|Shannon, DiJonai, Nadia, Estella, Alyssa and Kaylee show off their turquoise uniforms. (Bob Drebin/ISIPhotos.com)|
The Stanford women’s basketball team showed improvement over its previous outings by defeating Cal State Bakersfield 57-34 in Maples on Nov. 19.
Although senior guard Brittany McPhee was still out and wearing a boot, sophomore forward Nadia Fingall returned to action after missing the UC Riverside game on Nov. 17.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer said after the game that Brit is doing well. “We’ll see her when she’s healthy.”
With Tara substituting rather freely, nine players logged 13 minutes or more, and all 13 available players contributed in some way.
Alexa leads the way with 13
Junior guard Alexa Romano led the team with a career-high 13 points, most of them coming from three 3-pointers.
Joining Alexa as a starter were senior forward Kaylee Johnson, junior forward Alanna Smith, junior guard Marta Sniezek and sophomore guard DiJonai Carrington. Kaylee and Brit, the team’s only two seniors, are its co-captains.
The Cardinal held the Roadrunners scoreless for almost the first four minutes of the game while logging 9 points. (The visitors are coached by Greg McCall, father of Erica “Bird” McCall, ’17.)
Besides Alexa, those making 3’s were sophomore guard Anna Wilson with three of her own, along with one by freshman forward Estella Moschkau for her first collegiate points.
After giving the ball away 19 times against Riverside, the team cut its turnovers to 14. It also had 44 rebounds to the Roadrunners’ 30, and 16 assists to the opponent’s three. Still, scoring was a bit dicey at 39.2 percent. At the free throw line, the team made 10 of 15, or 66.7 percent.
Team honors Native American Heritage Month
The team wore turquoise uniforms in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Ten Native Americans in colorful costumes performed traditional dances during halftime.
Following the game, fans heard from associate head coach Kate Paye and Tara at a Behind the Bench.
|Kate introduces Alyssa at the Behind the Bench. (Photo by Dave Cortesi)|
Kate was joined by freshman forward Alyssa Jerome, whom Kate called “one of our super freshmen. Alyssa is doing an awesome job, as are all the freshmen.”
Alyssa played for Canada during summer
Because Alyssa, who hails from Ontario, played with two Canadian national teams during the summer, she didn’t arrive on campus until Labor Day and practiced only twice before the team left for Italy. Nevertheless, she learned two positions, the 3 and the 4, in two days, a “very challenging” task, Kate said. “She takes it all in stride.”
Alyssa scored 4 points and snagged three rebounds during 17 minutes against the Roadrunners.
Answering fans’ questions, Alyssa said she started playing basketball in sixth grade after becoming too tall for soccer. Her advice to sixth graders regarding basketball is this: “Play because you love it.”
The hardest part of making the transition from international play to Stanford was the different terminology. Because she and her teammates work so hard, they “have to enjoy the process,” she said. “It’s been really special here,” and she enjoys the team.
Alyssa wants to be a doctor
Like so many SWBB players before her, the poised, well-spoken freshman said academics were important in her decision to come to Stanford. Her career goal is to become a doctor.
She was excited and intimidated to start against powerhouses Ohio State and UConn the previous weekend, she said, adding that she looks up to all of the upperclassmen.
Kate called her “pretty mature and polished.” Tara added, “Alyssa’s our freshman senior.”
Tara pleased with team’s progress
Assessing the game, Tara said she was pleased with everyone. “We’re making some progress. … You have to enjoy the grind of getting better. … In practice I see some amazing things.”
What she likes best about the team so far is that “they’re just outstanding young women. They care about each other. … They’re fun to be with.”
“I think this can be a great team” with work and unselfishness, she concluded.