Monday, January 4, 2016

Stanford Splits Two in the Desert

Last year, the Stanford Women’s Basketball team lost to Arizona in Tucson in February. You better believe that head coach Tara VanDerveer has not forgotten. Or forgiven. This time, the Cardinal were focused and alert and beat Arizona 59-35.

Shining Star
The shining star in this game was sophomore Brittany McPhee. She scored a season high 21, just three off her career high. She hit some threes (3-6), as is Tara’s game plan, everyone shoots threes. However what helped her score even more was her driving to the basket and taking contact. Sometimes she made the basket, or sometimes she made her free throws (6-8) but her fearlessness to go right at it, and the other team, really sets her apart.

Brittany McPhee
Brittany McThree! Photo Courtesy of Stanford Women's Basketball
You know who else was a shining star this game? Our Aussie Alanna Smith. She scored 16, mostly on threes (4-5) this game. She is tall and creates a mismatch when a tall player guards her and doesn’t’ not come out to the three point line.

Third shining star: the defense. Stanford held Arizona to 18% shooting in the first half, and 15 total points. It was the fourth straight game were Stanford forced their opponent to under 23 percent shooting. Stanford’s official site recorded that “both Arizona’s point total and field goal percentage were program lows for a Pac-12 game. The 34 points allowed also tied a Stanford record for fewest allowed in a Pac-12 game, matching the same total from a 60-34 win against Washington State on Feb. 8, 2007.”

Arizona State
Last year Arizona won BOTH games against Stanford.
Stanford had a rough night vs Arizona State - Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
This year they are half way there. Wanna here some depressing numbers? Stanford only scored 31 points in their game with Arizona State and lost 49-31. They set the school record for lowest points ever in a game. The previous record was 32, against Missouri State in 1984! They had just seven total points in the first quarter and 14 at the half.

More depressing numbers: Stanford hit just 11 for 43 shots and was 1-9 from threes. Live by the three and die by the three, and boy did Stanford die a thousand deaths. When the three ball did not fall, they had nothing else to go to. No real inside game. Erica McCall would take the ball to the hoop and then…stop? She scored 4 points. Lots of players missed lay ups and put backs. What happened to Brittany driving in and drawing contact? They looked waaaay to tentative.

Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde
This was the team that lost to Santa Clara. What happened to the team that beat Tennessee? Or Arizona a few days ago?  We want to see that team for the rest of Pac-12 play.

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