Once again, a Pac-12 win for Stanford and once again, the scoring was lead by the trio of Nneka Ogwumike, Toni Kokenis and Nneka’s sister Chiney. One of these days that is going to be Stanford’s downfall but if the other team’s five can’t stop those three, then they deserve to lose. To wit, take a gander at what Stanford did to UCLA.
Stanford comes out in man to man defense, except their scouting report must have seen something about UCLA’s starter 5’4″ Mariah Williams. They decided to not even guard her, thinking she is not an accurate shooter. The UCLA announcers says it is like UCLA’s four on offense vs. Stanford’s five on defense. Early in the game Williams catches the ball out on the three-point line. No one is on her. Stanford is daring her to shoot. She does. She misses. Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer looks like the genius she is.
Stanford’s Amber Orrange comes into the game and she is basically being a floater on defense to help stop any drives to the basket, leaving Williams alone. UCLA passes to Williams but Amber is so quick she makes the steal and goes all the way for an uncontested lay up. Once again, genius. VanDerveer. They left Williams alone all night. Several times she found herself wide open on the three-point line and the other nine players were practically inside the paint. The crowd implored her to shoot, but she remembered her lesson and then had to wait, wait, wait for someone to get open. We only got three that can score, but all five can play defense.
But back to our scoring trio. Nneka had 18 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes and Chiney 15 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. Toni finished with 11 points, and four boards in 26 minutes. That’s 44 of Stanford’s 77 points in a game won 77-50. And the three only played a little over half the game. In fact, when Nneka went out of the game for good in the second half, and Chiney a minute later, the sisters had 33 points and 21 rebounds, compared to 30 points for UCLA. Wow.
Stanford definitely had the edge on size as well as healthy bodies. At times, UCLA looked intimidated, missing on shots and lay-ups if they thought they heard footsteps. Stanford went on a 15-2 run (or 25-7, take your pick) to close the first half. Oh, score at the half was 40-23, Stanford. UCLA shot a dismal 27.9% for the game, although we are bothered by Stanford’s three-point percentage. It was 15%. UCLA’s was 9%. At least Stanford’s free throws improved to 70 %.
We do have to do our due diligence and point out UCLA has just been decimated with injures. First of all, UCLA’s best player, Jasmine Dixon is out for the year with a ruptured Achilles, like our Alex Green. Further injuries to UCLA include junior Atonye Nyingifa (knee), junior Jackie Shepard (foot) and freshman Alexis Perry (shoulder). Nyingifa was averaging over 14 points and nearly 9 rebounds before tearing her ACL against Tennessee in December. Another UCLA player, junior Markel Walker had off-season thumb surgery and was heavily taped for this game.
Oh, C and R would be remiss if we did not thank UCLA for allowing their All-Access feed to be shown live on the Internet. We got to see the game for free, thank you, and the announcers were not totally pro-UCLA. They were very complimentary to the Cardinal, especially Nneka. One announcer had met her personally and could not stop raving about her as a person. We feel the same way. However we were a little bothered by the replays of UCLA scoring while Stanford in real tie was down on their end scoring. (Although that wasn’t an issue in the last seven or so minutes of the half, when Stanford went on their run, hee hee). And also sometimes the live action would be replaced with the word “defense” rotating and spinning and then we would hear the announcers stating how Stanford scored. Don’t do that.
And what was up with that gym? Okay, were they playing in a high school? Bleachers with no backs that only went about 10 rows back, a bazillion lines on the floor so it’s hard to tell what’s what. Can’t we play in the big-girl gym, please? Or is that reserved for guys only? UCLA. No wonder Nikki Caldwell left. Women’s teams down there get no respect.
Although it was cool during a time out that the UCLA dance crew let fans come on the court to dance. C and R saw some Cardinal Red shirts out there groovin’, although the announcers said later the facilities crew were not happy.
UCLA has two sisters, Rhema and Rebecca Garner, like Stanford’s Ogwumike’s sisters. Rhema is a sophomore and Rebecca is a senior, like Chiney and Nneka as well. USC also had sisters. It seems to be a Pac-12 trend.
Second Side Note:
Saw Erica Payne playin’ some point. Guess when you have a 30-point lead you can experiment. She looked uncomfortable bringing the ball up, and when pressured, threw it away. Her ponytail looked cool, though.
Thanks to all who wrote into tell us we could have tuned in KSZU when there was no televised play for Stanford-USC. We completely spaced on that one and forgot! So today we DID turn on KSZU for the UCLA game and they weren’t broadcasting it. Day late and dollar short seems to fit us well. It was also explained to us you can purchase the $10 a month or $15 a moth plan on All-Access, but somehow paying for internet content just seems so wrong…
Next up Oregon.
Happy New Year to You and Yours
.See the original post at C and R’s Stanford Women’s Basketball Blog