July 13, 2020

Team faces unprecedented challenges

The team's freshmen, from left: forward Cameron Brink, guards Jana Van Gytenbeek and Agnes Emma-Nnopu

Several themes dominated associate head coach Kate Paye’s comments during a recent phone interview.

Two of them were uncertainty and hope for the Stanford women’s basketball team. Another was pride in how well the players and staff are growing.

Yet another was the challenges the team and university face in light of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the nation.

It’s a “very unusual time,” she said. (Except for a few centenarians), this is everyone’s “first time through a pandemic.”

Everyone went home

It all started March 12 when the NCAA cancelled the tournament, in which Stanford was expected to do well. Instead, the coaches held a team meeting, and all of the players went home.

That’s where they are now, but they’ve adjusted well, Kate said. They’re taking classes online.

Everyone has a place to work out, and strength and conditioning coach Ali Kershner has crafted individual plans.

Players stay in touch

Returning players have created workout videos for the freshmen: guards Agnes Emma-Nnopu and Jana Van Gytenbeek and forward Cameron Brink.

Jana and sophomore forwards Fran Belibi and Ashten Prechtel, who all live in Colorado, have worked out together, sometimes joined by other teammates.

Weekly calls on Tuesdays feature speakers such as SWBB alums Nneka Ogwumike, ’12; and Susan King Borchardt, ’05; along with retired WNBA great Kara Lawson, Duke’s new head coach; and others.

The players also stay in touch through small group Zoom calls. They have to be timed just right because Agnes lives in Victoria, Australia, which is 17 hours ahead of PDT. The staff meets via Zoom, too. “Zoom is our new best friend,” Kate said.

Social unrest adds to issues

On top of coronavirus and all the havoc it has caused, the team is acutely aware of the social unrest sweeping the country as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The players have had some tough conversations around this issue. Each week an individual player shares her thoughts in a Facebook video.

It’s “a tremendous learning and growing process. I’m proud of our team,” Kate said.

Two new coaches

Here’s yet another wrinkle. The team has two new assistant coaches, Katy Steding and Britney Anderson.

Katy,’90, head coach Tara VanDerveer’s first signed recruit, helped lead the team to its first national championship her senior year. She played professionally before becoming a coach, most recently at the University of San Francisco. She and her husband, John, have moved closer to Stanford.

Britney comes from coaching at her alma mater, Virginia Tech. She and her mother were on her way to Stanford as Kate spoke.

Katy and Britney succeed assistant coaches Lindy La Rocque and Tempie Brown. Lindy is head coach at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, her hometown.

Tempie moves, stays home with kids

Tempie has stepped away from coaching to be more involved with her family. She and her spouse have moved to Michigan, where her spouse has a new job. Tempie is a stay-at-home mom with their two youngsters, ages 4 and 1.

She’s doing well and stays in touch with her Stanford colleagues.

In the meantime, Kate has had to help her two daughters, ages 9 and 5, with their at-home schooling. It didn’t go well at first, she said, joking that she realized she’s a better coach than elementary school teacher.

Kate gave the interview while on vacation with the girls.

Back to sports, Kate said “it’s really sad” that Stanford Athletics made the tough decision to eliminate 11 varsity sports at the end of the 20-21 academic year for financial reasons. “These are our family members,” she said.

Uncertainty for international students

Adding to the uncertainty is the status of the team’s two international players, Agnes and senior forward Alyssa Jerome, who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said that international college students might not be allowed into the country if classes are online only. Stanford, along with other schools, has asked the department to change that stance, Kate said. (That policy was rescinded July 14.)

“We are hopeful of returning (to campus) in the fall, (but) we don’t know,” she said. Classes start Sept. 14.

“We’re trying to keep everybody healthy” in all ways. The players are getting out the message to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distance.

“There’s so much uncertainty,” she said, summing up the current outlook.

Nevertheless, the team has adopted “Widen the gap” as this year’s theme. It means widening the gap between SWBB and its competitors.

Photos from Stanford Athletics

May 14, 2020

Virtual spring banquet a time for thanks, recognition

To say that this year’s Stanford women’s basketball banquet on May 12 was unusual would be an understatement.

