost 90-53, even though the Stanford starters had a healthy rest.

Stanford Highlights:
Chiney scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her 21st double-double of the season. She now has 51 career double-doubles, which ties the Stanford record set by her sister Nneka Ogwumike. Did we mention Chiney is only a junior? As we mentioned, she made a career-high 11 free throws. She also had 4 blocks in the win.

Coming from the bench, Talyor Greenfield matched her career high with 18 points.  She was 4-5 from three-point land, and it is good to see her contributing. Stanford will need her to score in double digits in big games.

Senior Joslyn Tinkle, maybe realizing her time at Maple is finite, broke the 1,000 point barrier, the 34 th Stanford player to do so. She hit two late threes to end up with 11.

Guard Amber Orrrrange had 15 points and was 7-9, with six assists. She is a good scoring guard.
No Toni Kokenis again. The undisclosed medical condition watch is now at five straight games.

Sunday is you last time to see the Stanford Seniors Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef on their home court during the regular season. Don’t forget, in honor of Joslyn “Jingle” Tinkle, bring your Tinkle bells to ring for her.  And stay for the Senior Tribute after the game!

Follow C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stanford, Tough D, Beats UCLA

This was a tough, physical game. It featured one flagrant foul and technical for swinging elbows, and one player getting an elbow in the face and a lacerated cheek. Yes, those were two different plays.
Still, the Stanford women’s basketball team prevailed 68-57 over UCLA in a game that featured both teams taking turns going cold and letting the other team go on long runs. Stanford had 15 turnovers and UCLA had 21.

Chiney Still Scores
Chiney Ogwumike, right, tries to score over Markel Walker. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike got going early and often, scoring 12 points in the first and 26 for the game. She only grabbed seven rebounds so her streak of nine straight double-doubles came to an end. Same with her hopes of tying the Stanford record of 51 career double-doubles set by her sister Nneka Ogwumike. Chiney is currently on 50. That’s okay, she can do it in front of her home crowd this coming weekend. 

UCLA’s Alyssia Brewer’s quote on Chiney was a little cryptic. "Overall I think we did a pretty job on her," UCLA senior forward Alyssia Brewer said. "I know she had 26 points but all of her shots were tough shots. I gotta give her credit for being able to make those shots and she does come prepared." Yes, they were tough shots, but that’s what Chiney does, she makes those tough shots. You might have forced her to take tough shots, but if she is knocking them down, you are not making it hard enough. Turns out this is Chiney’s 20th 20 point game this season. In ten games against ranked opponents, Chiney is averaging more than 21 points and11 rebounds.

The game was so physical early on that Stanford coach sent in backup 6’5 center Tess Picknell in the first half. She scored a basket and swung her elbows and got the aforementioned fragrant foul. To some observers on Twitter, they thought the UCLA player did not give her room to clear the ball and baited the center into the foul. As for the second vicious elbow, Chiney Ogwumike got an alley-oop pass and was going for a lay up when Kari Korver got in her way. Chiney’s elbow came down on her cheek and sliced her cheekbone, spouting quite a bit of blood. In this case, Korver got the foul, had to leave the game and will need multiple stitches to her cheek. Chiney, to her credit, went over to the bleeding Korver and apologized and said she didn’t mean to injure her. Pretty classy.

As we mentioned, both teams would go on runs and then get cold. UCLA got within two right before the half but Bombing Bonnie Samuelson hit a three to put Stanford up by five. UCLA would get within five points in the second half, too, but could not get closer.

Mikaela Ruef, who is experiencing a renaissance of scoring, had her second double-double of her career. She scored 10 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Joslyn Tinkle was one rebound away from matching that, also scoring 10 and grabbing 9 boards. That would have been her third straight double-double. However, she is four points away from joining the 1000 point club. Again, it is nicer to do it at home this weekend.

Stanford has two games at home this weekend against Oregon State and Oregon(and senior night) and two away games at the Washingtons. Both sets of teams are bottom dwellers in the Pac-12 conferences. Looks like Stanford and Cal will share a piece of the Pac-12 regular Title if everybody wins as they should.

