January 22, 2015

A tale of two halves

Despite a valiant effort to come back from a 17-point halftime deficit, the Stanford women’s basketball team came up just short, losing to Arizona State 60-57 at home on Jan. 19.

The loss came just as the Cardinal had moved up from No. 13 to No. 11 in AP rankings, while ASU had advanced from No. 14 to No. 13. The loss also meant that ASU and Oregon State have the only undefeated records in the Pac-12 conference.

With all 15 Stanford players available, only 10 saw action, but four were in the game for at least 30 minutes.

The starting lineup was the same as in recent games with senior guard Amber Orrange, sophomore guards Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson, senior forward Bonnie Samuelson and freshman forward Kaylee Johnson.

Rebounding greatly favors ASU

Stanford was down 39-22 at the half, in large part because of the discrepancy in rebounding, a trend that continued into the second half, ending with a 44-22 advantage for ASU.

Cold shooting also hurt, with Stanford at 29.2 percent compared with ASU at 51.5 percent in the first half. Those numbers came close to reversing in the second half with Stanford at 56 percent versus ASU at 26.1 percent. Stanford held a slight edge for the game, 42.9 percent versus 41.1 percent.

After the team came from the locker room for the second half, head coach Tara VanDerveer altered the starting lineup. The Samuelsons, Stanford’s sharp-shooters for 3’s, were replaced by sophomore guard Brianna Roberson and sophomore forward Erica “Bird” McCall.

Stanford proceeded to outscore ASU 35-21 in the second half. Stanford had a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime with a 3 with 2.6 seconds left. However, that wasn’t enough time to propel the ball from under ASU’s basket to make the score. Amber heaved a shot while still on ASU’s side of the court, but it fell short.

ASU defense limits 3-pointers

ASU’s reputation for limiting 3-point shooting proved to be true with the Cardinal making only three of 13, or 23.1 percent, of its shots beyond the arc. Bonnie, Lili and Bri each had one.

ASU made five 3’s. It made nine of 15 free throws, 60 percent; while Stanford made 12 of 15, 80 percent.

On the other hand, Stanford had only 10 turnovers compared with ASU’s 20 and had the edge in both blocks, 6-1, and steals, 6-5. Stanford had more fouls, 16-11, but several of them came in the final seconds in an effort to stop the clock and perhaps get the ball back.

Three players – Lili, Amber and senior forward Taylor Greenfield – led the team with 12 points each.

Amber plays 39 minutes

Amber logged the most time, 39 minutes, followed by Lili with 38, and Bri and Bird with 30 each.

The crowd of 3,546 started to get loud as the Cardinal cut its deficit to 13 points about two minutes into the second half. Things just got louder after that as the gap continued to narrow. It was down to 1 point, 47-46, with about five minutes to go, but ASU wouldn’t go away.

A look at the team’s record in close games to date might provide some perspective into the ASU loss:

Vs. UConn at home Nov. 17 Stanford won 88-86 in overtime.
Vs. Texas at home Nov. 20, Stanford lost 87-81 in overtime.
Vs. New Mexico there Nov. 24, Stanford won 70-65.
Vs. Washington there Jan. 9, Stanford won 60-56.
Vs. Washington State there Jan. 11, Stanford won 86-76 in overtime.

That’s a 4-1 record in close games before the ASU loss.

Before the game started, Tara, well known as a dog lover, stopped to chat with a sheriff’s officer and his tail-wagging black Lab K-9 partner before walking to the bench.

Tess featured on video board

Junior forward/center Tess Picknell was the game’s featured player, with factoids about her shown on the video board. One is that she plays the violin. The film and media studies major said she hopes to get into film production after graduation.

The game’s trivia question asked how many points Chiney Ogwumike, ’14, scored to set the Stanford career record. The choices were 2,642, 2,737 and 2,821. The answer was 2,737. It eclipsed the previous record of 2,629 set by Candice Wiggins, ’08.

Here’s some more trivia: The Cardinal had previously beaten ASU 16 consecutive times. ASU hadn’t won at Maples since head coach Charlie Turner Thorne, ’88, was a Cardinal herself.

Next for the Cardinal is a trip to Southern California for contests against UCLA at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 and against USC at 5 p.m. Jan. 25. Both will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

No comments:

Post a Comment