Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stanford Sweeps LA Schools

The Stanford Women’s Basketball Team continued their line-up of three guards and two bigs against USC and told themselves not to get down early as they did the last two games. They listened to themselves and beat USC 71-60.

Lili Thompson
Couldn’t find a photo of Lili Thompson, so used this older one (MIKE KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)
Let’s correct that and say they listened to Hall of Fame Coach Tara VanDerveer. She told Lili Thompson, who did not score a basket against UCLA last game that she needed to make better decisions on offense and better shot selections. She listened. She got her first points, a layup, right away. Then she continued to attack the basket.

This game she was pump faking and putting the ball on the floor to get to the basket. And it worked. She got to the rim practically whenever she wanted. And when she didn’t she was fouled. She went 10-10 from the free throw line before she got a miss. She finished the night shooting 12-14 from the line (both career highs, BTW) and had 21 points.

Erica McCall listened, too. She has had an up and down season. Some of it could be the new offense focusing on the guards driving and kicking out ot the three point specialists. When McCall has been in she has either been ineffective or made great post moves but could not finish. Today she got some good finishes and scored 11 solid points for the game and grabbed six boards (with authority).

Strangely, though, after Lili’s hot start to make up for last game, her back court teammate Amber Orrange, who had 20 points last game, didn’t score in the first. Those two need to sync up on offense instead of taking turns. Granted, Amber likes to come through and make the acrobatic shots when no one is scoring, so maybe she didn’t feel the need to score with Lili carrying the load. She did have a much better second half and ended up with 10 for the game.

Speaking of post play, Stanford again was called for moving screens on their bigs. I believe they had three in the first half. Coach Tara questioned the calls again on the Pac-12 Half Time TV show. Hope she doesn’t get fined.

In the first, instead of waiting for the second half to make their move, Stanford went on a 15-0 run. USC didn’t help themselves, missing eight straight shots in first. USC also couldn’t hit threes. They went 4-15 from behind the line compared to Stanford’s 5-12. USC also did not get to the free throw line much, and when they did, they missed, going 8-16 for the game compared to Stanford’s 20-24.

Stanford has two other players in double digits to match Lili’s 21. Erica McCall scored 11 and Amber Orrange added 10 points for Stanford. Bonnie Samuelson made 2-4 3-pointers and scored eight total. Freshie Kaylee Johnson also added eight points, and three of the buckets came from easy walk-in lay ups when USC’s defense swarmed the top of the key trying to stop the guards and the three ball. The first time Kaylee turned near the top of the key and thought about a jump shot and was surprised to see no one in front of her. She paused and finally put the ball in the ground to the backboard and had the uncontested shot. She was ready when it kept happening.

Even with the win and leading most of the way since seven minutes in the first, C and R read these startling statics: USC outscored Stanford 36-22 in the paint, held a 20-5 advantage in offensive rebounds and scored 20 second-chance points.

Yikes. Stanford will need to shore that up with their post play. Everybody hear that?

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