Follow double C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Stanford Overwhelms USC

Saw the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team defeat USC on Pac-12 TV last night 79-55. Although C and R are grateful for the coverage, it is not the same as seeing the victory live.

Highlights include:
The debut of the new “Road Warrior Uniforms”, all black, with an “S” on the chest and “Cardinal” on the back instead of last names.

USC’s coach Michael Cooper’s “T” after the non-call on Chiney Ogwumike fouling his player, and Chiney draining both free throws (hee hee!). What, he doesn’t know Pac-12 refs are horrible and make bad calls?

Chiney Ogwumike scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for her 20th double-double of the season, 9th in a row. That 20 sets a Stanford record for the season. Chiney now has 50 double-doubles for her three years at Stanford. The record is 51, set by her sister, Nneka Ogwumike in her four years at Stanford. Oh, did we mention Chiney is only a junior? Think that record is going to be broken, probably on Sunday. Chiney started out slowly in the first half (eight points), then scored seven straight points to open the second. Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer must have lit a fire under her at half time.

Chiney Ogwumike is unstoppable
USC tried to stop Chiney Ogwumike, but she still scored 26 points and got 15 rebounds. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Mikaela Ruef hitting her 1st three pointer of the season, fifth of her career, AND scored a career high 12 points. Ruef sure has been making a lot of “firsts” these last few weeks. Against Arizona on February 8th she scored her then career high of 11 points and got her first double-double ever.

Joslyn Tinkle also had a double-double of her own, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Tinkle's 17 points leave her just 14 away from becoming Stanford's 34th member of its 1,000-Point Club. She might be able to do that on Sunday, too.

Four players scoring in double figures, the fourth being guard Amber Orrrrange with 10. She did a nice job with driving in and drawing contact or pulling up for a jumper, both her specialties, as she is a scoring guard more than a distributing and assisting guard. Although, she scored all 10 in the first half, than disappeared in the second. Still, it is good to see others scoring along with Chiney’s amazing stats night after night.

We missed Stanford guard Toni Kokenis, who is still sick and did not play. The maddening part is the coaching staff’s decision to not tell anybody exactly what is wrong with her. The closest we have heard has been “upper body” injury. She is listed as day-to-day and the coaching staff will make the decision at game time.

Next up is #15 UCLA. Note that #6 Cal, who is tied for the Pac-12 lead with Stanford, crushed UCLA 79-51 last night.

Follow double double C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stanford Bombs Arizona State

Beautiful, sunshiny day in the Bay Areas as the Stanford Women’s Basketball played their Breast Cancer Awareness game vs. Arizona State. Stanford looked all-cool in their pink, pink shoes with neon pink laces and pink piping on their shorts. Arizona State was all in pink, pink everything. Shorts, shirts, numbers. I guess since they were the away team they got to be “dark” so could pinkify their uniforms to the max. It didn’t help them score, though. Stanford beat them 69-45.

All season long Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer has been imploring other team members not-named-Chiney-Ogwumike to step up and score. Last game it was Mikaela Ruef with a career high 11 points and her first career double-double. Ruef even said in the post-game interview that the coaches were asking her to shoot instead of looking to pass.

Bonnie Samuelson
Bonnie Samuelson goes in for a layup and hit five 3-pointers for a career high 19 points. Photo by Bob Drebin.
This game it was Bonnie Saumelson’s turn to step up. She scored a career high 19 points and made a career high five 3-point shots. She is not nicked named Bonnie the bomber for nothin’. Joslyn Tinkle also got in on the “First” act, by getting her first double-double of the year (11 points and 13 rebounds). 

Bonnie said Tara pulled her aside and said, “I have confidence in you.” Bonnie would have scored more in this game, but she picked up her fourth foul at the 8th minute mark and Tara did not have confidence in her not fouling out.

Chiney Ogwumike, on the other hand, scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season, and her 8th in a row. You can see why Tara has been begging other players to match her or at least score in double digits.

On the other hand, after the trio of double-digit scorers, starters Ruefie scored five and Amber Orrrrange four. The only bench player to score was Jasmine Camp with two points. Bonnie scored five 3-pointers, but Stanford was 5-20 from behind the arc. Really? No one else could make a three? Stanford needs scoring consistency at every position, not just one or two, possible three players.