Yes, the format was similar to past banquets with head coach Tara VanDerveer serving as emcee. In the process, she thanked all the Stanford people who support the team, starting with university and Athletic Department administrators and ending with the interns and student managers.

Nevertheless, it was all different. No alumni center. No round tables seating 10 people. No lavish buffet. No hobnobbing before and after.

Everything is virtual

Instead it was all virtual. Everything appeared on viewers’ screens with head shots of some people and Zoom shots of everyone else.

“How quickly our lives have changed,” Tara said in her opening remarks. Because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the SWBB season was cut short before the NCAA tournament, the nation was ordered to shelter in place, and students were sent home to complete their classes online.

No one knows when things will return to some semblance of normal.

Many accomplishments for the team

Meanwhile, Tara ticked off the team’s accomplishments. Among the many were winning 20 or more games for the 19th year (27-6), making the most 3-pointers in Pac-12 history (162) and placing nine players on the Pac-12 academic honor roll.

She introduced her surprise “Bear-buster” guest, Shannon Coffee, ’19, who was in her Ohio home after playing professionally in the French-speaking area of Switzerland. Tara was referring to Shannon’s 3’s that helped Stanford defeat Cal last year.

One of her thank you’s went to Tony and Linda Meier, who gave a pool party for the team in September.

Freshmen cited

Next she began introducing each player by class, starting with the freshmen. As they were named, they were seen at home along with photos of them as pre-schoolers.
n  Forward Fran Belibi: consistent attitude and effort.
n  Guard Haley Jones: savvy and versatile. After being injured for part of the season, she’s expected to be at 100 percent in the fall.
n  Guard Hannah Jump: 43 3’s. Tara added that she would love to see a 3-point shooting contest between Hannah and Karlie Samuelson, ’17, another 3-point hotshot.
n  Forward Ashten Prechtel: second on the team in blocks, 31.

Sophomores come next

Next came the sophomores.
n  Guard Jenna Brown: a hard worker in practice.
n  Guard Lacie Hull: second on the team in free-throw percentage.
n  Guard Lexie Hull: started every game, the leading rebounder (six per game) with the most steals.

Juniors get face time

After a slide show of various non-game team activities, Tara introduced the juniors.
n  Forward Maya Dodson: came back to play in the last nine games after rehabbing an injury for 10 months.
n  Forward Alyssa Jerome: an unselfish player.
n  Guard Kiana Williams: the team’s leading scorer (15 points per game) who started every game and garnered numerous honors.
n  Guard Estella Moschkau: a great practice and team player, she’ll graduate in August and will complete her final year of eligibility at the University of Wisconsin.
n  Guard Anna Wilson: an academic senior, she’ll be back as a red-shirt next year.

Assistant coaches introduced

The assistant coaches were next, starting with Lindy La Rocque, who has moved to UNLV as head coach, where she finds “a new challenge every day,” she said.

Assistant coach Tempie Brown coordinates recruiting. She also was named this year’s winner of the staff award honoring the late Dee Dee Zawaydeh, who ran the SWBB office for 30 years.

In addition to her other duties, associate head coach Kate Paye is good for a last-minute play, Tara said.

Seniors have their say

Finally the seniors appeared and had a chance to speak.
n  Guard Mikaela Brewer, the team’s first Canadian, missed 25 games because of an injury and has written a novel. She thanked the coaches and her teammates for their support during her struggles with mental health.
n  Guard DiJonai Carrington, despite playing only the first five games and missing the rest because of injury, had many accomplishments. DiJonai responded by saying what she’ll miss about each player.  (It wasn’t mentioned that because she missed so many games, she’s eligible for another year and hopes to transfer to either UConn, Baylor or Oregon.)
n  Forward Nadia Fingall also missed games because of injury but showed improvement from last season in every category. She had thanks for everyone, including fans.

“We’re going to be really good”

“We’ll miss you,” Tara said to the seniors. Looking ahead to next season, she recognized the three highly regarded recruits, Cameron Brink, Jana Van Gytenbeek  and Agnes Emma-Nnopu.

“We are going to be really good,” Tara said about the 2020-21 team, with a “tough Pac-12 season.”

