November 22, 2015

Cardinal settle the Colonials

Returning home from a successful road trip, the #15 Stanford women’s basketball team extended its season-opening record to 3-0 with an 84-63 defeat of #22 George Washington University on Nov. 21.

After trailing 15-19 to end the first quarter, the Cardinal outscored the Colonials 31-11 in the second to enter the halftime break with a 46-30 lead. The team never looked back after that, ending the third quarter with another 16-point advantage, 61-45.

Lili gets her first start this season. (Stanford Athletics)
Head coach Tara VanDerveer altered the starting lineup, inserting junior guard Lili Thompson in place of freshman guard Marta Sniezek. Lili immediately opened Stanford’s scoring with a 3-pointer, the first of nine for the team. She went on to score two more 3’s to finish the game with a team-high 21 points in 33 minutes. She also had five rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Also scoring double figures were starting junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall with 18, starting junior guard Karlie Samuelson with 17 and, off the bench, freshman forward Alanna Smith with 10.

Bird, Kaylee have 10 rebounds each

Bird and starting sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson had 10 rebounds each.

Karlie’s 17 points included 12 from four 3-pointers. Also scoring 3’s were two freshmen, Alanna and guard Alexa Romano, with one each.

Tara stayed mainly with an eight-player rotation: the four starters already named plus junior guard Briana Roberson. Playing considerable minutes off the bench were Alanna, Marta and sophomore guard Brittany McPhee.

Coming off the bench when victory was assured were Alexa, senior forward/center Tess Picknell, freshman forward/center Shannon Coffee and senior guard Kiran Lakhian.  Altogether, the bench scored 21 points, compared with GW’s 6.

Alex available for first time this season

Thirteen players were available. They included redshirt senior guard Alex Green, who was in uniform for the first time this season after rehabbing from ACL surgery last season. Junior forward Kailee Johnson was not in uniform.

Since this was the first regular home game, 2,854 fans got their first look at a new lead-up to introduction of the starters. Maples was darkened except for a spotlight on the Stanford logo at center court. This was followed by a new video featuring some highlight plays.

The fan contingent included the band, Tree and Dollies.

Also on hand was Karlie’s sister Bonnie, ’15, with their parents. Bonnie said she’s hoping to become an optometrist. She received a big round of applause when she was shown on the video board during the third quarter.

Clock issues briefly halted the game several times, but they weren’t significant.

GW had only two players in double figures, including 6’4’’ Jonquel Jones. She had 27 points -– including five 3’s -– and 17 rebounds.

Karlie goes up against GW's Jonquel Jones. (Stanford Athletics)
Karlie guards taller player

Despite being 4 inches shorter, Karlie -– known for her defense -- was eventually assigned to guard her. When Jonquel fouled out toward the end of the fourth quarter, the crowd applauded her in recognition of her performance.

Free throws, which hadn’t been a strong point in previous games, were better this time, with the team making 15 of 18, or 83.3 percent. GW made four of six, or 66.7 percent.

Overall, Stanford shot 46.2 percent, compared with GW at 29.4 percent. The taller Colonials had the advantage in rebounds, 50-46.

Stanford had fewer turnovers than GW, 12 vs. 14; and fewer fouls, 10 vs. 14. Stanford had more steals, 9 vs. 5; assists, 16 vs. 6; and blocks, 8 vs. 4.

The game had started at noon, apparently to limit traffic since the Big Game against Cal was slated for 7:30 p.m.

Next up: Santa Clara University at home at 7 p.m. Nov. 23.

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