Speaking of starters, Toni Kokenis was in the sweat-suit-of-injury for the second game in a row. Fans who sit next to the bench got the word that it was for “an upper body injury.” That’s more then we got from the staff at last game’s press conference of  “undisclosed medical condition.” Toni has missed games before with the same “undisclosed medical condition” and “upper body injury.” What’s weird is how evasive the staff is being about her condition. Anyway, we wish her a speedy recovery from whatever it is that ails her.

Stanford definitely missed the experienced guard play of Toni, sometimes having only one guard in at a time. When Arizona State went into their half-hearted press, Chiney Ogwumike brought the ball up. Why is our post player the only one capable of dribbling the ball out of a press? Hard-pressing teams will eat us up comie NCAA tournament time.

Speaking of guards, Stanford’s Alex Green made her first appearance in 15 months. She played the last few minutes of this game and scored no points. She ruptured her Achilles tendon in Nov of 2011. Ask Candice Wiggins how difficult it is to come back from that when she missed a whole year of the WNBA for the same injury. We wish Alex continued success at recovery.

Stanford’s win keeps them tied with Cal for first place in the Pac-12. Next up is a trip down south to see USC and UCLA.

Follow all the double -doubles with C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Stanford Crushes Arizona

C and R could not make the Stanford Women’s Basketball game vs. Arizona tonight due to a prior commitment.

Here are the Things We Missed:
Ruef gets her first double-double
Stanford 's Mikaela Ruef gets her first double-double. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
-Chiney Ogwumike got her 18th double-double of the season (18 points and 12 boards).
-Mikaela Ruef got her first career double double of …ever (11 points and 10 boards).
-Mikaela Ruef scoring a career high 11 points.
-Seeing the Ruef on Fire (sorry, we couldn't resist)
-Three Stanford players scoring in double figures (the third was Jos Tinkle with 15).
-Tinkle hitting three of four from the 3-point line.
-Tinkle scoring her 15 points in 15 minutes due to foul trouble. Still, wowsa!
-Chiney Ogwumike missing her first three of her first four shots allowing Arizona to hang around thought the middle of the first half.
-Seeing Chiney hit her next four of five shots to help Stanford go on a 17-6 run in the second part of the first half and go up 31-19 at the half.
-Seeing the taller Stanford team lead the rebounding battle at half 25-9, and 47-28 for the game.
-Seeing Stanford’s defense hold Arizona’s best scorer Davellyn White to six points. She averages 16 a game.
-Seeing almost all of Stanford’s bench players play (you know it’s a blow out...).
-Seeing Toni Kokeins in street clothes (No one on Twitter knew why, illness or doghouse). The SJ Mercury reported “undisclosed medical issue” and that she might miss Sunday’s game too.
-Seeing Stanford destroy Arizona 73-43, a 30-point spread for those of you doing the math at home.
-Catching a victory ball for the 30-point win.    But C and R will be at Sunday’s game vs. Arizona State, especially since it will be the “Wear-Pink-For-Breast-Cancer-Awareness-game.” We hope they are giving out free Pink T-shirts!

Follow the double-double fun with C and R on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Stanford Beats Oregon State, Chiney Gets Career High 32 Points

Hey, C and R actually take a back seat and let our guest blogger from Oregon write the blog again. Here is a live and in person view of the Stanford Women’s basketball game vs Oregon State, where Chiney Ogwumike scored a career high 32 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for her 17th double-double of the season. Oops, better let TH tell it:

Greetings from up north, C & R!  Yesterday, the Cardinal gave us a win that was hard fought and intense for a full 40 minutes.  Oregon State was on the attack and showed that a program on the rise can draw a good crowd to a women’s hoops game, even on the same afternoon as the Super Bowl.  The OSU faithful brought their kids and wore their orange fleeces into Gill Coliseum, an old-school gym with bleachers, rafters, and giant jock pictures on the walls.  That crowd stomped its feet, clapped its hands, and stayed in the game until the final buzzer.  After watching University of Oregon play last Friday, in the hush of a gleaming, but relatively empty arena, yesterday’s down-home contest was a breath of fresh air.

