March 18, 2018

And on we go

The bench celebrates on of  Stanford's 11 three-pointers against Gonzaga.

Hosting the first and second rounds of the women’s NCAA tournament, the four seed Stanford took care of business and defeated 13 seed Gonzaga 82-68 on March 17.

After a quick three by Gonzaga, which stayed ahead for less than four minutes, the Cardinal took charge and never looked back. The first quarter ended with Stanford ahead 22-18. The lead widened to 47-36 at the half and 65-48 at the third quarter.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer stayed with the starting lineup that has been consistent for the last several games: Senior forward Kaylee Johnson, junior forward Alanna Smith, senior guard Brittany McPhee, junior guard Marta Sniezek and freshman guard Kiana Williams.

Starters lead the way

They shouldered most of the scoring load, led by Kiana with 21, Alanna with 20, Britt with 11, Marta with 7 and Kaylee with 6. The other major contribution came from sophomore guard DiJonai Carrington, who had 11. For the game, the Cardinal shot a torrid 50.8 percent. 

Alanna, who had half of the team's eight blocks, goes for one against a Gonzaga shooter.
Tough defense limited the Bulldogs to 41.1 percent.

Stanford was a sizzling 50 percent on threes, netting 11. Five were by Kiana, three by Alanna and one each by DiJonai, sophomore forward Nadia Fingall and freshman forward Alyssa Jerome.

As has been the case the last several games, sophomore guard Anna Wilson was in street clothes, but she was no longer wearing a boot.

Stanford leads in rebounding

Rebounding was a strong point with a 42-27 advantage. Britt led the team with 11 rebounds, while Kaylee had eight and Alanna six.

Fouls were a problem with a total of 21 to the Bulldogs’ 18. Kaylee fouled out with just over six minutes to go. The Bulldogs capitalized at the free-throw line, hitting 17 of 19, or 89.5 percent, while Stanford hit 11 of 20, or 55 percent.

Because it was an NCAA game, the band was relegated to an upper area, as were the other bands.

Florida Gulf Coast University prevails over Missouri

In the earlier game, 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast University upset five seed Missouri  80-70, setting up a meeting with Stanford at 6 p.m. March 19.

During the second half of that game, assistant coach Lindy La Rocque and associate head coach Kate Paye sat at table on the sidelines to scout their potential opponents. Most of the team sat in south bleachers until just over the last three minutes of the game before heading to the locker room. 

FGCU had a large, enthusiastic contingent of fans, but red-clad Stanford backers greatly  outnumbered them in the crowd totaling 2,686.

Stanford’s pre-game warmup was briefly constrained while the north basket was readjusted, but the team overall wasn’t constrained in this satisfying victory.

Photos by Al Chang and Don Feria (

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