January 30, 2016

Lili's hot start paces team to victory

 After two weekends on the road that wound up 2-2, the Stanford women’s basketball team returned home to rack up a satisfying 69-53 victory over the University of Washington on Jan. 29.

Abandoning its penchant for slow starts, the team surged to a 26-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Junior guard Lili Thompson led the way, scoring the team’s first eight points and finishing the quarter with five 3-pointers and another basket for 17 points. When she made her fifth 3 with just over a minute to go, the crowd went wild.

The crowd of 2,858 also gave her a standing ovation when she left the game for good near the end of the fourth quarter. By then she had amassed 27 points plus seven rebounds and one assist in 32 minutes.

Thus she put up more points than she had in the previous three games and just missed her career high of 28 points scored on Nov. 20, 2014, against Texas.

It was far more than a one-woman show. though. Junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall and sophomore guard Brittany McPhee had 12 points each. Junior guard Karlie Samuelson had 10, including two free throws after a technical was called on the Washington coach late in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Kaylee Johnson did her part with a game-high and season-best 14 rebounds and matched her career high with four assists.

The starting lineup featured Lili, Bird, Karlie, Kaylee and junior guard Briana Roberson.

Eight players, including the starters, Brittany, freshman guard Marta Sniezek and freshman forward Alanna Smith, saw most of the action. Marta had a career-high six assists. Senior guard Alex Green, senior forward/center Tess Picknell and freshman guard Alexa Romano came off the bench to close out the game.

Junior forward Kailee Johnson was unavailable.

The band, Dollies, cheerleaders and Tree were on hand to provide support. Halftime entertainment featured the San Juan Sensations, a girls dance troupe.

Besides the five 3’s from Lili, Karlie added two. Brittany had one to raise the total to eight. She scored 10 of the team’s 14 points in the second quarter.

Next up are Washington State on Jan. 31 and Cal on Feb. 2, both at home.

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