December 20, 2015

Cakewalk over Cornell

With everyone playing at least nine minutes and no one playing more than 19 minutes, the Stanford women’s basketball team easily defeated visiting Cornell 93-38 on Dec. 19.

With no starters taller than 6 feet and only 10 available players, the visitors were at a disadvantage right from the opening tip. On Stanford’s first possession, junior guard Lili Thompson launched a 3-pointer that kept the Cardinal ahead for the entire game, except for an early, 41-second tie.

Lili and her four classmates –- guards Briana Roberson and Karlie Samuelson along with forwards Kailee Johnson and Erica “Bird” McCall –- started for the Cardinal. Less than 4 minutes into the first quarter, the starters had racked up a 12-3 lead on 100 percent shooting.

It wasn’t long before the next four players –- freshman forward Alanna Smith, sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson, sophomore guard Brittany McPhee and freshman guard Marta Sniezek -- in the usual nine-player rotation sprang into action and continued to widen the lead.

Also coming off the bench in the first quarter were red-shirt senior guard Alex Green and senior forward/center 
Tess Picknell.
Alex plays tough defense, with Tess behind her. (Bill Dally, Stanford Photo)

Still-speedy Alex plays 14 minutes

Although Alex had seen very limited action in earlier games, this game marked her first significant playing time since recuperating from injuries. Although she didn’t score, she contributed a rebound, an assist and a steal in 14 minutes. Moreover, she seemed to be as speedy as she was before her injuries.

The first half ended with Stanford up 53-13.

The starters returned to open the third quarter, but all of them were done for the afternoon about midway through that period, which ended with a 72-28 advantage.

By early in the fourth quarter, all 14 players had gotten the nod from head coach Tara VanDerveer. In the meantime, those who had gone to the bench cheered loudly for their teammates.

One of their loudest cheers came when freshman guard Alexa Romano, who has played sparingly, made her first basket. She finished with 2 points, two rebounds and one rebound in 12 minutes.

For the first time since a road win over Oregon State in February, five players finished in double figures. Bird and Alanna had 12 each, Karlie and Lili 11 each and Kaylee 10. Almost there were Bri, Brittany and senior guard Kiran Lakhian with 9 each.

Kiran makes 75 percent of her 3’s

Kiran’s 9 points in her career-high 10 minutes came from shooting 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point line. Adding to the team’s total of 10 3’s were Karlie and Lili with three each and Bri with one.

Kaylee’s 10 points and team-leading 11 rebounds represented her first double-double of the season. It was the sixth of her career and her first in the past 23 games. She also had three assists, three blocks and a steal in 16 minutes.

Stanford dominated the stat line, leading 54-28 on rebounds, 20-9 on assists, 6-0 on blocks, 7-4 on steals and 49.2 - 22.6 percent in shooting.

The advantage applied to free throws, too, with Stanford making 21 of 24, or 87.5 percent, while Cornell made four of 12, or 33.3 percent. Stanford had eight turnovers, Cornell 11.

Next up: CSU Bakersfield comes calling at 2 p.m. Dec. 22. The team then gets a short break before returning to host Chattanooga at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 to conclude 2015 and the non-conference schedule. 

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