November 21, 2016

Tournament tuneup?

Perhaps looking ahead to the coming week, when the Stanford women’s basketball team has three games in a row, head coach Tara VanDerveer substituted freely and frequently in the team’s 88-54 victory over Cal State Northridge on Nov. 20.

The team will spend the Thanksgiving holiday at a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, facing Northeastern, Wichita State and Purdue on consecutive days starting Nov. 24.

Tara altered the starting lineup somewhat, sticking with senior forward Erica “Bird” McCall, junior forward Kaylee Johnson, senior guard Briana Roberson and junior guard Brittany McPhee but substituting senior guard Karlie Samuelson for sophomore guard Marta Sniezek.

Karlie returns to starting lineup

Karlie hadn’t started previous games after recently recovering from a hairline fracture in her left forearm, but she was usually first off the bench.

However, Marta came in about halfway through the first quarter, joined by freshman forward Nadia Fingall.

By the end of the first half, when the score was 41-23, 11 of the 12 available players had seen action. The only exception was that night’s featured player, sophomore center Shannon Coffee, but she came onto the court only 30 seconds into the third quarter and wound up playing a total of seven minutes.

The most anyone played was 25 minutes, logged by Bird.

Shannon goes up for a score. (Bob Drebin/Isiphotos)
Shannon shines in short time

Shannon’s seven minutes were the least by anyone. She made the most of her time, though, with a career-high 8 points on 3-for-3 shooting from the floor and 2-for-2 shooting from the free-throw line. She also added three rebounds and a steal to her stat line.

Bird led the scoring with 17 points plus five rebounds, two assists and one block. Brittany and Nadia were right behind her with 14 points each in 21 and 16 minutes, respectively. Brittany also had one each in rebounds, assists and blocks plus two steals. Nadia had seven rebounds.

Two of Nadia’s classmates, guard DiJonai Carrington, playing 13 minutes, and guard Mikaela Brewer, playing 15 minutes, chipped in with 7 and 3 points, respectively.

The team had a total of 52 rebounds, compared with 29 by the Matadors. Kaylee, Nadia and sophomore forward Alanna Smith each had seven.

The turnover picture was improved with 13, while free throw shooting was admirable, 17 of 20, or 85 percent.

The three-point percentage was only 33.3, with five of 15. The threes came from Brittany, Karlie, Bird, Mikaela and Alanna.

Halftime entertainment was provided by Native Boogie and Beats, a group of Native American dancers in colorful costumes accompanied by two men in street clothes drumming and chanting. The dancers were mostly women and a few children.

After returning from Mexico, the Cardinal travel to Cal State Bakersfield to take on the team coached by Bird’s father at 7 p.m. The next home game is against UC Davis at 2 p.m. Dec. 4.

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