August 10, 2009

No more previews of Stanford’s talented tandem

It was a grueling weekend for Stanford freshmen Mikaela Ruef and Joslyn Tinkle as their Bay Pride team won its Aug. 8 game against the Lady Warriors 82-75 but lost its Aug. 9 game against San Francisco 73-65, thus being eliminated from Pro-Am contention at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco.

Joslyn scored 25 points in each game, while Mikaela added 5 on Saturday and 7 on Sunday. Joslyn also managed to stay out of foul trouble with three in each game. Mikaela had four in each game, but two of them on Sunday were intentional as BP staged a late rally against SF.

SF also had defeated BP earlier in the summer season. Sunday’s game was relatively close at the half as SF led 37-35. However, too many turnovers and ill-advised shots put BP too far behind to catch up despite the late rally. When BP’s athletic Nicolia Simmons of USF fouled out, the team’s chances dimmed, for she had been a solid team anchor along with the Stanford women.

Stanford fans in the small but loud BP cheering section got a preview of what could lie ahead for the next four years as SF’s Gennifer Brandon, a 6’3” Cal freshman, showed her considerable talents against Stanford’s two 6’3” freshmen. Cal freshman Talia Caldwell and junior Rachelle Federico were also on the SF roster. Then there was Cal’s Natasha Vital, whose point guard skills couldn’t be matched by either of the BP point guards. Her free-throw shooting also proved vital in the closing minutes.

Saturday’s game was surprisingly close even though the Lady Warriors had only five players to BP’s nine. In fact, the start of the game was delayed for 25 minutes as the LW waited for its fifth player to arrive. One reason why the game was so close is that Cal’s Alexis Gray-Lawson poured in 42 points, more than half of LW’s total of 75.

The cheering section for BP on Saturday included Stanford center Jayne Appel and guard JJ Hones, who are in summer school. The two seniors looked good, and both are looking forward to the team’s trip to Italy next month and the start of the season.

Mikaela’s parents and maternal grandparents were in the stands for both games. Her grandmother, who lives in Burlingame, sported a Stanford Grandma T-shirt. Mikaela’s mother said how pleased she is that her daughter and Joslyn have bonded as teammates and as friends. That rapport could serve the team well for the next four years.

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