The program lasted just over an hour. The traditional video of season highlights wasn’t available then, but it’s on the Fast Break Club site, www.stanfordfbc.org, where it can be enjoyed more than once.

March 24, 2020

Thanks for the memories, Part 2 of 2

After the Stanford women’s basketball team had completed the pre-conference season with an 11-1 record, senior forward Nadia Fingall helped the team get the Pac-12 season off to a good start with 20 points, her season high, in the 77-58 home victory over Washington State on Jan. 3.

Her accomplishment came almost exactly a year after she had suffered a torn ACL at home against USC on Jan. 4, 2019.

After the team beat Washington 77-56 at home on Jan. 5, the players celebrated in the usual way by tossing victory balls into the crowd.

Tara joins the team and Stanford Soul Line Dancers to celebrate after the Washington game. (John Lozano/ISIPhotos.com)
Players join in on line dance

The celebration became more joyous when some members of the Stanford Soul Line Dancers, who had entertained at halftime, joined the players for a spontaneous line dance at center court. Even head coach Tara VanDerveer got in on the fun.

Yet another win came Jan. 10 when Stanford sailed over Cal 73-40 in the first round of the Battle of the Bay.

The game had a festive air starting before the game when fans could avail themselves of freebies like pens, pompons, rally towels, glow sticks and lighted head bands. The latter two items cast a red glow throughout Maples as the lights were dimmed for introduction of the starters.

Freshmen help to beat Cal

The freshmen played a major role in the win. One more point from them would have tied Cal’s total output, and two more would have defeated the Bears.

Guard Haley Jones with 17 points, forward Ashten Prechtel with 13, forward Fran Belibi with 6 and guard Hannah Jump with 3 combined for 39 points. That was more than half of the team’s total, yet the four rookies played just under of third of the total minutes.

More festivities came during halftime, when the women’s soccer team was honored for its second national championship in the past three years.

Following the game, it was announced that Tara had just won her 500th conference game, the most by any Division I coach with one women’s basketball team.

After Stanford won round two of the Battle of the Bay by defeating Cal 79-65, Haley was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time.

Journeying north, Stanford split a pair of games, losing 87-55 to Oregon on Jan. 16 and defeating Oregon State 61-58 on Jan. 19.

Injury at OSU takes Haley out for season

The latter win proved costly as Haley suffered an injury that kept her out for the rest of the season.

Hannah hugs Ashten as Nadia (4) and Fran add their congratulations. (Stanford Athletics)
It took overtime, but Stanford defeated Colorado 76-68 at home on Jan. 24. With less than 2 seconds to go in regulation, Colorado was 64-62, but Ashten took the inbound pass and made a layup to tie the score.

Senior guard Mikaela Brewer was in uniform for the first time but didn’t play. Junior forward Alyssa Jerome was in street clothes along with senior guard DiJonai Carrington and junior forward Maya Dodson.

Defeating Utah 82-49 at home on Jan. 24 was a lot easier. Among the stat sheet highlights were only five turnovers, compared with Utah’s 16.

Mikaela played for the first time. She entered with game with about two minutes to go and snared a rebound.

1990 national championship team honored

The afternoon started on a celebratory note as players and staff from SWBB’s 1990 national championship team were saluted at center court.

At the Behind the Bench afterward, associate head coach Kate Paye called for a moment of silence in memory of retired NBA great Kobe Bryant, who, with his daughter and seven others, had died in a helicopter crash in Southern California earlier in the day.

A trip to the Evergreen State netted two wins: 58-41 over Washington on Jan. 31 and 71-49 over Washington State on Feb. 2.

After enduring a 79-69 home loss to UCLA on Feb. 7, the Cardinal rebounded with a 79-59 victory over USC on Feb. 9, also at home.

During the game, the volleyball team was honored for its second consecutive national championship and its third in four years.

Seniors and their families gather with Tara at center court on Senior Day. (Stanford Athletics)
Senior Day celebrated after USC win

Afterward, the four seniors were honored. Even though two more home games were scheduled, this one was more convenient for the families of DiJonai, Mikaela, Nadia and guard Anna Wilson.

Venturing to the mountain schools, Stanford returned with a 97-64 score over Utah on Feb. 14 and 69-66 over Colorado on Feb. 16.

