Sunday, December 13, 2015

Texas Turns back Stanford

What’s the difference between a top 5 team and a top 14 team? About nine points. Also rebounding. The Stanford Women’s Basketball team lost to #5 Texas 77-69. There was not much suspense in this as C and R said, Texas kept that 9 point lead and out rebounded them practically 2-1 in the first half.

Brittany McPhee
Brittany McPhee (AP Photo Michael Thomas)
How bad was it on the rebounding side? Stanford did not have an offensive rebound in the first half! In fact they go there first O-board with 3 minutes left in the third. And no, it wasn’t that Stanford was making all their shots, they were 3-11 from the 3-point line in the first before hitting 50% in the second (live by the three…). And also it wasn’t so much that Texas boxed out or out hustled them. It was mostly due to the Stanford game plan of having the post player set a high screen at the three point line. If the Stanford guard pulled the trigger quickly on the three after the screen, the post player was out of position for a rebound. Many times three Texas players would surround the ball with no black jersey in sight (love the black road jerseys, though!). The final tally of boards was 44-29, Texas.

A word about defense. Help. In that when Stanford plays man to man (or politically correct player to player) they have a very hard time helping if the opposing player gets past them. Which Texas did. Funny thing was Texas had the same problem, playing man to man and not helping if their player got past them. The only problem was not very many Stanford players did that. Our freshie guard Marta did the first few minutes she had the ball when she did enter the game, then got regulated back to the bench. Would have liked to see more of her.

Love how Lili Thompson looks for Erica McCall, and she made some nifty passes to her. However, she needs to make sure she is looking for others as well. Or one could argue that the other Stanford players are not getting open, a fair argument. A few times it looked like Lili was pressing, trying to do too much, driving even though the defense was there. However, again, it might be that other players were not working to get open.

Stanford did make a game of it going on a 9-0 run in the fourth and got within 4, thanks in large part to Mritanny McPhee’s back-to-back threes! However, Texas always seemed to have an answer, especially Empress Davenport who a career-high 23. And then Stanford had to play foul game and Texas, to their credit, made them. Twelve of 16 of them.

C and R noticed Kaylee Johnson did not start and in her place was Kailee Johnson (yes, it gives us headaches, too). However, the ESPN analysts (yes, they were on ESPN!) reported Stanford started four juniors and a sophomore, their first time without a senior in the starting lineup since 2002-03. Curious.

Shout out to those in Double figures:
-Erica had another double double (14 points and 13 boards) but fouled out in the closing minutes
-Lili Thompson led Stanford with 21 points and has now reached double figures in all eight games this season.
-Brittany McPhee had 12 points, a season high, and she was 4-4 from the 3-point line.

Next up is Tennessee.

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