November 2, 2018

Exhibition proves entertaining

Senior captains Alanna Smith (center) and Shannon Coffee do the pre-game greetings.

Although it was only an exhibition game that doesn’t count, the Stanford women’s basketball team’s 87-36 victory over visiting Vanguard on Nov. 1 provided plenty of entertainment.

It also provided some insight into what’s ahead as 13 players got onto the court and 12 scored.

The only ones who didn’t play were senior guard Marta Sniezek, who has a hand injury, and freshman guard Jenna Brown. She was in uniform and warmed up with the team, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported that she had a minor ankle injury.

Otherwise, it was full speed ahead, literally, as the Cardinal came out of the gate scoring early and often. It wasn’t until just under three minutes to go in the first quarter, with Stanford up 15-0, that the Lions scored their first two points on free throws.

Before the game began, fans entering Maples encountered new ticket-scanning machines in addition to the Red Coats’ handheld scanners.

Alanna, Shannon serve as captains

In the traditional pre-game handshakes by the refs and captains, Stanford was represented by two seniors, center Shannon Coffee and forward Alanna Smith.

Alanna was joined in the starting lineup by forwards Nadia Fingall, junior, and Lexie Hull, freshman; along with guards DiJonai Carrington, junior, and Kiana Williams, sophomore. Kiana did the honors at the point, while Alanna was the center.

Nadia scored the first 2 points on a tip-in, followed by Kiana with a trey.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer substituted early and often, first sending in junior guard Anna Wilson and sophomore forward Alyssa Jerome.

Maya, who had 10 points, goes for a layup. 
They were followed  in short order by sophomore forward Maya Dodson; freshman forward Lacie Hull, Lexie’s identical twin; Shannon; and senior guard Alexa Romano.

Stanford led 20-4 at the end of the first quarter. Sophomore forward Estella Moschkau came in during the second quarter, which ended 44-17. After the third quarter had ended 66-26, junior guard Mikaela Brewer saw her first action.

Numbers tell the story

The Cardinal dominated nearly every statistical category, such as rebounds, 52-26; assists, 23-3;  blocks, 10-2; steals, 7-3; and 3-pointers, 11-8. Both teams had 14 fouls. Stanford had nine turnovers to Vanguard’s 12.

Stanford’s 3’s came from eight players: Kiana with three and Anna with two, plus one each from Alanna, Lexie, DiJonai, Nadia, Alyssa and Estella.

Lexie, who led the team in scoring, drives to the basket.
Because no one played more than 24 minutes (Nadia), no one had gaudy scoring numbers. Lexie with 11 and Maya with 10 were the only ones in double figures.

Overall shooting was so-so, 46.7 percent (thanks to some missed bunnies); as were free throws, 6 of 10, or 60 percent.

Positives in passing, assists, pace

One might surmise that the frequent changes limited on-floor cohesiveness, but that didn’t seem to be the case. Mostly sharp passing, nifty assists and a fast pace were the team’s hallmarks.

Official attendance reported as 1,882. Because it was an exhibition game, the band, cheerleaders and Dollies weren’t there.

Presumably they will be there when competition starts for real with UC Davis at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 and Idaho at 2 p.m. Nov. 11, both at home.

Fans who donate a new pair of socks for the homeless on Nov. 7 will receive a pair of Stanford socks.

On Nov. 11, they can receive the first of three trading cards honoring Tara’s 40 years of coaching. This game will be followed by a Behind the Bench.

Photos by Bob Drebin/

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