Friday, January 23, 2015

Stanford Women's Basketball Beats LA

Once again it was a tale of two halves for the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team. At least this time after finding themselves down early in the first they dug themselves mostly out of it before it got too late.

Stanford traveled to the land of Beat LA, oops, we mean UCLA. UCLA, boasting the best recruiting class in the country, came out hot. Their freshmen, Jordin Canada is something special, playing with a broken nose and the dreaded mask. She scored 14 in this game, mostly on drives to the basket. Keep your eye on her in the coming years.

For the first half, Stanford went with their three guards and two bigs like they did in the second half against Arizona State when they had that incredible comeback that fell thisssss short. Bri Roberson got the start as the third guard, and it was Bonnie Samuelson instead of Erica McCall joining Stanford’s freshie Kaylee Johnson in the paint.

Bri Roberson
Couldn’t find a photo of Bri Robersonb in action, so here she is hugging Lili Thompson (Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle)
Bri Roberson is just a breath of fresh air, with her speed and quickness. Her drives to the basket make you ask “how did she score that?” Stanford’s play this year is the dribble penetrate by the guards and if nothing is there, kick out to the three point line.

Bonnie Samuelson is Stanford’s go-to shooter, and although she made two 3-pointers in the first, surpassing Jennifer Azzi and Lindsey Yamasaki for career threes, she missed a whole bunch more. Well, the whole team did, going 4-14 from the 3-point line in the first. And when they missed, Stanford didn’t get the rebound. What was worse, UCLA made their threes, six for ten, or 60% for those of you scoring at home.

UCLA also doesn’t waste time after a made basket. They go straight to the other hoop and no one with an “S” on their chest stopped ball or got in front of the ball handler. UCLA really used that to their advantage in the first and got up by 10 over Stanford in the first.

Stanford stayed with it and got some defensive stops and some buckets by Amber Orrange. Stanford also go UCLA’s bigs in foul trouble and they had to sit while we shot. Stanford attempted 29 free throws in this game. By half time Stanford was only down 37-40.

Okay, funny moment when Karlee Samuelson was fouled and sister Bonnie, who makes her free throws 90% of the time, went to the line to shoot. The refs caught it and made Karlee take the shots. Still.

Like the last game, Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer did some great adjustments and got her team fired up to open the second. Same thing here. Stanford started the second half with an 11-2 run and did not trail the rest of the game.

Also, UCLA was not hitting their threes, we think they got one with about eight minutes left but that was it .Stanford by contrast WAS hitting threes; for the game, they made 11 on 26 tries. They were patient on offense, working the clock, waiting for that open shot.

UCLA battled back and got within six but there was only two minutes left and then they had to play the foul game. Final score 79-70.

Shout outs:
-Well, there were four Stanford players in double figures, three in the 20s.
-Briana Roberson earned her first start of the season and scored a career-high 21 points. She averages around six points.
-Bonnie Samuelson added 21 points and went 4-10 from the 3-point line.
-Amber Orrange had 20 before she fouled out shortly before the end of the game. She also had four steals and stellar defense.
-Freshie Kaylee Johnson had her 4th double-double with 10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.

On to USC.

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