Whenever I watch the Cardinal play OSU, I see OSU coach, Dave Rueck, jog over to Coach Tara’s half of the gym to share an enthusiastic greeting.  The guy is young, smart and hungry—excited to talk shop with the likes of a VanDerveer.  He came to OSU three seasons ago as a Division I rookie, in the midst of a  program-wide implosion and a rash of player defections. The leading scorer, the leading rebounder, and a handful of others had fled. Rueck was forced to hold an open try-out just to complete the roster. Kids from community college, kids working jobs three and four years out of high school, and one 47-year old showed up in practice jerseys.  (I’m not picking on the 47-year old; I heard she was really good).  What emerged was a freshman-heavy squad with only one player who had in Div. 1 experience.  Three seasons later, Rueck has a stable of loyal fans, top Oregon recruits who were willing to forego offers from other schools, and last year’s Pac 12 Coach of the Year title.

Chiney Ogwumike scores 32 against Oregon
Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike scored 32 points and pulled in 18 rebounds (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
So, my point in sharing the OSU back-story is to say that this coach, this crowd, and these OSU kids are a spirited bunch who would not accept a loss unless the Cardinal earned its win.  As a result, our players dug deep and turned in a high level performance.  Chiney finished the day with 32 points and 18 rebounds.  The stats—while staggering—don’t even begin to tell the story.  Chiney was everywhere and did everything.  She came screaming up to the half court line to relieve pressure on our guards; she barked orders during in-bounds plays; she found the basket again and again, even when she was double and triple teamed, even after absorbing hard fouls, and even after claiming her own rebounds.  At one point, a frustrated OSU player jammed an elbow into Chiney’s stomach during a struggle for a loose ball (could you see that on TV?).  It didn’t keep Chiney from scoring.  When you watch Chiney live, from a good seat, you hear how hard she pounds the ball into the floor before she turns, gets her half-second look at the net, and explodes through a mass of chests and waiving arms.  She rounded out her power game with some longer-range jump shots and a beautiful assist to Taylor Greenfield, cutting into the lane for a lay-up. 

Amber Orrrange was Chiney’s foil.  She added an assortment of perimeter jumpers and scored 12 points.  She had three steals and converted one to a full speed, coast-to-coast lay-up.  On another, in the second half, she snatched the ball, took it all the way down the court, drew in two OSU defenders deep under the basket, and then executed a perfectly timed dish to Chiney for the lay in.  And perhaps most importantly, Orrrange had eight assists on the day, a sign of healthy communication between the perimeter and the paint.  Bonnie Samuelson had four 3-pointers—two of which were scored in crucial back-to-back Cardinal possessions (snap!).

Toni K and Jos Tinkle added hustle to a great defensive effort.  If we can squeeze some more consistent points out of them,  we will be ready for tournament play.  Final score:  65-45.  Go, Cardinal.  Go, Pac 12.

Follow C and R and their guests on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stanford Plucks Ducks

Things we learned from the 86-62 Oregon Blowout:

Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike is Still Better Than You on One Ankle:
Chiney scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds (her 16th double-double of the season). She also only played 28 minutes due to hurting her ankle last Sunday and limited practice this week. Compare that with Oregon freshmen Jillian Alleyne going 13 and 13. Much was made of the match-up, as Alleyne leads the league in rebounding, the first freshmen to do so since 2002. They tied on boards, but Chiney got the points. And boy, she does work hard for the money. None of those baskets came easy. Well, maybe she had one or two easy baskets when Oregon forgot to guard her, but when she gets the ball down low, she fights. Also, kudos to Chiney for that great steal of the inbounds pass after a Stanford basket. Oregon fouled her trying to put it back up. And shame on Oregon for letting that happen.

“T” stands for Tinkle:
Or Two Technicals. Oregon Coach Paul Westhead got one for arguing the calls (Or maybe he was mad his team could not hit a three, going 5-21). Then two minutes later, Tinkle got one for…we’re not sure. Pac-12, providing TV coverage, cut away after Tinkle got tangled with an Oregon player and it was called a jump ball. We think she argued with the ref after, but we don’t know for sure.

