There is a saying in sports about a full scheduled of games, and it goes something like, “Take it one game at a time.” So with the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team showing a great second half of basketball to beat Boston College 96-63, C and R will try to talk only about this game and not what comes next… which is UConn, the preseason favorite to repeat as National Champions.
The Stanford guards harassed BC’s back court and got three steals each which I think they converted all into lay ups (Can they repeat this against UConn… oh darn, we said we weren’t going to do that). The guards also pushed the ball up the court and made some great passes to some front court players who were cutting well and very open, only to have those players not be able to put the ball in the basket. This allowed BC to stick around and tie the game with about 6 minutes left before Stanford started pulling away.
To be fair, BC hit a lot of threes in the first half, nine to be exact. Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, the master of half time adjustments simply said at the break, “If they make a 3 on you, you’re coming out,” What motivates some…however, guess how many threes BC made in the second…that’s right, zero. They shot five times behind the arc after that half time statement and missed them all. No one had to sit down and Tara got to give all 15 players some playing time.
Ball screens worked well, but will faster players adjust to them better? (Sorry, sorry, sorry, said we wouldn’t do that). Also, Stanford players attacked the basket with dribble penetration, something C and R have not seen a lot of in the last few years. I think the players like taking it to the other team and did not show fear.
Lili Thompson (Photo: Brant Ward / The Chronicle
Guard Lili Thompson scored a career high 26 points, hitting three of four three-pointers. BC knocked her down, twice, on hard screens, the second time she had to limp to the bench and leave the game, only to come back later and hit two of those threes. Erica McCall also had a career high with 16 points, and she looked eager to grab rebounds.
Stanford had four players in double figures. Guard Amber Orrange had 11 points and was leading rebounder with nine. Taylor Greenfield scored 10 and relished her freedom to drive to the basket. All the freshmen scored, with Kaylee (Kale) Johnson getting the start and Brittany McPhee hitting her first shot, a three.
And how did UConn do on their first game on their West Coast Tour? They beat UC Davis 102-43, including a 39-0 run. The Huskies made 18 three-pointers, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis tied Maya Moore’s school record with 10 three-pointers for 30 points in just 24 minutes. Wonder if VanDerveer would give the same ultimatum at half time? (PS, Geno is going to wine country before Monday’s game. C and R can only hope he goes off on some sort of wine bender and can’t find his way to the team bus! We kid, we love you Geno!)
Whoops, wasn’t going to mention UConn. However, to be fair, TVD has said it is a win-win situation playing them regardless of the outcome. It will only help Stanford get better. And it will be fun to watch the team’s growth the rest of the season.