Sunday, January 10, 2016

Stanford Beats Pac-12 East Teams

The Pac-12 East teams of the Colorado Buffalos (Yes! Really!) and the Utah Utes (believe it or not, not a typo from C) came in to town this week and Stanford beat both of them to climb up to  a three-way tie for third.

The Stanford Women’s Basketball team played the Utes first, and they get off to a slow start. Both teams. And this was after Stanford’s worst scoring performance against Arizona State. The first quarter in the Utah game ended with Stanford leading by a point, 13-12. Half time score had Stanford enjoying a slight 30-28 lead. Remember C and R’s last blog, saying this was a Jekyll and Hyde team. Well, it seems like when the Cardinal remember to drive in to the basket to score or draw a foul, or when they get an offensive rebound (and this is important) put it right back up, they do well, and win. This was the case with these two games.

Stanford finally pulled away early in the third quarter against Utah using this strategy and won 72-52. Four players scored in double figures. Lili Thompson and Brittany McPhee each scored 16 points. Karlie Samuelson adding 13, hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and Erica McCall added 11 points to go with her 11 rebounds. Another double-double for Erica. Brittany McPhee was the catalyst for the third quarter surge, and mostly, her ability to penetrate and draw contact. She was 6-6 from the free throw line.

This game started out as a rinse and repeat game. Slow start, score tied at the first quarter 14-14. However, Stanford turned up the intensity, especially in the second half. And, they drove and rebounded, and were not afraid to put it back up, in particular our two bigs, Kaylee Johnson (why doesn’t she start) and Erica McCall.

Kaylee Johnnson and Erica McCall
Kaylee Johnson and Erica McCall each grabbed a double-double.
Photo courtesy of Stanford Official site.

The two trees each recorded a double-double, with Kaylee totaling 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Erica finishing with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and a game-high three blocks. Kaylee's 17 points was a career-high, and she also topped the team with four assists, a personal best. At one point in the game, she was leading in points, rebounds and assists.

This game, Stanford showed a lot of hustle and intensity, something sorely lacking in other games. Lili Thompson really wanted it, and a lot of white and red jersey hit the floor diving after loose balls. Stanford went 1-10 with their first 10 shots in the opening quarter, but the thing was they were all good shots, lay ups, put backs, etc.

The difference in the subsequent quarters was that they made those shots, and had confidence when they did take them, including those strong-to-the-basket put backs. And when Stanford drives to the bucket, good things happen. Stanford had 34 free throw attempts (!) and made 23 of them. That’s 67% for the game for those of you keeping score at home, and C and R are sure head coach Tara VanDerveer would like to see that percentage go up. Those are free shots, y’all!

Strangely, Lili didn’t score until deep into the second quarter, however she nailed a three, which also put her over 1,000 career points. She is the 36 Stanford player to reach that milestone. Congrats. Lili!
Final score against Colorado, 71-56.

Keep it going (or stick to your Mr. Hyde side!), Stanford!!

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