Kaylee Johnson chose a good time to post two career highs for the Stanford women’s basketball team.
With the score 0-7 in favor of
on Jan. 10, the sophomore forward came off the bench with the clock at 6:36 in
the first quarter. Just 26 seconds later, she gave the team its first basket.
She went on to score all of the team’s 6 points until junior guard Karlie
Samuelson and sophomore guard Brittany McPhee hit successive 3’s. Colorado
|Kaylee (5) and Bri (10) go for a rebound. (Photo by Stanford Athletics)|
Logging 32 minutes, Kaylee recorded team- and career-highs of 17 points and four assists plus 11 rebounds and two of the team’s five blocks to help the Cardinal to a 71-56 home victory.
Also contributing to the win were three other players in double figures: junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall with 16, junior guard Lili Thompson with 12 and Karlie with 11.
Double-double duo of Kaylee, Bird
With Bird adding 11 rebounds to her stat line, she and Kaylee became the first SWBB duo with double-doubles since Chiney Ogwumike (29/15) and Mikaela Ruef (11/13), both ’14, in the 82-57 Sweet Sixteen victory over
on March 30, 2014. Penn State
Both have gone on to play professionally. Mikaela is with an Australian team, and Chiney is with the WNBA’s
Sun with fellow alum Kayla Pedersen, ’11. During this offseason she’s a women’s
basketball commentator for the Pac 12 Network. Connecticut
Not to be overshadowed, Lili logged the 1,000th point of her career at 3:08 in the second quarter, becoming the 36th SWBB player to do so. Fans waving handmade signs helped to celebrate her feat.
The first quarter ended in a 14-14 tie, but the team inched ahead to lead 28-21 at the half. Interviewed by the Pac 12 Network’s Mary Murphy before going to the locker room, head coach Tara VanDerveer was far from pleased with the team’s performance.
It was a physical game, especially on
part. The Buffaloes had 24 fouls, and two players fouled out in the fourth
quarter. Stanford cashed in on the fouls by making 23 free throws, but that
number represented only a 67.6 percent success rate at the line. Colorado
On the other hand, the Cardinal had only 12 fouls, yielding 4
points on 50 percent shooting at the line. Colorado
All 14 Stanford players were available, but only the usual nine-player rotation saw action because the game was so tight.
Speaking briefly during the post-game Behind the Bench,
was a little more upbeat than she had been at the half. “We’re excited about
our team’s improvement,” she said.
When Lili and associate head coach Amy Tucker preceded
Amy had a bit more to offer. “The best thing we’re doing is on the defensive
end. … We need to pick up our offense to match our defensive effort.” She added
that junior forward Kailee Johnson has “been very valuable this season,”
especially on defense.
|Amy listens as Lili speaks after the game. (Photo by Dave Cortesi)|
Lili thanked the fans for their support and gave credit to her teammates and the staff. It’s an honor to be in the company of the other members of the 1,000-point club, she said.
Lili cites tag team approach
Noting differences from her freshman year, Lili said, “We’re playing a lot faster” with a tag team approach. “When the other team gets tired, we’re not.”
As for the much-lamented 49-31 loss at
on Jan. 4, “We
didn’t execute our game plan,” she said. Arizona
After graduation, she sees the WNBA as a possible option, but she wasn’t quite as definite about becoming
president as she was in her freshman year. She’s still young, she said, but her
Stanford degree -- in science, technology and society with an emphasis on
innovation and organization -- will help. U.S.
For now she’s relishing “day in and day out just being with my teammates.”
The keys to balancing basketball and academic demands are “managing your time and communicating with your teachers” about when the team will be out of town, she said.
Discussing recruiting, Amy said Lili didn’t receive much focus from other colleges because she had moved from
Hawaii to while in high school. However, her
high school coach at Texas , alerted Stanford to her. Mansfield,
Freshman forward Alanna Smith, an Australian who’s the team’s first international player, first gained notice when her father sent Stanford a video of her. However, Amy said, the coaches had to assess Alanna in person, so she made an official visit to Stanford in September 2014. Because she had already graduated from high school, NCAA rules allowed her to work out.
After that, “we were confident that she would like Stanford. … She will have a great future here,” Amy said.
The team will take its 13-3 record (3-1 Pac 12) on the road to the
schools and then the Southern California schools
over the next two weekends. The team returns to the Farm to host Washington at 8 p.m. Jan. 29 and
at noon Jan. 31. Washington State