July 23, 2011

End of the line at Kezar

The Stanford-dominated South Bay team put up a good fight but in the end was dealt a 100-95 overtime loss at the hands of the bigger, stronger San Francisco team in the first playoff round of Pro-Am competition July 23 at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco.

South Bay sorely missed the presence of junior forward Joslyn Tinkle, its leading scorer and rebounder. The team captain, who has averaged more than 30 points per game, was in Las Vegas with her family.

Freshman forward Taylor Greenfield was there but not in uniform because of a sore back. Freshman guard Alex Green, rehabbing a knee injury, was there for moral support, as she has been throughout the summer. Some other stalwarts were absent, leaving South Bay with only seven players.

The game was played in front of a good turnout of Stanford fans, who saw several lead changes. At the half, the score favored South Bay 51-47. During the second half, the team led by as many as 13 points, but San Francisco kept whittling that down to pull ahead.

South Bay trailed 85-90 with just 55.5 seconds to go but narrowed the gap to 90-91 with 19.1 seconds to go. A San Francisco free throw and a 2-point basket by South Bay’s Jessica Kellogg, who has played professionally in Spain, tied the game at 92-92 just before the final buzzer.

By then South Bay was down to five players because guard Markisha Coleman, ’07, and freshman guard Jasmine Camp had fouled out during regulation play.

With 3:11 to go in overtime and the score knotted at 94-94, freshman forward Erica Payne fouled out, leaving South Bay with only four players on the floor. Besides Jessica, they were Kelsey Shea of Cal and two Stanford freshmen --guard Amber Orrange and forward Bonnie Samuelson.

Bonnie led the team with 30 points. She was six for seven on 3-point shooting. I didn’t keep track of free throws per se, but if she missed any, it was only one. She also had three rebounds and a block.

Among the other Stanford players, Amber was next in scoring with 15 points to go with three rebounds and a steal. Jasmine had 6 points, one rebound and four steals, while Erica had 5 points, nine rebounds, a steal and two blocks. Markisha contributed 4 points, two rebounds and a steal.

The starting lineup featured Jasmine, Bonnie, Jessica and Markisha with Erica at center. Jessica filled in for Joslyn as captain.

Besides Bonnie’s laser-like 3-point and free-throw shooting, the game was notable for how fearlessly Amber and Jasmine drove to the basket. Bonnie and Erica had the unenviable task of guarding Cal’s bigger and stronger Talia Caldwell. Other Cal women playing for San Francisco included Natasha Vital, Lindsay Sherbert and Brittany Boyd.

Stanford fans got a bit of a scare when Bonnie was fouled and landed on her knee under the basket, but she bounced back to make her free throws. An assistant coach applied an ice pack to it during a timeout. After the game, she said it was OK.

As has been true throughout the summer, South Bay was plagued by turnovers and poor rebounding.

Still, the team delivered a lot of fun, exciting basketball for fans. It also provided an enticing look at what might lie ahead for the Stanford Cardinal when the entire team gathers in September and head coach Tara VanDerveer and her colleagues take over.

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