January 7, 2015
Utah falls to Stanford
Completing the opening round of Pac-12 competition, the Stanford women’s basketball team defeated Utah 55-44 on Jan. 5 in Maples Pavilion.
With a 5 p.m. start time on a Monday, the crowd numbered only 2,782, but the band, cheerleaders, Dollies and Tree were on hand to lend their support.
All 15 players were available, and 13 played.
Cold shooting in first half
The game started slowly with the first half ending 20-14 in Stanford’s favor. Utah shot 20.7 percent, while Stanford was only slightly better at 26.7 percent.
However, Stanford upped its shooting to 50 percent in the second half while holding Utah to 35.7 percent. For the game, Stanford averaged 36 percent, Utah 28.1 percent.
Several times during the first half Stanford fans registered their disapproval when they thought fouls should have been called on Utah. However, the officiating got tighter in the second half. Stanford finished the game with 12 fouls compared with Utah’s 20.
The starting lineup was familiar with senior guard Amber Orrange, sophomore guards Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson, senior forward Bonnie Samuelson and freshman forward Kaylee Johnson.
Amber, Lili help lead team to victory
Amber led the team with 17 points plus seven rebounds, one assist and one steal. Lili was next with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Also recording seven rebounds were Kaylee and Bonnie.
Kaylee had one of her better scoring outings with 7 points to go with her rebounds plus a team-high four blocks along with one assist and one steal.
When it came to blocking, freshman guard Brittany McPhee was right behind Kaylee with three in only 10 minutes. She added 2 points, one rebound and one steal.
As a team, the Cardinal had eight blocks, while Utah had six. The Cardinal had a 4-2 advantage in steals.
Team cuts down on turnovers
After having 16 turnovers in the win over Colorado on Jan. 3, the Cardinal handled the ball more carefully, making 10. Utah had only eight.
The team made four of its eight 3-point attempts, with two by Lili and one each by Amber and Karlie. Utah was 4-for-21 beyond the arc.
Free-throw shooting improved to 75 percent after 57.1 percent against Colorado.
Redshirt junior guard Alex Green was the game’s featured player. When she first answered questions on the video board, she whispered her answers to Bonnie, who spoke for her shy teammate. Later Alex spoke for herself.
Trivia question on single-game scoring record
Another video board feature was a trivia question about who holds the SWBB record for most points in a single game. The choices were Candice Wiggins, ’08; Kate Starbird, ’97; and Jayne Appel, ’10.
The answer was Jayne. She scored 46 points in the Elite Eight game against Iowa State in the Cal regional on March 30, 2009, helping the Cardinal to a 74-53 victory and a trip to the Final Four in St. Louis.
Candice and Kate held the previous record of 44 points each. Kate set the mark against USC on Jan. 13, 1996. Candice matched it against UTEP on March 24, 2008.
Tara wears brace on left wrist
Fans may have noticed head coach Tara VanDerveer wearing a black brace on her left wrist during the Colorado and Utah games.
She told the Associated Press after the Utah game that she broke a bone in her left arm just above the wrist during practice on New Year’s Eve. “She stepped in front of 6-foot-5 [junior forward] Tess Picknell and fell backward, landing on the hand,” AP reported.
“ ‘I knew right away something was wrong,’ she said. ‘I’m so mad at myself, and I feel so embarrassed. I’m competitive is what it is,’ ” AP reported.
AP quoted her as saying she won’t need surgery or a pin. She also said that Tess apologized, but the 61-year-old coach blamed only herself.
Now that the team has started the month with a 2-0 Pac-12 record, it faces what could be tougher tests during a northern road trip.
It plays Washington at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 in Seattle and Washington State at 1 p.m. Jan. 11 in Pullman. Both games will be shown on the Pac-12 Network and aired by KZSU radio.