December 30, 2016

Anna makes debut as team romps

It will be a long time before Anna Wilson forgets the Stanford women’s basketball team’s 102-44 home victory over Yale on Dec. 28.

Not only did the freshman guard see her first action in a Cardinal uniform, but also she was one of four players in double figures, racking up 11 points plus one rebound, an assist and a steal in 17 minutes.

Playing the point, she entered the game to loud cheers with about six minutes to go in the second quarter and the score 32-9. Less than a minute later, she stole the ball on a Yale inbound pass and scored her first collegiate basket to even more cheers. She followed that up with a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go before the half.

As the team headed for the locker room for halftime, senior guard Karlie Samuelson draped her arm around her young teammate. By the time Anna was done playing in the second half, she had two more of the team’s 10 treys.

Finally recovered from an injury just before she was to play in the McDonald’s All American game last spring (with classmates-to-be forward Nadia Fingall and guard DiJonai Carrington), Anna was in uniform for the team’s pre-Christmas road trip to Tennessee and George Washington, but she didn’t play.

Four score in double figures

Besides Anna, those in double figures were Karlie with a game-high 21, senior forward Erica “Bird” McCall with 19 and junior guard Brittany McPhee with 15.

Karlie drives to the  basket on her way to 21 points. (Photo by Bob Drebin)
The bulk of Karlie’s scoring came from beyond the arc, shooting 4-of-5 on 3’s.  With just more than seven minutes to go in the third quarter, she made three in a row.

In addition to Karlie and Anna, players with successful 3’s were sophomore guard Alexa Romano with two and Bird one. As a team, Stanford was 10-of-18 on 3’s, or 55.6 percent. Overall, the team shot 54.5 percent, compared with the Bulldogs’ 26.6 percent.

The team had 49 rebounds, led by sophomore forward Alanna Smith with a career-high 13, to go with 7 points. Yale had 33 rebounds.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer used all 11 available players. Junior forward Kaylee Johnson was still out with a foot injury, but she was no longer wearing a boot. Freshman guard Mikaela Brewer had a boot on her foot.

Everyone played at least 11 minutes (sophomores Shannon Coffee, center, and Marta Sniezek, guard), and no one played more than 27 (Alanna). Everyone scored.

The starting lineup featured Bird, Karlie, Brittany, senior guard Briana Roberson and, for the first time, Nadia. Nadia contributed 8 points on 4-for-4 shooting, a career-high four assists, a block and six rebounds.

Defense helps to fuel win

Tough defense was a highlight of the team’s energetic play. Scoring began with three consecutive baskets made off Yale turnovers. Yale didn’t have its first basket until about seven minutes to go in the first quarter, making the score 8-2.

Several times the Cardinal disrupted Yale passes, contributing to the opponent’s 19 turnovers. For its part, the Cardinal had only seven turnovers. Stanford had 13 steals to Yale’s one. The assist edge for Stanford was 19-11.

Among the game’s highlights were savvy passes by Marta. Twice in the third quarter, she took an inbound pass and hurled it down court for baskets by Brittany and Bird.

The score was 24-6 after the first quarter, 50-18 after the second and 83-31 after the third. The final score marked the first time since a 100-71 win over Arizona on March 11, 2011, that the team had passed the century mark.

Alanna made sure of that by scoring with two minutes to go, capped off by a free throw by Brittany with just over a minute left.

Thus the team ended its pre-conference schedule and looked ahead to the Pac-12 season. It will start with a trip to the desert to face Arizona State at 3 p.m. Dec. 30 and Arizona at 1 p.m. Jan. 1.

And now for a bit of editorializing: As the crowd of 3,564 no doubt noticed, the game was missing the band, the Dollies and the Tree. Administrators have suspended all band activities because of some of its behavior over the years.

Speaking strictly as an SWBB fan, I appreciate the band’s enthusiasm and support of the team. Often it’s the largest student contingent at the games.

I missed its playing of “All Right Now” just before tipoff and after each win, followed by “Hail, Stanford, Hail.” (Recordings of the band playing those two songs did come after the Yale game.)

The band and its supporters have launched a letter-writing campaign to convince the administration to reverse its order to suspend the student-run band and reorganize it under professional leadership.

It’s urging people to write letters to President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Provost John Etchemendy and incoming Provost Persis Drell and email them to,,  and

Use the subject line “In support of the Stanford band” followed by the sender’s name.

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