Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stanford Flails Fresno State

Well, C and R, unable to make the road trip to Fresno, tried to enjoy the Stanford Women’s Basketball team beat up on Fresno State to the tune of 86-54 but it’s just not the same watching the game on a computer. A big shout out to the Mountain West network for carrying the game, although it was a little bit of a scramble to find the feed.

Stanford, feeling like all of us after Christmas, a little hung over from the excess everything, started out slow. They  gave Fresno State hope, letting them hang around for the first ten minutes with the score 22-18.  Then Stanford did want Stanford does best and boom, they had a 43-31 halftime lead. If you think that was impressive, listen to the second half stats. Stanford opened the second half with a 26-2 run in the first eight minutes, and the two points the bulldogs did score were from free throws.

Erica McCall
Stanford's Erica McCall wrestles the ball away from Fresno State (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)
How did Stanford do it? Well, believe it or not, it was the three ball. Well, and a healthy douse of Chiney Ogwumike in the first half. Stanford hit a season-high 12 3-pointers, and Chiney scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half. And this time Chiney had scoring help, with three other Stanford players joining her in double figures.

Stanford guard Amber Orrrrange scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half. After halftime, she guarded Fresno State point guard Taylor Thompson, who had scored 11 points in the first half, and held her to just two points the rest of the game. Taylor Greenfield made her first start of the season Saturday and matched her career highs of 18 points and six rebounds. She also made a season-high four 3-pointers.

Chiney got into foul trouble late in the first half. Well, what we mean by foul trouble is getting in Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer dog house. Chiney went to the bench with two fouls in the first half, despite scoring 16 points. Also, Tara, wanting to give others a chance to play in the second, and sent her to the bench for good after opening the second half on that 26-2 run. Chiney scored her 20 points in just 23 minutes of action.

Doesn’t Tara know that in order to impress the Player of the Year voters back East Chiney needs to score 30 points a game? Heck, 20 points, while for most players is great, is below Chiney’s average. But Tara has never been about the records or milestones

Let’s list the records and milestones:

Chiney scored 20 and finished with 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.
Chiney’s 20 points giver her 2,079 for her career, moving her past Nicole Powell (2,062) and Val Whiting (2,077) into fifth place on Stanford’s all-time scoring list. And Chiney is now 46 points back of Jayne Appel (2,125) for fourth place. Chiney’s  10 boards gives her a career rebounding total of 1,257, moving to just six behind Jayne Appel (1,263) for second on Stanford’s all-time list. She is just nine behind Kayla Pedersen’s Pac-12 and Stanford record of 1,266 with half a season to go.

Amber Orrange scored 15 points (on 6-for-10 shooting) with six assists and three steals. Bonnie Samuelson came off the bench and scored 14 points in 16 minutes and set season highs in field goals (five), 3-pointers made (four) and rebounds (four). Mikaela Ruef set a career high with eight assists.

Greenfield and Samuelson each hit four triples while Orrange nailed three, and Mikaela Ruef added one as the Cardinal went 8-for-15 from behind the arc in the second half. During that stretch of 26-2, Stanford would hit six 3-pointers, three from Greenfield, to balloon a 12-point halftime edge into a 36-point lead at 69-33.

The lopsided score, and Chiney sitting, means bench players Bonnie Samuleson, Erica McCall, Jasmine Camp, and broken-nosed Kailee Johnnson all got in double digits in minutes. “It was good to have different people playing and in the game getting experience,” said Tara VanDerveer.

Next up for Stanford is Pac-12 play

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