These two games marked Maya’s first for the season. Although her minutes were limited, she scored 7 points against Utah and 6 against Colorado.

Everyone celebrates as her teammates swamp Kiana (seen above the ref's head) after her game-saving heroics against Colorado. (Cliff Grassmick/Boulder Daily Camera)
Kiana makes historic scores against Colorado

The Colorado game was one that likely will go down in SWBB history thanks to junior guard Kiana Williams. With a mere 13 seconds to go, she hit a game-tying 3, then stole  the ball and made a 3 from about 40 feet out with just four seconds to go.

Another home win came Feb. 21 – a tight 63-60 defeat of Oregon State.

Oregon came away with a 74-66 win on Feb. 24. In this game, sophomore guard Lexie Hull had a team-high 27 points, the bulk of them coming from her career-high six 3’s

Stanford then traveled to the desert, where it lost a 73-72 heartbreaker to Arizona on Feb. 28 but defeated Arizona 55-44 on March 1.

That wrapped up the regular season, but it ended with some conference honors for the Cardinal. Kiana and Lexie were named to the All-Pac-12 team. Lexie was named to the All-Defensive team, with honorable mentions for Kiana, Nadia and sophomore guard Lacie Hull.

Fran and Ashten merited honorable mentions for the All-Freshman team.

Entering the Pac-12 tournament, the team delivered a birthday present to Kate by beating Oregon State 68-57 on March 6. It followed that up with a 67-51 defeat of UCLA, avenging its regular season loss.

Nadia makes football-like pass to Fran

That game featured another memorable play when Nadia was to inbound the ball under the UCLA basket. She did so with a vengeance, hurling the ball to Fran nearly the entire length of the court, enabling Fran to make an easy layup.

Oregon knocked off the Cardinal 89-56 to capture the Pac-12 championship on March 8.
Afterward, Lexie and Kiana were named to the All-Tournament team.

Four days later, on March 12, Tara met with the team for the last time. There were tears aplenty as this group of players realized they would never play together again.  

And in keeping with Stanford’s order to close the campus because of the coronavirus, they were all on their way home that evening.

As the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion reported March 15, Mikaela and Nadia have completed their last year of eligibility and will graduate. However, Anna has already applied for a fifth year, or redshirt, and DiJonai is expected to do the same. One scholarship is available for next year.

Now that this 27-6 season is over, we can look forward to the promise of next season. Assuming life has returned to something more normal, the 2020-21 team will start summer classes on June 22, arriving a few days before that.

It'll be without assistant coach Lindy La Rocque. Stanford announced on March 18 that Lindy will become head coach at UNLV in her hometown. She will be missed.

March 19, 2020

Thanks for the memories, Part 1 of 2

The Stanford players always supported and cheered for their teammates. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

With apologies to T.S. Eliot, this is the way the season ends: “not with a bang but a whimper.”

The Stanford women's basketball season had been filled with memorable plays and games, but it  abruptly ended March 12 when the NCAA announced that it was canceling both the men’s and women’s tournaments because of the spreading coronavirus. 

Other amateur and pro sports also were shut down, along with much of the rest of the world.

After an 89-56 loss to Oregon in the March 8 final of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, the team was expecting a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and a chance to host the first two rounds.

Instead, it had to settle for its 27-6 overall record, 14-4 in the conference.

Thus the players, especially the seniors, the staff and the fans were greatly disappointed that there would be no more games this season.

Freshmen bolster hopes for team

Tara is flanked by the freshmen, from left: Haley, Hannah, Fran, Ashten. (Stanford Athletics)
Everyone had high hopes for this team even though it was relatively young but with a highly promising freshman class with guards Haley Jones and Hannah Jump along with forwards Fran Belibi and Ashten Prechtel.

Fans got their first look at the team during an open practice Oct. 26. Afterward, head coach Tara VanDerveer said, “We’re going to have a good year.”

With the team ranked third in the AP poll behind Oregon and Baylor, the players gave an enticing preview of coming attractions by hosting a Chinese team, Beijing Normal, and defeating their guests 100-58 on Oct. 29.

