December 30, 2015

Fine farewell to '15

The Stanford women’s basketball team completed its pre-conference schedule by defeating Chattanooga 73-30 at home on Dec. 28.

It was the team’s third consecutive rout at home, following victories of 93-38 over Cornell on Dec. 19 and 83-41 over Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 22.

This most recent win improved the Cardinal’s record to 10-2 and represented payback against a team to which it had lost 54-46 a year ago in Tennessee.

Once again stingy defense was given much credit for the victory. Chattanooga was limited to 21.1 percent shooting, while the Cardinal shot a more respectable 42.9 percent.

Everyone gets in on the fun

And once again the lopsided score gave all available players a chance to get into the game. The only missing player was sophomore guard Brittany McPhee, who was in street clothes.

As she has in several previous games, head coach Tara VanDerveer tapped the team’s 

Tara instructs the team during a timeout.
five juniors to start: guards Briana Roberson, Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson along with forwards Kailee Johnson and Erica “Bird” McCall.

Because Brittany was unavailable, the coach used eight players instead of nine for the standard rotation. Coming in quickly off the bench were sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson, freshman forward Alanna Smith and freshman guard Marta Sniezek.

Band, Dollies, Tree return

With the return of the band, Dollies and Tree –- absent for the holiday break –-the atmosphere was livelier.

Motley Q, a men’s barbershop quartet, got things going by singing the national anthem as written, the way sounds best.

Bird hit the game’s first basket at the 8:46 mark, and it was off to the races. Chattanooga didn’t make its first basket until the 7:27 mark, making the score 7-2.

The score continued to widen with the first quarter ending 21-9, the half 40-18, the third 51-25 and the final buzzer at 73-30.

The final difference would have been even greater if a Chattanooga player hadn’t sunk a desperation 3-point shot with just fractions of a second left on the clock.

Before that, the Cardinal went on a 22-0 run that started in the third and continued into the fourth, capped by the first of senior forward/center Tess Picknell’s two baskets late in the fourth.

According to Stanford Athletics, “The Cardinal has held 11 of 12 opponents this season to below 40 percent shooting, five below 30 percent and one below 20 percent. Stanford is now limiting its foes to convert at only a 30.6 percent clip, the second-best mark in the country.”

Bird has 18 points

Bird led all scoring with 18 points to go with eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals in 29 minutes.

Also playing 29 minutes, Lili had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal.

Karlie was the only other Cardinal in double figures, recording 10 points, three rebounds,

Karlie goes for the basket.

four assists and one steal in a team-high 32 minutes.

Indicative of its defense, the team had eight blocks and 11 steals.  Kaylee was the biggest disrupter with four steals to go with 8 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.

Similarly, the team had only nine turnovers, while Chattanooga had 21. However, free-throw success was a mediocre 61.5 percent, and 3-point shooting was 22.7 percent – five of 22. Bri made all three of her 3’s. Karlie made two of her 10.

Jeanette, Mel watch the game

During the third quarter, the video board showed Jeanette Pohlen, ’11, in the stands. With her were her mother, Cindy, and Kerry Blake, ’11, who was the team’s manager for four years. She shot Kerrycam videos of some of the team’s travels.

During the class of 2011’s four years at Stanford, the team went 63-0 at Maples. Afterward Jeanette said she plans to continue playing for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and to get married in July.

Yet another 2011 grad at the game was Melanie Murphy, who was spotted upstairs during the half. She’s coaching the varsity girls basketball team at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton. Her team has compiled a 7-1 record, with its only loss coming recently against Menlo-Atherton High, coached by Markisha Coleman, ’07.

The Cardinal will start Pac-12 play with a trip to the desert to play Arizona at 2 p.m. Jan. 2 and Arizona State at 5 p.m. Jan. 4. Both games will be televised by the Pac-12 network.

Photos by Hector Garcia-Molina, Stanford Athletics 

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