February 11, 2019

Cardinal can't quack the Ducks

Tara urges her team, but it still loses  to Oregon by 40 points.

The women’s basketball team suffered the worst point loss in head coach Tara VanDerveer’s 33 seasons at Stanford when Oregon won 88-48 on Feb. 10 at Maples.

Playing before a crowd of 5,250, which included a contingent of Ducks fans, the team had little to brag about as its streak of 22 home game victories ended.

Ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll at the time, Oregon topped No. 11 Stanford in nearly every statistical category, especially shooting.

Oregon outshoots Stanford

While the Ducks were scoring at a 57.1 percent rate, the Cardinal managed only 31.7 percent. The disparity was especially glaring on threes, with Oregon making 12 of 16, or 75 percent, while Stanford managed only five of 22, or 22.7 percent.

Lexie tries to power her way through a double team.
Stanford’s threes came from freshman forward Lexie Hull with two, while sophomore guard Kiana Williams, sophomore forward Alyssa Jerome and freshman guard Jenna Brown each had one.

Oregon had four players in double figures, while only junior guard DiJonai Carrington reached that range with 13.

Oregon had more rebounds and more assists and one less turnover.

Stanford has more blocks

The biggest bright spot for Stanford was blocks, eight to Oregon’s one. Senior forward Alanna Smith had three, sophomore forward Maya Dodson two, and DiJonai, Kiana and Alyssa one each. 

In addition, Stanford had eight fouls, Stanford 13.

Because it was Breast Cancer Awareness Day, fans received pink T-shirts. Four cancer survivors were honored during a first-quarter break.

Twins’ dad wears pink tutu

Following a tradition that began with the father of Jayne Appel, ’10, and continued with a Stanford dad each year after that, Jason Hull, the father of Lexie and her twin sister, Lacie, also a forward, wore a pink tutu. He’s a fraternal twin, according to ESPNW.

The players’ white home uniforms were accented with pink.

Another bright spot was the national anthem sung by the Peninsula Girls Chorus. Several student choruses have sung the anthem (as written) for appreciative fans.

Yet another bright spot came during the half when ESPNW announcer Holly Rowe presented ESPNW Player of the Year Awards to Catarina Macario from the women’s soccer team and Kathryn Plummer from the national champion women’s volleyball team. Both will be back next year.

As for the game, the Ducks led 20-11 after the first quarter, 44-20 at the half and 66-36 after the third quarter. At that point, some people began leaving.

After the game gets out of hand, starters can only watch from the bench.
With game out of hand, starters go to bench

With about three minutes to go and Oregon up 83-48, the starters were on the bench and all available players had seen action.

There’s no way to sugarcoat a 40-point loss, but as one fan said afterward, at least “we kept them under 100.”

The loss dropped Stanford to No. 3 in the Pac 12 behind No. 1 Oregon and No. 2 Oregon State, but the win over OSU two days earlier moved it up a notch to No. 10 in the Feb. 11 AP poll.

Stanford fans can hope for better game results the following weekend when the team travels south to take on UCLA at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 and USC at noon Feb. 17. Both will be televised by Pac 12 Networks.

Photos by Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle

February 9, 2019

Cardinal's defense dams up Beavers' offense

Lexie Hull blocks a shot by OSU's Destiny Slocum. (Photo by Cody Glenn, Associated Press)

Although Oregon State is known as a sharpshooting team, especially from beyond the arc, stifling defense by the Stanford women’s basketball team effectively altered that scenario in its 61-44 victory at home on Feb. 8.

OSU came into the game with a 43 percent success rate on threes, but Stanford held it to 19 percent on four of 21. In the meantime, Stanford tallied 29 percent on its threes, or nine of 31.

The team’s leading scorer for the game, sophomore guard Kiana Williams, scored 12 of her 18 points on threes.

Freshman forward Lacie Hull chipped in three on her way to nine points while senior forward Alanna Smith (17 points) and sophomore forward Alyssa Jerome (five points) had one each.

Although head coach Tara VanDerveer stuck with the same starters --- Alanna, Kiana, Lacie, sophomore forward Maya Dodson and junior guard DiJonai Carrington --- she gave the opening tip assignment to Maya rather than Alanna.

Slow start but better finish in first quarter

The team started slowly as OSU jumped to a 6-0 lead. DiJonai broke the ice with a basket (her only points of the game) after about three minutes.

After a jumper by Kiana, Alanna scored against a 6’8” defender under the basket to knot the score at 6-6. Stanford went on to take its first lead less than a minute later and ended the first quarter up 12-8.

The margin widened to 36-20 at the half and 50-29 in the next quarter. OSU outscored Stanford 15-11 in the fourth quarter, when bench players had taken over by the final buzzer, but the effort was for naught.

