February 13, 2016

977 down, 23 to go

Fast and fun. That’s the best way to describe the Stanford women’s basketball team’s 82-58 victory over visiting Arizona on Feb. 12.
Judging by a trivia question posed during a timeout, it also became the SWBB program’s 977th overall win, leaving it just 23 wins short of 1,000.
The starters –- junior Briana Roberson at the point, juniors Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson at the other guard spots, and junior Erica “Bird” McCall and sophomore Kaylee Johnson in the post positions –- got off to a fast start, with all five scoring before 4 minutes had elapsed.
Stanford leads all the way
The Cardinal never looked back, leading 24-7 after the first quarter, 41-21 at the half and 67-36 after the third quarter. 
Kaylee was the only starter still on the floor when the fourth quarter began, but she was replaced less than 2 minutes later, leaving the game in the hands of players who don’t get much time.
All 14 players got into the game for at least 5 minutes, and no one played more than 22 minutes.
Balanced scoring
Scoring was balanced, led by Bird will 12, Lili with 11 and Kaylee with 10. They were closely followed by sophomore guard Brittany McPhee with 9; Karlie with 8; Bri, freshman forward Alanna Smith (with a career-high four blocks) and freshman guard Alexa Romano with 7 each.
Alexa’s 7 points came in only 8 minutes and included one of the team’s seven 3-pointers. The others came from Karlie and Brittany with two each, and from Lili and Bri with one each.
The speedy pair of Bri and freshman Marta Sniezek alternated at the point, zipping the ball up the court and dodging defensive players.
Marta has good game
Playing 18 minutes, Marta had one of her best games of the season, scoring 4 points by going aggressively to the basket and dishing out a leading five of the team’s 17 assists. Several times she made sharp passes to Alanna, who didn’t always score, but the connection promised good things to come. Karlie’s four assists were impressive, too.
The team’s 51.7 percent shooting average was its best this season. Indicative of a harassing defense, its 13 steals were a season high, too.
One final observation: It was fun watching the main rotation players on the bench rejoicing for their teammates’ accomplishments in the final quarter. One such moment came when redshirt senior Alex Green made her first basket of the season.
Next comes a more formidable opponent, Arizona State at 6 p.m. Feb. 14.

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