It’s the middle of the Pac-12 season, so you know what that means, dear readers. Find out what we are really talking about below the C and R’s StanfordWBBBlog Twitter Account.
February 5 Stanford-Cal Battle of the Bay
It’s the middle of the Pac-12 season, so you know what that means, dear readers. The annual Battle of the Bay for the Stanford Women’s Basketball team with arch rival Cal.
Stanford rode Erica McCall’s 11 points (plus 13 boards for her 13 th double double) and Karlie Samuleson’s three-pointers to beat Cal 53-46. Karlie was 4-5 from three-point land.
Stanford hats off to Lili Thompson. She had tape on her shooting hand, holding her fingers together, and it was clear it affected her shooting touch. When her three wasn’t falling, she moved inside to jumpers, when that didn’t work, she started going in for lay ups. And they were not easy shots. She kept herself in the game and found a way to contribute to her team. And although she was 3-15, she chipped in 11 points.
Stanford D also held Cal’s outstanding freshmen, Kristine Anigwe (who reminds C and R an AWFUL lot of an Ogwumike), to 17 points. She usually scores around 20. She had nine in the first quarter, until Stanford stifled her for only eight points over the next three quarters.
Couple that with only seven active players for Cal (injuries, people leaving the program) and it was hard for Cal to bounce back.
So Stanford won the first one, and it was weird, Stanford players did not seem happy with the win, perhaps they knew they did not play well. Their demeanor as they left the court was not one of a jubilant team. They did have 15 turnovers. However, Cal had it worst, only shooting 28% for the game, with 2-11 from three-point land. Would that hold for game two?
Lili Thompson looks intense in the Battle of the Bay.
Photo courtesy of Stanford Official site.
At one point Kaylee Johnson put the ball on the floor and got a layup. Even the Pac-12 announcers noticed, saying she was not shying away from contact around the basket. Then Kailee Johnson got in to the act, and when she put the ball on the floor, Cal was so surprised no one stopped her and she got a layup.
C and R are sorry to report that Lili was cold again. And yes, her fingers were taped again, which affects her shooting touch. Karlie Samuelson got in to foul trouble, picking up three before the first half ended and sat. The most disturbing fact of the first was that Lili and KSam had zero points in the first.
Luckily for the Johnson and Johnson show in the first, with them scoring 10 and 9 points respectively. You have to figure out which is which. However Stanford found themselves down seven, 27-34. Cal kept themselves in the game by out rebounding Stanford, especially on the O boards.
Another interesting tidbit, walk on Kiran Lakhian got in to the game for four minutes in the first. She usually does not play or only goes in the final seconds. With such a deep bench, we wonder why Tara called her number?
Then, the start of the second and everything went sideways for Cal. Stanford, possible fired up from a pep talk/scolding in the locker room went on an 11-0 run. Annnnd, held Cal to four points in the third quarter while scoring 15. Stanford got the lead for the first time and did not let go.
In the fourth, Stanford had 5 players in double figures. Erica McCall had another double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany McPhee had 12 points, and a lot of hustle plays that won’t show up in the stat line. Kaylee Johnson had 11, and Kailee Johnson and Lili Thompson each had 10: Lili’s were all in the second.
Still, Stanford uncharacteristically made many mental mistakes in the last minute to keep Cal around, and it was a frantic finish. Cal’s Courtney Range hit a three with 26 seconds left to make it an exciting 56-53 Stanford lead. However Cal had to foul and Stanford hung on to win 60-55.
Stanford gets its 22nd regular-season sweep of Cal and keeps chugging to get back into the Pac-12 hunt.
January 31 Stanford Whips the Washingtons
After a four game road trip, the Washington Schools came to town and the Stanford Women’s Basketball team enjoyed playing on their home floor. Lili Thompson, in particular, likes playing at Maples.
After scoring 27 to help Stanford beat Washington 69-53, two days later she scored a career-high 30 points to beat Washington State 69-52. Don’t get C and R wrong, though, these games were very different, and the WSU game was much closer than the score indicates.
Lili Thompson scored 57 points in two games.
Photo courtesy of Stanford Official site.
