Not only did Cal play the spoiler on Stanford’s senior night, but that win on Stanford’s home floor denied Stanford a chance at winning their 15th straight regular-season conference title. That’s right, Stanford had its consecutive streak of regular-season titles end at 14.
At the game at Cal, Stanford was down by nine at the half, but played great defense in the second. Stanford held Cal’s guard Brittany Boyd to six points and center Reshanda Gray to nine. Oh, Cal was 3-27 in that second half. Stanford’s guards, by contrast were hot, scoring the bulk of their points in the second half. Lili Thompson, after a mini-demoting, scored 18 and Amber Orrange scored 19.
Brittany McPhee scored 24 points. (Photo by Bob Drebin/stanfordphoto.com)
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer liked what she saw and went to Brittany off the bench in the second Battle of the Bay at Stanford. Coach was rewarded with a career-high 24 points from Brittany. She was unafraid to mix it up and scored most of her points on drives inside against a very physical Cal team.
"She backed it up," VanDerveer said. "She was not a one-game wonder.”
The bad news was Stanford stalled on offense in the second half. Other than Brittany, they had no play. The high screen at the top of the three point line is expected by other teams and now happens further and further away for the basket, way above the three point line. The other team now has more time to catch back up to the speedy guards. Credit Cal with covering Stanford’s three point shooters, too. Amber Orrange added 11 points but no one else from Stanford got above five points. That is the difference right there.
So now Stanford needs to play to get a bye at the Pac-12 tournament and try to get home court advantage for the first and second rounds of the NCAA play offs, if it is not too late. Will be interesting.
However, you can’t keep a good Card down, and the Stanford faithful stayed after the game to honor the six seniors. Lots of hugs and tears and shared thoughts on sisterhood, including the real life Samuelson sisters (and C and R got to talk to Stanford alum Toni Kokenis!). Most of the seniors are thinking about medical school, law school or grad school after graduation. Wow, not bad for ballers.
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