So the Stanford Women’s Basketball game at New Mexico started out Stanford enough. Stanford, even though without their leading scorer Lili Thompson (illness), found themselves up 22-6 in the first five minutes. Credit Karlie Samuelson (KSam) with four made threes for 12 points in that span.
Then New Mexico stopped the threes, and like Texas, they also stopped Stanford’s screen and drive to the basket game. Stanford was stuck, could not score, and when you watched on the free streaming video from the Mountain West Network, no on in a black uniform (which C and R love) was even within three feet of the paint. New Mexico clawed back and took the lead. Stanford didn’t have an inside game and could not penetrate inside. The low scoring half ended with Stanford’s Amber Orrange heaving a three and banking it at the buzzer to tie it at 35 (yes, Stanford was down at that point, as NM went on their own 21-4 run).
One fiery locker room talk from Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer later and Stanford comes out and goes on a 14-2 run in the first five minutes. Then Stanford, without a strong post presence, could not stop NM when they drove. New Mexico actually took the lead, 65-64, with 45 seconds left in the game, going on another run, this time out scoring Stanford 12-1.
Stanford forward Kaylee Johnson (MARK HOLM — AP Photo) Still, credit Stanford for rebounding tough, especially Kaylee Johnson. The Freshie starter and pride of Wyoming grabbed a career-high 22 boards, 15 in the first half, and Stanford won the rebound battle 50-31. She also scored 10 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 30 seconds left. Stanford would hang on to win 70-65.
Other notables, KSam hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points and sister Bonnie Samuelson (BSam) added two free throws in the final seconds to help preserve the victory. As R said, Bonnie is automatic. The ball didn’t even rest in her hand before it was in the hoop. Kaylee Johnson’s 22 rebounds is only the 12th time in Stanford history a player has produced 20-plus rebounds in a game. Brianna Roberson, she of the tiny and the speed, knows she can’t take on a post player straight up on offense, so continues to use her speed and just run at the basket and shoot. She gets the foul call almost every single time. She was 3-4 from the line. Amber Orrange added 18 points, including that banked-in 3-pointer from more than 30 feet at the first-half buzzer. She also had the block with seven seconds left to keep New Mexico from even getting a shot off when Stanford was only up by three, 68-65.
Get better Lili. Get taller Erica McCall and Kailee Johnson so Stanford can utilize the post position more. Go soak up some sun in Hawaii, Stanford. Should be good for what ails ya.
Everyone have a happy Thanksgiving.