And perhaps in a preview of coming un-attractions, three players were unavailable: Haley, senior guard Mikaela Brewer, who was wearing a walking boot on her left foot; and junior forward Maya Dodson, recovering from an injury sustained the previous season.

Stanford hosts Team USA in exhibition
Stanford and Team USA players get together before  the game. (Bob Drebin/ISIPhotos.com)
A sterner test faced the team in another exhibition Nov. 2. This time the guest was Team USA, on a tour of top colleges to get ready for the 2020 Olympics. Among the WNBA greats on Team USA was esteemed Stanford alum Nneka Ogwumike, ’12.

She had game highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds in just over 27 minutes, thus upping her Maples win-loss record to 65-0 as Team USA won 95-80.

Haley was able to play, but Maya and Mikaela were still unavailable. It would be months before either of them returned.

Games that counted started Nov. 5 when the Cardinal routed visiting Eastern Washington University 92-27.

Stanford, USF play in Warriors’ Chase Center

Stanford, technically hosted by the University of San Francisco, made Bay Area basketball history by playing the first college game ever in the Golden State Warriors’ shiny new Chase Center in San Francisco on Nov. 9.

Stanford won that one 97-71, led by sophomore guard Lexie Hull with 27 points. Also in double figures were senior guard DiJonai Carrington with 16 and junior forward Alyssa Jerome with 11.

Chalking up another win, Stanford defeated its Northern Colorado visitors 90-36 on Nov. 14. In what became a ritual before every game, Fran delivered a dunk.

Sophomore guard Lacie Hull led all players with 19 points.

It takes OT to beat Gonzaga

Winning was far more difficult Nov. 17 when Stanford eked out a 76-70 home win over Gonzaga in overtime. Lexie helped make the win possible with 8 points and an important rebound in the final three minutes of OT. Senior guard Anna Wilson helped, too, with three free throws during the final minute or so.

Junior guard Kiana Williams led the team with 22 points, while Lexie had 20 and Haley had 11.

Still at home, Stanford beat Buffalo 88-69 on Nov. 24. Lexie wound up with 21 points, and Kiana had 14. Ashten had her first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Three games, three wins during Thanksgiving break

The team spent Thanksgiving weekend at a tournament in Victoria, B.C., Canada, and returned with three wins: 83-78 over California Baptist on Nov. 28, 77-59 over Syracuse on Nov. 29 and 67-62 over Mississippi State on Nov. 30.

Senior forward Nadia Fingall was named the tournament’s MVP, and Haley was named to the all-tournament team. Her accomplishments in Victoria led to her being named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

However, DiJonai didn’t play at all, nor did she play any games after that. Her hustle was sorely missed, but she exhibited leadership throughout the season.

Estella (left) and DiJonai like what they see in the Ohio State game. (Don Feria/ISIPhotos.com)

Back home, the team upped its record to 9-0 with a 71-52 over Ohio State on Dec. 15. It was the 1,100th win in program history. The victory propelled Stanford to No. 1 in AP’s weekly poll.

Although the team’s ranking moved up and down throughout the season, it never fell below No. 8 and finished at No. 7.

Lexie makes seven steals against Ohio State

Among highlights in this game, Lexie had a career-high seven steals while adding 13 points. Haley had a team-high 15 and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second time. Also in double figures were Fran with 13 and Kiana with 13.

As had become her habit, Hannah made three 3’s in seemingly effortless fashion – just catch and shoot – swish.

Yet another home win came Dec. 18 when Tennessee fell 78-51. During the fourth quarter, Kiana made a free throw that gave her 1,000 points for her collegiate career, the 41st player to do so in the program’s history.

Playing in all 33 games, she led the team with a total of 494 points, an average of 15 points per game.

Going on the road, the team suffered its first loss, 69-64, at the hands of Texas on Dec. 22.

Memorable play in win over UC Davis

Back from the holiday break, the Cardinal defeated UC Davis 67-55 at home on Dec. 28.
One of the game’s more memorable moments came during the second quarter. Fran blocked a shot, Lacie grabbed the rebound, took a few steps and hurled the ball to Fran, who scored, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Haley, trailed by Nadia, takes the ball upcourt. (Karen Ambrose Hickey/Stanford Athletics)
Haley had her first career double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Thus the team ended the pre-conference season with an 11-1 record as it geared up for Pac-12 competition.

