Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stanford Survives Washington State

So Washington State obviously didn’t follow the Pac-12 script. The Stanford Women’s Basketball team had a slight lead at the half (28-24) and then Chiney Ogwumike came out like gangbusters in the second, yet WSU refuses to fold. Don’t they watch film?

WSU started out in a zone to limit Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike’s inside game. Usually that is not a problem. Stanford has some three-point specialists they use to open up the outside game and to pad the score until they force the other team to come out on them. Then they throw it inside to Chiney, where Chiney has a field day. This time Stanford seemed to forget their script, too. They only made two 3-pointers out of eight attempts in the first. And they forced it inside to Chiney, to the point of many turnovers (I think 11 in the first). The good news for Stanford is that WSU couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn it the first half and could not capitalize on Stanford’s mistakes.

As we all know, Chiney has been working on her outside shot, and while her three ball isn’t pretty or even there, she did settle from some nice long jumpers in the paint. She proved that when her path to the basket is blocked, or her favorite angle off the blocks isn’t there, she can hit those little floaters and find other ways to score away from the basket.

Chiney Ogwumike
Chiney Ogwumike goes for a lay-up against WSU (Dean Hare / AP Photo)
The second half opened with Chiney on fire, but Stanford forgot to play defense. For WSU, it became the Tia and Lia show, that being Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley. The two speedy guards drove the lane and no one stopped them. Galdeira led WSU with 21 points while Presley scored 20, making the pair the first teammates to each score 20 points in a single game against Stanford since December 2010. That shows some good Stanford D.

There was no help defense when Tia and Lia drove past the Stanford guards, and that responsibility usually belongs to Chiney. Stanford has stopped that all season long, not sure why it did not happen in this game.

And when Stanford defense broke down, no one not named Ogwumike scored much in the second. This game was a remnant from last year, where Chiney scores and everyone else watched. C and R aren’t math majors, but Chiney has over half of Stanford’s points. While two other Stanford players got to 11 points, it was at the end, mostly on free throws from intention fouls. Not a good scoring night for Stanford

Curious, Stanford did not get a free throw in the first half, yet went 13-16 in the second, mostly off of WSU fouling at the end. Also Stanford had only 12 assists, the lowest since November of last year. Perhaps Stanford wasn’t driving or being as aggressive on offense in the first. WSU on the other hand was 10-20 for free throws and those missed points were sorely needed. The final score was 77-69 but the game was much closer then it that, and was even tied with five minutes left to play.

Chiney Ogwumike matched her career high with 36 points while grabbing 17 rebounds. She posted her 11th 30-point game and her 17th double-double of the season.

Taylor Greenfield had 11 points while posting career highs of nine rebounds and five assists. Amber Orrange scored 11 points with six rebounds and three assists. Freshman Karlie (KSam) Samuelson scored nine points as both she and Greenfield went 3-for-4 from behind the arc. They accounted for all six of Stanford’s made three pointers.

Next up is Washington. Maybe the snow is throwing Stanford. Let’s hop they are more acclimated by now.

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