However, C and R would be remiss if we did not point out Stanford’s defense in the first game. Washington had the leading score in the country, Kelsey Plum, and Stanford limited her to seven first half points. Granted, she got loose in the second and man, can she create her own shots, ala Steph Curry, and she had 23 for the game. However, Stanford held her four points under her average. In that game, Stanford got hot early, thanks to Lili and enjoyed a double-digit lead from the first quarter on.
Contrast that to the Washington State game. Stanford was down by two at the half, 27-25. A little birdie told us WSU was filled with international players and they definitely did not back down. They certainly were not afraid of Stanford and never gave up hustling. WSU was very aggressive, especially in the defense. Stanford had to earn every basket. Curious, WSU used full court pressure in the fourth to rattle Stanford, yet inexplicably backed off of it. Stanford traditionally is not good with full court pressure.
One thing that saved Stanford in this game was the rebounding, Stanford had 46 boards to their 26. Kaylee Johnson regained her rebounding mojo by pulling in 19, with Erica McCall hot on her heels with 14. Erica added 11 points for another double-double, her 12th of the season. Karlie Samuelson added 10 points, including two three-pointers. However, it was Lili who helped Stanford build a second half lead with her 30 points in 33 minutes, 24 of them in the second half. She was 5-11 from the three-point line.
Kaylee Johnson had 19 rebounds vs WSU.
Photo courtesy of Stanford Official site.
Again, the defense came through, limited WSU’s leading scorer Borislava Hristova to nine points, half her season average. Lili Thompson drew that assignment and it was just the third time the Bulgarian native has failed to score in double figures this season.
Next game…Cal at home and away!
January 17 Stanford Glad to be Or-e-Gone
The Stanford Women’s Basketball team (ranked #11) split two in the state of Oregon. First they played unranked Oregon, were trailing the whole game, and barely won 64-62. Then they played #12 Oregon State, built up a huge lead, and then couldn’t score in the fourth to lose 58-50. Two very contrasting games.
Kaylee Johnson got the start and made the most of it, and scored in double figures, finishing with 16 points. In fact, Kaylee looked like a different woman out there, hustling, yes, but so sure and confident, really going up strong when she got the ball, or an offensive rebound. We have not seen the type of swagger in her one and a half years on the farm.
What happened in the game, quite simply, Oregon was beating Stanford with threes. They connected on 12-21. Hats off to Karlie Samuelson for making a few herself (4-5) to keep it close. The fourth quarter started with Stanford only down by four.
In the fourth, after trailing the whole game, sometimes as much as nine points, Stanford got it within one with four minutes left, trailing 61-60. That score stuck around until Oregon’s Jillian made a free throw with 53 seconds left.
Kaylee Johnson with 16, Lili with 16, and Karlie Samuelson with 18.
Which is harder for a fan to watch, trailing all game and heart attack with 2.2 seconds left for the win, or building up a huge lead, feeling good and munching popcorn, only to watch your team slowly starve to death for points and finally lose 58-50? C and R will answer for you. The second one.
This game was not without some Stanford highlights. It was good to see Kailee Johnson (no relation to Kaylee Johnson) have a break out game, take the ball up strong against a taller post and score 14, I believe a career high. Erica McCall was back in the lineup and scored 12. Alas, Lili’s magic from last game could not save them, and she ended up with nine points, and Karlie Samuelson had seven and fouled out of the game.
Tale of Two Halves
After trailing early in the first quarter, Stanford built up a nice lead against the Beavers in the second and even held them to nine points in the second quarter with a 17-6 run. The half time score was 30-21.
Then, Stanford held the Beavs (no relation to Justin Bieber) to nine points again in the third, but only scored ten points themselves, leading 40-30 to start the fourth. Then two things happened, Oregon State went to a zone and Stanford stayed in their same offense, which was not working, and Oregon’s Jamie Weisner got untracked. Wesiner only scored four points in the first half, and ended the game with 18. Also, Devan Hunter made 5-7 threes to end the game with 19. She had only made seven all season long.
How bad was it? Oregon State went on a 22-4 run to win 58-50. Wait, our math must be wrong. Oregon State outscored Stanford 28-10 in the fourth. Yowzza. Here’s more math. This win for Oregon was the first time in 15 years, snapping a29-game losing streak. The last time they won was 2001.
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