Washington's Kelsey Plum puts a shot up over Stanford's Mikaela Ruef (Elaine Thompson - AP Photo)
Hats off to Washington, as they played Stanford’s game. They shot uncontested threes (9-22 for the game, or 40 %) and when they were contested they drove the lane to get buckets or fouls. Help defense, which Stanford has been so good at it all year long, was again noticeably absent for Stanford for the second game in a row. Washington freshmen Kelsey Plum scored 23 in a variety of ways, including making three of five 3-pointers before fouling out in the final minutes. Washington also played a zone defense that limited what Stanford could do.
Stanford’s offense, meanwhile, was staying on the three point line, and the guards were not driving, not penetrating, not rebounding and not forcing Washington to come off of Chiney Ogwumike, who usually has a great game inside against one on one pressure. Chiney was held to eight first half points. She did come out and score nine straight in the second then Stanford forget about her. She did not make a basket in the final 7 and a half minutes (she made one of two free throws with 7 seconds left).
And those threes that Stanford shot! Stanford missed the first seven in a row, setting the tone that Washington didn’t have to guard them up top and could sag on Chiney. Stanford went 9-41 on three point attempts for the game (three of the nine made came in the last two minutes in a furious comeback attempt). And those long, crazy rebounds would bounce far away form Chiney waiting under the basket, but not back out to the three point line, so Stanford had no hope of getting an offensive rebound.
Hats off to Stanford, too, for those last two minutes. For all of Stanford’s mistakes and lack of effort, they almost turned it around. Gotta admire the “no quit” attitude. Stanford was down by 11 with 2 minutes left and started the “foul game.” Stanford got it to within three points, 85-82, with five seconds left. Bonnie Samuelson scoring 11 of those 14 points, connecting with three 3-pointers and two free throws. But with 5 seconds left and Washington inbounding under Stanford’s basket, Chiney had to grab the jersey of a streaking Washington player to stop a fast break. It was correctly ruled a flagrant foul, meaning Washington gets the shots and the ball to effectively end the game. The forcefulness of Chiney’s foul wasn’t like other games, such as the two Cal games, that were let go as regular fouls, but we don’t want to be cry babies. Washington would hang on to win by five, 87-82.
Washington’s 87 points were the most scored against the Stanford this season. The loss snapped a 62-game road conference winning streak for Stanford as well.
Kudos to fifth year senior Mikaela Ruef. She set personal bests with 16 points and 22 rebounds, her 4th double-double of the season. Chiney scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, for her 18th double-double and 21st game of at least 20 points this season. Freshie guard Lili Thonpson added 13 points, and made three 3-pointers. Bonnie chipped in 14, as we mentioned, and 11 in the final two minutes.
Back to Maples for Valentines Day. I think they are going to need some lovin’ from their fans.
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