So the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team was playing Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen.. Find out what we are really talking about below the C and R’s StanfordWBBBlog Twitter Account.
March 25 Stanford’s Sweet, Sweet Sixteen
So the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team was playing Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen. No one, and I mean no one, thought they could win. In fact, for ESPN to fill the pre-game show they had to ask the analysts what Stanford could do to win the game and, well, the commentators, let’s just say, were all firmly in Notre Dame’s camp.
So, C and R asked each other what does Stanford need to do to win??
Stanford would have to take control early in the game and play lock down D and outscore ND. If we do that, we gonna win.
Have to hold ND’s Brianna Turner to zero points in the first half, then we gonna win.
Get high flying ND guard Lindsey Allan in foul trouble and send her to the bench and limit her to six points in the first half, then we gonna win.
Have Erica McCall get going early and score 19 by the half, we gonna win.
Be up by 11 at the half, we gonna win.
If Kaylee Johnson is scoring, we gonna win.
Get Kaylee Johnson involved in the offense, score early and have a double double, then we gonna win.
Have Erica McCall keep the scoring up and score a career-high 27 points and drain at least one 3-pointer and go 12-18 from the field…we gonna win.
Erica McCall, whom coach Tara VanDerveer calls the most improved player in the nation, led all players with 27 points. Photo: Mark Zerof/USA TODAY Sports
Cut off ND’s screen to the elbow play. Do that, and we gonna win.
Shoot 59% from the floor, we gonna win.
Shoot 55% from the three point line, including one from Marta Sniezek, only her second made three of her young career… we gonna win.
Score 11 3-pointers, we gonna win.
Have Karlie Samuelson go 5-6 from behind the line, gonna win
Have freshie guard Marta Sniezek drive in for lay ups and get in double figures for a career high..gonna win.
Heck, if Stanford gets four players in double figures, we gonna win.
Keep a double digit lead for most of the game, we gonna win.
Hold off ND when they make a run, not once, not twice, but THRICE…then we gonna win.
Have Lili Thompson give out a career high in assists, we gonna win.
Have Kaylee Johnson score 17 and gran , say 12 boards, then we gonna win.
Score 90 points… we gonna win.
And if Karlie can score 20 points and make some key baskets just when Stanford needs them…we gonna win!
Have Karlie Samuelson heave, and I mean heave a throw WELL beyond the three point line with time expiring on the shot clock, with a minute and a half to play, and have it bank off the glass for three to make it 84-78 Stanford lead and stop a ND run……WE GONNA WIN!!
WE GONNA WIN!
So that, Ladies and Gentlemen, are all Stanford needs to do to win…..and they did. They beat Notre Dame 90-84, with four players in double figures, career highs in points for Erica and Marta and assists for Lili, a double double for Kaylee, 11 threes and whatever else we said above. Next up is a familiar Pac-12 foe, Washington, on Sunday (yes Easter Sunday) at 10 AM Stanford time. This will be the rubber match, and I don’t think Tara has been beaten by Washington twice in one season since the 80s. We gonna win!
March 22 Stanford Sends South Dakota State Packing
For a #12 seed playing an #4 seed, this was not a slam dunk. First of all, even though the #4 seed Stanford Women’s Basketball Team was playing on their home court, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits brought the loudest people in All the Dakotas. SDSU beat #5 seed Miami two days prior, feeding off of their crowd’s energy, and they nearly knocked off Stanford, too, with that same energy.
Stanford enjoyed a slight lead at the half, 33-27 yet their offense stalled when Erica McCall went to the bench with three fouls in the third. SDSU rode their standing, cheering crowd to a lead mid-way thought the third quarter. It also didn’t help that Stanford was 10-22 from the free throw line. Then, Stanford fans, who tend to be quiet observers instead of rabid cheerers, came to life, with about four minutes left. Stanford fed off that energy, stealing and flying bodies and all, and went on a 12-3 run in the final minutes.
Then, with the clock running down, and Stanford needing a score….wait, why listen to us prattle on when you can see for yourself.
Lili with the lay up and one with 8 seconds left! Nothing but net!
The Jackrabbits, who were well coached, advanced the ball to half court and dribbled to the key where they met…wait, just looky here:
Yes, Erica McCall and looks like Kailee Johnson blocked that ball and all of SDSU’s hopes and dreams.
Stanford survives 66-65! Sweet Sixteen Bound!
Hear the Tara VanDerveer interview, and what Lili Thompson: had to say about the close game:
C and R will float on this game until March 25th, when Stanford meets #1 seed Notre Dame.
March 20 Stanford (Lovingly) Beats USF
What to say about the Stanford Women’s Basketball team’s 29th time in the NCAA tournament? Fans all said what a shame we had to play USF, coached by the beloved Stanford alum who started it all, Jennifer Azzi. Well, you can say head coach Tara VanDerveer likes to win. Heck, Tara said it herself after her team handed Jennifer’s team their worst loss of the season (85-58): “I love Jennifer but I love winning more.”
Tara VanDerveer and Jennifer Azzi share a lot of history
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP.
First some context. Before the game, Jennifer Azzi sat alone on the opposing team’s bench at Maples, a very different view than one she was used to, in a place where she has so many memories. In her line of sight was a list of two National Champions. The team she led in 1990 when she was a senior was listed first. Winning a national championship must hold special memories for a player. To build a program from 12 fans and no NCAA appearances, in Jennifer’s freshmen year, to a national championship with sold out crowds in her senior year, well, let’s just say not many players can claim that sort of impact. And here she sat getting ready to face the woman who got here there, perhaps the biggest influence in her life, the woman who thought so much of her that she asked her to be her emotional captain on the 1996 Olympic team that won Gold in Atlanta.
How weird was it for Azzi, coaching her first NCAA game? She said she was unsettled that her parents were at this game, not in their usual Stanford gear, but in yellow USF shirts. She and Tara shared a long and sincere hug at midcourt during player introductions. Don’t think Tara would hug Geno for that long…or at all. Afterwards, Tara’s mom, Rita, was crying for Jennifer. Even Tara had enough of the sentimentality, scolding her mom, “But I’m blood!”
About the game, Jennifer said they were not used to that level of physicality, and the rest of the NCAA field might have politely snickered, as Stanford is usually known as “the Good Girls.” Do keep in mind this is Jennifer’s first NCAA game, so if she keeps up the success and comes back, she will need to know her players will face this level of physical play, or more, in subsequent years.
And they don’t call them Trees for nothing. When USF’s 6-3 center went to the bench with foul trouble, they didn’t have anyone on the floor over 6 feet. Stanford had Erica McCall, Kailee Johnson and Alanna Smith, all 6’3. At one point Stanford had more rebounds (43) than USF had points. The rebounding total was doubled in Stanford’s favor, 49-24.
Speaking of our Aussie player, we thought we were hot stuff having our first international recruit from down under. Well, here Jennifer has beaten her former coach. She has seven players on her roster representing five different foreign countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia and Sweden.
See all the pretty Stanford assists!
Next game for Stanford is Monday night at 6PM, against the upstart #12 seed South Dakota State’s Jack Rabbits. They beat #5 Miami 74-71. C and R only caught the last 5 minutes of the game, but from what we saw, Miami played listless and with no energy, compared to SDS intensity. It didn’t hurt that they had a whole section of fans right next to the court action and were very rabid. C and R are worried those fans will be louder than the polite Stanford fans. So please get off work and come on out!
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