February 15, 2016

Heartbreak on Valentine's Day

The Stanford women’s basketball team CAMETHISCLOSE to upsetting visiting Arizona State in overtime Feb. 14, but an ASU basket at the very last second dealt the Cardinal a 63-61 loss.

Stanford trailed through the first three quarters: 19-23, 25-38 and 36-49, but rallied in the fourth to tie the game at 55-55 and send it into OT.

Part of the reason for the turnaround was that the team made a greater effort to get the ball to junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall, who wound up scoring a total of 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Playing 39 minutes, she added six rebounds, two assists, four blocks and two steals to her stat line.

3’s by Karlie, Bri come at critical times

Junior guard Karlie Samuelson logged the most minutes, 44, and contributed 14 points (4-of-8 on 3’s), four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Three-pointers by Karlie and junior guard Briana Roberson came at critical times in the game.

Junior guard Lili Thompson had what for her was an off night with only 4 points in 30 minutes. However, before fouling out at 4:03 in OT, she had added three rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Perhaps the main factors contributing to the loss were rebounds, which were 47-30 in ASU’s favor, and free throws, which were 11-5 in ASU’s favor.

On the brighter side, the Cardinal had more assists, 15-9; blocks, 7-1; and steals, 11-8; while committing fewer turnovers, 14-18.

The refs seemed to call a close game, especially in the first quarter, when Stanford got its fifth foul with the clock at 5:23 and the score locked at 8-8.  ASU then capitalized with two free throws.

Crowd gets into it with boos, cheers

At that point, the boos were long and loud from the crowd of 3,250. They continued through much of the game as Stanford partisans expressed their displeasure with some calls against Stanford and some perceived non-calls against ASU.

However, the crowd did its best to cheer the team as it rallied in the fourth quarter and kept things tight in OT.

Because it was Breast Cancer Awareness Day, the players wore pink sneakers and had pink stripes on the back of their socks. Their white warm-up T-shirts said what looked like “United in the fight” from my vantage point. Pink T-shirts were handed out to the first 250 fans to claim them at the marketing table.

More T-shirts were thrown into the crowd when the No. 13 women’s gymnastic team made a brief appearance after the first quarter.

Apparently because no senior dads were in the family section, no dad wore the pink tutu that had been handed down from one senior dad to the next starting with Jayne Appel’s father in 2010.

As the players went to the locker room after their early warmups, Bird, Bri and freshman forward Alanna Smith stayed a few minutes longer to practice their shots.

Past and present Dollies perform

When the Dollies took the floor at various times, a Dollies reunion meant that as many as 17 went through their dance routines.

Halftime entertainment featured the Sol Jumpers, a group of 13 girls and two boys who displayed their prowess at jumping rope.

Even though the loss was hard to take, it wasn’t as bad as the 31-49 shellacking that the team endured when it visited ASU on Jan. 4.

Next up are visits to Colorado at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 and Utah at 1 p.m. Feb. 21.

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