Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stanford Trampled by Tennessee

The good news? The Stanford Women’s Basketball team held Tennessee to 27 first half points. The bad news? Stanford only scored 15 in the same period. Stanford shot 23% in the first, making five of 21. They shot 25% for the game. To be fair, both teams struggled early on. Tennessee shot 35 % in the first before heating up in the second. How bad was it for Stanford? They were stuck on 10 points for eight minutes, from 10:24 to 2:10 left in the first. Stanford scored one basket over the last 10 minutes of the first half.

Erica McCall
Tennessee guard/forward Jaime Nared (31) and Stanford forward Erica McCall (24) get tangled up (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

The good news? When Stanford did score in the first, it was guards driving on high ball screens. The bad news? Tennessee finally caught on to the play and cut off drives or contested shots when the guards did make it to the blocks. Tennessee is always known to be physical, and there was contact many times without whistles, but you still have to finish. A lot of missed shots (13-51). Once that drive was cut off, Stanford once again did not have a post option to go to all game. That was coupled with Tennessee’s long bodies and athletic ability to rush Stanford at the three point line to limit good looks. Stanford made 6 out of 18 for the game from three point land.

Let’s just say Tennessee’s defense made Stanford offense look bad.

Second half was just more of the same. Both teams struggled early on and no one scored in the first 3 minutes. Then Tennessee finally got hot, and Ariel Massengale started bombing threes. She made four of them and finished the game with 18 points. When Stanford would make a shot, or even a three, they could not get a defensive stop on the other end.

The final score was Tennessee 59, Stanford 40. Both teams combined to miss 75 shots and commit 37 turnovers.

The good news
Lili Thompson scored 13 points, including two 3-pointers.
Kaylee Johnson lost a contact, continuing the Ogwumike trend. Let's hope this translates to Ogwumike rebounds and points (She was held to eight boards and four points in this one).

The bad news
No one else from Stanford was in double figures. Take out Lili’s 13 and the rest of the starting five scored 10 points. The next highest scorer for Stanford was a tie with four points. Stanford had not lost consecutive games since December 2010.  Also, it was the first time Stanford has scored below 50 points in consecutive games since 1976-77 season. Fewest points (by 8) for the Cardinal in 32 all-time games against Tennessee, and fewest points by an opponent ranked in the top 10 against Tennessee.

Stanford comes back to Maples Monday, so we hope they can get a win for Christmas and build up some confidence and better inside presence.

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