February 27, 2016

Memorable moments at Maples

It was a night to remember as the No. 13-rated Stanford women’s basketball team dismantled No. 7 Oregon State 76-54 on Feb. 26.

As if the upset victory weren’t enough, the Cardinal also notched the SWBB program’s 1,000th victory, setting off a post-game celebration that included confetti, photos and lots of smiles and hugs.

According to Stanford Athletics, “Stanford is the seventh Division I institution to reach the 1,000-win plateau, joining Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, James Madison, Old Dominion, Texas and Stephen F. Austin.

“The Cardinal's overall record since its first varsity season in 1975 is 1,000-310 (.763), and 824-172 (.827) with head coach Tara VanDerveer at the helm.”

More reasons to celebrate

Junior forward Erica “Bird” McCall led both teams with a career-high 25 points, including the first, second and third 3-point shots of her career. Each time the crowd erupted in cheers.

Playing 26 minutes, Bird added five rebounds, one block and one assist to her stat line. She scored the team’s first 2 points after a crafty no-look pass from junior guard Karlie Samuelson.

Karlie had a career night of her own. She snared 12 rebounds, twice her previous high. With 13 points, including three 3’s, she posted the first double-double of her career. On top of that, she had two assists and one steal in 38 minutes.

Sophomore guard Brittany McPhee started in place of junior guard Lili Thompson, who reportedly was attending her grandfather’s funeral. She contributed 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, along with four rebounds and a career-high four assists plus three blocks.

Defense plays a big role

Tenacious defense by Brittany and her teammates was credited with holding the Beavers to 34.4 percent shooting. For its part, the Cardinal team had its best shooting game of the season, making 57.7 percent of its shots against a team whose field goal percentage defense was a nation-leading 30.9 percent.

The starting lineup featured Bird, Karlie, Brittany, junior guard Briana Roberson and sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson. Bri added one of the team’s eight 3’s, as did freshman forward Alanna Smith.

Except for freshman forward Shannon Coffee, who was in a boot, everyone got into the game.

Seniors help to seal the victory

Already wildly enthusiastic, the crowd of 3,613 cheered loudly when the team’s three seniors –- forward/center Tess Picknell and guards Alex Green and Kiran Lakhian -- entered late in the game. The cheers continued when Kiran made the team’s final basket with just over a minute left.

After tossing the traditional victory balls, the players were joined by the coaches and staff for the 1,000-win ceremony. Photo-taking was delayed because Bird was being interviewed by Pac-12 Bay Area TV commentator Mary Murphy. A few players flapped their arms bird-like behind the two as the interview continued.

Upon entering Maples Pavilion, fans received white T-shirts with Stanford Basketball and the university logo on the front. They could avail themselves of red pompoms, too.

Stanford will complete its regular season schedule by hosting Oregon and celebrating Senior Day at 11 a.m. Feb. 28.

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