Upset extends home winning streak

Thus Stanford, ranked No. 11 in the latest Associated Press poll, knocked off No. 7, extended its home court winning streak to 22 and handed Tara her 903rd win on the Farm.

In addition to outscoring the Beavers, the Cardinal forced 13 turnovers while committing seven, had seven blocks to OSU’s none, and had nine assists to OSU’s four.
Maya with four and Alanna with three led the block party. Kiana had four of the assists. 

Reaching a career high, Maya also had 10 of the team’s 43 rebounds (OSU had 42). Alanna and Alyssa had seven each.

Misses, fouls are negatives

On the negative side, Stanford missed some seemingly easy shots under the basket. It also was whistled for 17 fouls, OSU for 10.

Several of the refs’ calls against the home team drew prolonged boos from the crowd of 2,840. (It included some fans in orange near the OSU bench.)

Stanford fans have little time to bask in the win. AP’s No. 3 team, Oregon, comes calling at 1 p.m. Feb. 10 after pulverizing Cal 105-82 at Cal two hours after the Stanford-OSU game. ESPN will televise the game.

February 3, 2019

Team tells Cal: Not in our house

Associate head coach Kate Paye and head coach Tara VanDerveer exhort the players against Cal.
After suffering a disappointing last-second 81-80 loss at Cal on Jan. 31, the Stanford women’s basketball team turned the tables and then some on its cross-bay rival at Maples by winning 75-50 on Feb. 2.

The Cardinal dominated the Golden Bears in almost statistical category before a loud crowd of 4,066. It included some Cal fans, its band and cheerleaders but no mascot to bow to the Tree.

Cal’s star senior forward, Kristine Anigwe, scored a game-high 20 points, but only eight of them came from baskets. The rest were at the free-throw line where she was 12 for 16.

She fouled out with just over two minutes left. One of those fouls was an unsportsmanlike call about halfway through the second quarter.

On the other hand, no Stanford player fouled out, and three were in double figures. Junior guard DiJonai Carrington and sophomore guard Kiana Williams had 19 each while senior forward Alanna Smith had 16. All three were starters.

Maya and Nadia share a laugh in the locker room.
Maya returns to action

The home crowd had something else to celebrate as sophomore forward Maya Dodson returned to action and the starting lineup at home after missing eight games with a foot injury. She also had played at Cal.

At Stanford she contributed nine points, four of the team’s 41 rebounds, three of its five blocks and one of its 14 assists in 21 minutes.

Shannon had four of the team's 14 assists.
Leading the way in assists were Kiana and senior center Shannon Coffee with four each.

The other starter was freshman forward Lacie Hull, who had three of the team’s six steals to go with five points, seven rebounds and one assist.

Stanford never trails

Stanford led the entire game, starting with a sizzling first quarter that ended 22-5. By the half, the lead had ballooned to 20 and rose to 56-31 after the third.

The team’s final 75 points included 24 from eight 3s: three each by Kiana and DiJonai and one each by Lacie and her twin sister, Lexie.

In this hard-fought game, action stopped twice as referees reviewed plays. The crowd wasn’t always pleased with the officiating overall, booing lustily several times.

In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, outstanding achievements in several Stanford women’s sports were highlighted on the video board.

Women’s championship volleyball team honored

Appearing in person, the women’s volleyball team received a standing ovation as it displayed its eighth NCAA national championship trophy. The softball team also appeared as it prepares for its season to open soon.

After the game, Maya joined associate head coach Kate Paye to start a Behind the Bench.

“That was a great bounce-back win for our team,” Kate said. As for Maya, “She’s going to get better and better,” the coach said.

Maya, who said her foot is “getting better every day,” said she’s thinking about majoring in engineering. Right now her hardest class is physics, where she had a mid-term coming up during the next week.

Kate concluded by saying the team was much more aggressive at this game and got “a lot of help off the bench.”

Joining the gathering, head coach Tara VanDerveer agreed that the team played better this time. The win “sets us up confidence-wise for our next games,” she said.

Maya, next to Lacie, gets a high five from a team mate as the team celebrates.
Tara likes the players’ camaraderie

Answering a fan, she said her favorite part of coaching is “how well they get along” and support each other. “They’re really good people.”

Asked about the two injured players, she said that senior guard Marta Sniezek, who hasn’t played all season because of a hand injury, is working hard. As for her return to action, “we’ll have to wait and see,” Tara said. 
She added that Marta might qualify for a red shirt.

Junior forward Nadia Fingall, who has a torn left ACL, will have surgery soon. “She’s a great teammate,” Tara said, adding that both Marta and Nadia are “all about the team being successful.”

Coming up next are two more home games. Oregon State will visit at 6 p.m. Feb. 8, and Oregon will visit at 1 p.m. Feb. 10. The Oregon State game will be on the Pac 12 Network, while ESPN will televise the Oregon game.

Photos by Don Feria/ISI Photos.com