Next: Part 2, the Pac-12 season

February 26, 2020

Bright spots in loss to Oregon

Players on the bench celebrate a good play. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

If there’s such a thing as a moral victory in Stanford women’s basketball team’s 66-74 home loss to Oregon on Feb. 24, it’s that the score was a big improvement over the 55-87 pasting the Cardinal endured in Eugene on Jan. 16.

Thus Stanford held Oregon to 13 fewer points and narrowed the gap to 8 points.

Although news coverage was all about the Ducks’ Sabrina Ionescu and her ongoing records, sophomore guard Lexie Hull had a good night, too. She scored a team-high 27 points, the same as Oregon’s Satou Sabally.

Fired up, Lexie runs down the court. (Stanford Athletics)
Lexie pours in six treys

The bulk of Lexie’s points came from her career-high six 3-pointers. She tallied five rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and no turnovers in 35 minutes.

Junior guard Kiana Williams also was in double figures with 14 points, including two 3’s. She added three rebounds, four assists but had three turnovers in 39 minutes.

While they were the only Cardinal players in double figures, five others scored.

In all, the team had 11 3’s. Besides Lexie’s six and Kiana’s two, freshman forward Ashten Prechtel had two, and senior forward Nadia Fingall had one.

A determined Nadia goes for a layup. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Stanford snares more rebounds

Stanford out-rebounded Oregon 36-34. Each team had 13 assists. Oregon had 13 turnovers, Stanford 12.

The first quarter ended 8-18 in Oregon’s favor, largely because  Stanford shot a miserable 17.6 percent, while the visitors shot 50 percent.

Stanford’s percentage rose to 30 at the half, but Oregon led 22-32. By then the Cardinal had had no opportunities at the free-throw line but had held Sabrina to 6 points and four rebounds.

The third quarter found the Cardinal in an 18-point hole, 38-56. The home team actually outscored the visitors 28-18 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough. The Cardinal shot 39.1 percent for the game, the Ducks 48.2 percent.

Sabrina rewrites records

Sabrina had had a hectic day. In the morning, she spoke at the Los Angeles memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, who were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash in Southern California last month.

She reportedly was suffering flu-like symptoms when she arrived at Maples and didn’t come out for warm-ups.

Nevertheless, she raised her ongoing Division I NCAA record (men and women) of triple-doubles to 26 with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists; passed 1,000 career rebounds (1,003) and became the first player to pass 2,000 points (2,467) and 1,000 assists (1,041), according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Besides Nadia, Lexie and Kiana, the starters were junior forward Maya Dodson and sophomore guard Lacie Hull. Three guards – senior DiJonai Carrington, sophomore Jenna Brown and freshman Haley Jones – were still unavailable.

Stephen Curry (in green shirt) and Russell Wilson join Tara and the team in the locker room. (Stanford Athletics)
Warriors’ Curry attends game 

Maples was roaring with 6,511 fans, most for Stanford but a substantial number for Oregon. Among the latter was Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who sat courtside behind the Stanford basket. Anna Wilson's brother, Russell, was there with his wife to support Stanford.

The evening began with a well-received rendition of the national anthem by a chorus of youngsters from Bullis Charter School of Los Altos, who warmed up in the east concourse before the game.

Because it was the Breast Cancer Awareness game, Stanford’s home white uniforms were trimmed in pink. Stanford Medicine gave out free pink socks and pompons before the game.

Halftime was highlighted by a man who made a Copy the Cardinal trick shot – a free throw while seated on the floor. He made it on his first try and won $300. Usually the prize is $100, but this shot hadn’t been made this season until now.

Record assures a tournament bye

This loss to Oregon leaves Stanford with a 24-4 record, while Oregon is 26-2. It’s 15-1 in the Pac-12 
Conference, while Stanford is 13-3. Nevertheless, Stanford is assured of a first-round bye in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

This was Stanford’s last regular-season home game, but the team is hoping for a high NCAA tournament seed that would allow it to be a host for the first two rounds.

Before then, the Cardinal will travel to the desert to face Arizona at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 and Arizona State at 11 a.m. March 1. Pac-12 networks will televise both games.