Tara VanDerveer gets 400th Pac-12 Victory
Tara Van Derveer (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
400 Is a Big Number:
Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer got her 400th Pac-12 win, the first coach in Pac-12 history to do so.  Ever so self-effacing, she joked, “I think it means I have been here a long time.”

Stanford continues their Jekyll and Hyde routine:
Going up by 19 points, than going cold and letting Oregon get within 10. Whaaaa? Although C and R did like the new and improved offense of “Passing.” Tara VanDerveer shows why she has won 400 times in the Pac-12. She does her homework. She knew Oregon plays a lot of Zone, and the best way to beat the zone is pass, pass, pass. Stanford did, quickly, crisply, and when they found open spots and took their shots.

Live by the three...:
Oregon likes to run and gun, get quick lay-ups and hit quick threes. Stanford, those show-offs, likes to say, we’ll duplicate your game plan and beat you over the head with it. They made 10-27 threes to only 5 for Oregon. Plus, Stanford got baskets in transition when Oregon did not get back. There’s your game plan, Paul

When Others Step Up:
Chiney, Joslyn Tinkle and Sara James all scored in double digits. Guard Amber Orrrrange had 9 and Taylor Greenfield had 8. When others not-named-Ogwumike contribute, Stanford usually wins.

Watching Stanford on TV is Not the Same as Live and in Person:
That said…

And now, let’s here from our Guest Blogger, TH, who was at the game live and in person:

            Let’s be honest, an 86-62 win over Oregon’s struggling program does not take a 4th ranked team to new heights.  But in the Cardinal’s case, it was a good opportunity to involve the bench (check), get some non-Chiney points on the board (check), and log an impressive 400th conference win for Coach VanDerveer (check).

            I attended the game with a soccer player, uninitiated to the ways of the Cardinal.  Soon after tip off, she asked of Joslyn Tinkle, “Is she their top scorer?” It wasn’t a silly question-- in less than four minutes of play, Tinkle had a lay up, a three-pointer and a soft-touch jump shot.  She would finish the game with 16 points and turned in a nice all-around performance that included a decisive stuff under Oregon’s basket (one of two blocked shots overall).

            Sara James is still writing her own version of a rags-to-riches story.  It’s great to see her earn a starting spot and continue to make it count.  Ever since James started to play more minutes, it seems like the Cardinal have added a cylinder to the engine.  Along with Tinkle and Chiney, James was the third Cardinal to finish the game with double-digit points, including three 3-pointers.  She also facilitated a nice assist to Tinkle by pushing the pace and leading Tinkle in for a lay up on a long pass.

            You never know what will jump out at you when you watch a game live, instead of on TV.  Here are a few had-to-be-there highlights.  First, six foot, five inch Tess Picknell was a top Cardinal recruit last year from southern Oregon.  She led her high school team to a perfect season and a first-ever state championship.  Now she is like the young karate kid who must dutifully wax all of the cars before she can enter the competitive arena.  When she jumped off the bench in the last five minutes or so of the game (to the loud cheering of an obvious contingent of Picknells), she worked her butt off to follow the offensive plan, snag her two rebounds, and score four points, all in front of the beaming family.  Let’s all hope for continued progress for the kid from southern Oregon.  Wouldn’t it be nice for Chiney to have a big, strong and gutsy kid down low to help absorb and distract some swarming defenders?

            Another had-to-be-there highlight, sadly, was Oregon coach Paul Westhead throwing gratuitous temper tantrums.  Coach, if you are going to call a time-out, don’t leave your players standing there, looking at your shoulder blades, while you cuss out the ref.  Also, Coach Westhead, your team out-rebounded Stanford 48 to 40 on the game and your spirited point guard—all of 5’6”—scored 17 points against Stanford.  This was not an occasion that warranted losing your &*^%$#  on your team, in my humble opinion.  Please take that frustration and channel it into a sustained effort to get recruits on your roster and fans in the seats.

            Oregon sends its continued well wishes to Chiney Ogwumike who led the Cardinal with an “I got this” attitude, 22 points and 13 rebounds.  Wow.

Follow C and R and all the gang on Facebook and Twitter, too!