Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stanford Assaults Arizona

This Stanford’s Women’s basketball game was fun to watch on TV.  While the state of California has a drought alert, it was raining 3's in the desert, to quote Twitter. The State of Stanford routed Pac-12 foe Arizona 96-52 and set new season highs with 96 points scored and a 46-point margin of victory.
Karlie Samuelson Karlie Samuelson shoots threes so quickly, finally a photo of her. (Photo: John Miller, Associated Press)

So what do you do when you have the best inside player and Player of the Year candidate in senior Chiney Ogwumike? Well, if you are Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, you pass the ball on the perimeter and have the first open player shoot a three. Stanford would make a season-high 15 3-pointers, in 32 attempts. Oh, don’t get Tara wrong, just when Arizona’s defense would try to come out more on the hot Stanford shooters, Stanford would throw it inside to Chiney. And Chiney don’t miss. She was 12-for-13 from the field for her best single-game field-goal percentage of the season (92.3 percent). TVD is not in the basketball Hall of Fame for nothin’.

Speaking of Chiney, besides going 12-for-13 from the field, she posted her 12th double-double of the season with 24 points and 12 rebounds. TVD took her out to give others a chance (all 15 players got to play in this game, only the second time that has happened this season) but her 24 points a game is actually below her scoring average, and if Stanford wants to get Chiney any POY consideration from those East Coasters, they need to keep that average up!

Sisterhood is strong at Stanford. The Samuelson sisters were outstanding, as Karlie and older sister Bonnie combined for 25 points. Freshmen KSam (Karlie) was lights out, going 4-8 from behind the line and finished with 16 points. BSam (Bonnie) scored nine and hit three triples of her own. Together they went 7-for-14 from 3-point land and 9-for-16 from the field.

Lest you think Arizona should have keyed on those two with the hot hand, seven different Stanford players hit from outside (Taylor Greenfield, Sara James, Kailee Johnson, Amber Orrange, Bonnie Samuelson, Karlie Samuelson, Lili Thompson), the most in a single game this season. With all those quick passes to set up those threes, Stanford matched its season high with 28 assists, led by eight from guard Amber Orrange. Freshman guard Lili Thompson scored 12 points and matched her season high with six assists.

It also seemed like one of the fastest played games of the season, and here’s why: there were hardly any foul calls. Stanford attempted season-low three free throws, and had a season-low one made (wow, gotta get that free throw shooting percentage up, no matter how many times you go to the line). Arizona’s seven fouls were the lowest by a Cardinal opponent this season. Well, when you are hitting threes, no one is driving and drawing fouls. And with Chiney scoring practically a lay up even with contact every time she touched the ball, it seemed like the refs just let it go to keep the game moving.

Well, with the Cal loss to Arizona State, Stanford is definitely in the drivers seat for the Pac-12 crown. However, Stanford plays Arizona State Monday so we will see if they are for real or not.

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