December 1, 2017

Stanford overcomes sluggish start to defeat Dons

When the Stanford women’s basketball team last visited the University of San Francisco on Dec. 22, 2010, head coach Tara VanDerveer notched her 800th career victory.

Now, nearly seven years later, the Cardinal again visited USF and gave Tara her 1,017th career win.

That earlier game was filled with hoopla as a busload of Stanford fans was at the ready with signs celebrating the expected milestone, which came with a 100-45 score. Assistant coach Lindy La Rocque was on that team.

Upon Stanford’s return Nov. 29, the score wasn’t quite so lopsided at 86-66, nor was the game quite so easy, especially in the early going.

Stanford trails in first quarter

The Dons gave the Cardinal fits during the first quarter, which ended 19-12 in the home team’s favor. Stanford outscored the Dons 12-9 in the second quarter but still lagged 28-24.

The tide really turned in the third quarter, when the Cardinal came out of the locker room with what seemed to be new determination. That quarter ended 56-49 for the Cardinal, which then outscored the Dons 30-17 in the final quarter, leading to the winning score of 86-66.

Much of the second-half resurgence was fueled by three-pointers. According to Stanford Athletics, “Stanford made 11 of its 21 attempts (.524) from behind the arc after intermission, a school record for 3-pointers in a half. The Cardinal made 15 in the game, tied for the third-most in program history and its highest total since 15 against Missouri State on Nov. 27, 2015.”

Kiana leads parade of treys

For the game, freshman guard Kiana Williams led the team with five 3’s, followed by junior forward Alanna Smith, junior guard Alexa Romano and sophomore guard DiJonai Carrington with three each. Sophomore guard Anna Wilson chipped in the other one.

Senior guard Brittany McPhee was in street clothes again because of what Stanford Athletics terms a right foot injury. This time, however, she wasn’t wearing a boot.

The starters were Alanna, DiJonai, Alexa, senior forward Kaylee Johnson and junior guard Marta Sniezek. By the time the final horn sounded, all 13 available players had seen action.

Alanna and DiJonai were the high scorers with 19 points each. Alanna also had 11 rebounds for a double-double. Thanks mostly to her 3’s, Kiana scored 17, while Alexa had 13.

Kaylee “pulled down 14 rebounds …, her highest total since Feb. 2, 2016 against Cal (16). She is now three shy of entering the school's all-time top 10 in that category,” Stanford Athletics reports. Kaylee also had 6 points, three assists and two of the team’s five blocks.

USF band no match for Stanford’s

Official attendance was only 775, with a good contingent of students. The USF band was in the balcony, but it was fewer in number and much lower in enthusiasm than the Stanford band.

Several dozen Cardinal fans were there. One of them was Brooke Smith Easter, ’07, who chatted with basketball administrator Amy Tucker at halftime.

Stanford greats, past and present: Amy, Jennifer, Molly, Tara, Kate 
Two other noteworthy alums were former Dons coach Jennifer Azzi, ’90, and the current coach, Molly Goodenbour, ’93.

The team takes its 5-3 record on the road again to play Baylor at 11 a.m. Dec. 3.

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