November 2, 2012

Team coasts into action with 117-33 victory

Corban University proved to be no match for the Stanford women’s basketball team in its season-opening exhibition game Nov. 1 at Maples Pavilion.

Corban, a Christian college in Salem, Ore., plays in Division II and was making its first foray (at least in my memory) into Maples. Its plucky players won’t soon forget the likes of the Cardinal, which outplayed them in every aspect of the 117-33 game.

Unlike some recent exhibition games, this one had a few more features to add to the festive feeling as the band, Dollies and Tree were all on hand. This year’s girly Tree boasts a bow on top and lipstick on her mouth – one of the more stylish Tree looks.

As part of the pre-game routine, the captains from both squads met with the referees at center court. Representing Stanford were three forwards: senior Joslyn Tinkle, redshirt junior Mikaela Ruef and junior Chiney Ogwumike.

Returning to the starting lineup were Joslyn, Chiney and sophomore point guard Amber Orrange. They were joined by sophomore forward Taylor Greenfield and junior guard Sara James. Junior guard Toni Kokenis, the other returning starter, was in uniform and took part in warmups but sat at the end of the bench throughout the game.

Announcer Betty Ann Boeving was back at the microphone, and sophomore Natasha von Kaeppler has returned to her managerial duties. The coaching staff remains the same with head coach Tara VanDerveer joined by associate head coach Amy Tucker and assistant coaches Kate Paye and Trina Patterson.

Likewise the support staff remains the same except for strength and conditioning coach Susan Borchardt, who is on a year’s leave of absence to join her husband, who’s playing pro basketball in Europe. She is being replaced by Kurtis Rayfield, who was her intern last year.

The game got off to a good start as Chiney won the tipoff, batting the ball to Amber. After a couple of trips up and down the floor, Joslyn started Stanford’s scoring barrage after getting a ball that Amber had stolen. Corban recorded its first basket at the 16:41 mark, making the score 8-2.

Tara began subbing with about 15 minutes to go in the half as redshirt freshman guard Jasmine Camp came in for Amber. In succession, sophomore forwards Bonnie Samuelson and Erica Payne came in, followed by Mikaela and freshman forward/center Tess Picknell.

Freshman forward Kiran Lakhian and freshman point guard Denia Ebersole entered the game with about a half-minute left, but saw more action in the second half.

Bonnie led the team in scoring with 27 points amassed in just 17 minutes. Most of those points came from making seven of her 12 3-point attempts. Sara was close behind with 24 points in 26 minutes – the most time on the team. Her total included four of nine 3-pointers made.

Also scoring in double figures were Joslyn with 15, Taylor and Chiney with 12 each and Amber with 10. Jasmine was the only player who didn’t score, but she contributed four assists.

Altogether, the team was 14 for 25, or 56 percent on 3-pointers. Besides Bonnie’s seven and Sara’s four, the total included two from Taylor and one from Kiran, the first of her college career. It also upped Stanford’s score to 100.

Overall the team shot 62 percent. It made 68.2 percent – 15 of 22 – of its free throws.

When it came to rebounds, Tess pulled down eight, followed by Chiney and Bonnie with seven each, Erica with six, Taylor with five, Joslyn with four, Amber and Sara with three each, and Denia and Kiran with one each for a total of 53.

Tess blocked two shots, while Chiney and Kiran each blocked one.

The team had 31 assists, led by Amber’s seven and Erica’s six. The team also had 14 turnovers and eight fouls.

The first half ended with the score at 68-10. It was becoming so lopsided that Stanford fans began clapping every time Corban scored. Corban amassed most of its points, 21 of 33, from seven 3’s, primarily because it couldn’t get past the defense by Stanford’s taller players.

Another reason might have been that Amber proved so adept at stealing the ball, swiping it eight times, often resulting in fast-break points.

Yes, it was only an exhibition, but it proved to be an enjoyable preview for the fans as well as a good way for the players to ease into action and to learn where they must improve individually and collectively. The coaches also had a chance to size up the players even though the competition wasn’t nearly as stiff as what lies ahead.

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