February 12, 2016

Everybody plays in easy win over Arizona

The Cardinal came out strong and scored quickly in this game. Lili opened with a layup. Kaylee stole the ball and Bri made a layup. Kaylee scored a jumper; Bird made a layup; Karlie hit a jumper; then Bird again; and then Karlie hit a three. Four minutes into the game and it was 15-2 Stanford.

The Wildcats pulled themselves together and did a little scoring, but the Cardinal had a 20-point lead at the half.

Early in the fourth quarter, Tara began clearing the bench. At the end, the Cardinal floor contingent was Kiran at the point, Alexa, Alex, Shannon and Tess. All 14 roster players had at least five minutes. Alexa stood out among the end-of-the bench crew, hitting a jumper, a three, and two free throws for a career-best seven points.

Marta played an impressive 18 minutes at the point, during which she dished five assists, drove to the basket twice for four points, had three steals and only two turnovers.

Scoring was quite evenly distributed: Bird 12, Lili 11, Kaylee 10, Brittany 9, Karlie 8, Bri, Alanna and Alexa with 7 each. Marta and Kiran had 4 and Alex, 2. Collectively, they made 52% of their shots.

This was the kind of runaway win that is usually seen only in the pre-season, and for fans a nice change from the tight competition of this year's PAC-12.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference audio, with Tara, Karlie and Kaylee,

A video interview of Marta,

And photos by Marcio Jose Sanchez (Associated Press):

Bri goes up to shoot
Bird launches a jumper
Kaylee launches a jumper
Lili on the move
Marta on the move
Bird goes high for a rebound
Marta scrambles for a loose ball
One of Alanna's four blocks

Anticipating the Arizonas

Stanford women’s basketball searches for statement win against Arizona teams by Lorenzo Rosas (The Stanford Daily)

Stanford women have to focus on here and now by Tom FitzGerald (San Francisco Chronicle)

ASU women's basketball preparing for defining road trip in Bay Area by Ryan Clarke (The State Press)

February 11, 2016

Bird is among nation's top student athletes

Bird was recognized today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as one of the top student athletes in the nation. She was selected to the 2015-16 Academic All-District Women’s Basketball Team, District 8.

Read more here:

February 05, 2016

Balanced offense beats the Bears

Updated Feb 6: Added 23 field goals video

As in the prior game, both teams were determined on defense. Stanford's offense in the first half was sluggish and erratic and the Cardinal ended the half behind by seven, 27-34. The Cardinal's usual top performers were not doing well: Lili had no points, Karlie had no points and three fouls. However, Kailee had 9 points and Kaylee 10.

The game turned decisively in the third quarter. Stanford opened with a three-pointer from Lili, then more scores from Kaylee, Brittany, and Erica, and kept Cal from scoring any points at all until the 4:00 minute mark. At the end of the quarter, the score was 42-38, a 15-4 run by Stanford.

Cal closed the gap to two points in the fourth quarter but Lili, Brittany and Erica kept scoring enough to maintain the lead.

Five Stanford players scored in double digits. Bird had her 14th double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany scored 12, Kaylee 11, Kailee 10 and Lili 10. Kailee scored her 10 points on five field goals, her personal best

Bird's, Brittany's, Kaylee's, Kailee's and Lili's 23 field goals

Kailee's, Kaylee's and Bird'a defense kept Cal's excellent freshman Kristine Anigwe from making a basket in the second half, an important element in the final result.

The Cardinal point guards scored a total of just three points, but their fine ball-handling was another important element in the victory. Bri had six assists and zero turnovers. Marta was three and one.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

A gallery of photos from Golden Bear Sports,

And "This was a huge win for us," said Bird in a postgame video interview.

February 04, 2016

Lili looking for consistency

“She had some big games early,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “It has been frustrating that she hasn’t been scoring the way we’ve needed her to, but I think offensively, she’s starting to take better shots and that was the key.”

Read more: Thompson looks for consistency in new role by Michelle Smith for Pac-12 Conference.

You've come a long way

In recognition of the 30th National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Stanford Athletics has posted a story about the early days of women's sports at Stanford.

Stanford created an athletics program for women under the auspices of the Women's Athletic Association in 1893.

Stanford participated in the first women's inter-institutional athletic contest in the United States — a basketball game vs Castilleja School in 1896. Stanford won 1-0.

The first women's intercollegiate game took place in 1896 at the Armory Hall in San Francisco between Stanford and Cal. Stanford won the contest 2-1.

Read more: You've come a long way by David Keifer.

February 03, 2016

Daily reports

The nice thing about weekday games is timely game reports from the student newspapers:

Cal women’s basketball falls short in 4th quarter in loss to No. 15 Stanford, 53-46 by Kapil Kashyap (The Daily Californian).

Women’s basketball outlasts Cal, takes fifth straight Big Game by Lorenzo Rosas (The Stanford Daily).

February 02, 2016

Battle of the Bay, part one: Stanford 53, Cal 46

This game started, and continued, very intense. It was clear that the players on each team were determined to keep the other side from scoring. Defense was vigorous, constant, and effective on both sides. For the fan, frustration was a constant factor as the game featured many more turnovers, fouls, and missed shots than it did scores. Two full minutes went by before any score was posted. Stanford made only two baskets in the first quarter, which ended with Stanford down by seven, 8-15.

Frustration, missed shots, turnovers and fouls continued into the second quarter, but Stanford slowly crept up on Cal until the Cardinal tied the score at 22, on a free throw with one minute to play. Thanks to a late three-pointer by Bri, the half ended with Stanford up by one, 25-24.

Both teams continued to struggle with each other's defense throughout the third quarter, with Stanford clinging to a narrow lead.

The critical moment when the game turned the Cardinal's way came four minutes into the fourth quarter. Erica completed a tough layup amid a forest of defenders. Seconds later, Karlie stole the ball, and shortly made a three-pointer off a pass from Kailee. That converted a ragged two-point lead into a comparatively huge seven-point lead. From that point, Cal struggled and could not close the gap.

Karlie led the Cardinal scoring with 15 points including three of four three-point attempts, as well as making six gritty rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Kaylee was the game-high rebounder with 15. She might have grabbed several more, had she not sat out for five minutes of the last quarter after being called for her fourth foul, all of which were against Kristine Anigwe who made only five field goals tonight.

Erica posted her 13th double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Bri may be emerging from her shooting slump — she scored nine points including two three-pointers.

Lili had a very different night from her two prior dominating performances. Possibly hampered by an injured finger (her right ring and pinkie fingers were taped), she scored only two free throws in the first half, and hit only three of 15 field goal attempts. She nevertheless ended with 11 points, including two driving layups in the closing minutes to keep Cal on the ropes.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The Stanford press conference audio, with Tara, Bird and Karlie,

The Cal press conference audio, with Lindsay Gottlieb and Courtney Range,

And a video interview of Bird

February 01, 2016

Lili earns a pair of awards

Lili got her mojo back last week big time!

In Stanford's pair of games against the Washington teams, she first nudged and then broke her personal best shooting record for a total of 57 points on 63 percent shooting, including 10 of 14 from long range.

This stellar performance earned Lili:

January 31, 2016

Cardinal escapes Cougar mauling

This game did not start well. WSU got the opening tip, and quickly hit an unopposed three-point shot. Seconds later, they stole the ball and got a layup. The Cougars have a new coaching emphasis on defense, and a lineup featuring players from five nations, and they were clearly not the hapless Wazoo of past seasons.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal couldn't seem to find the basket with a flashlight. At 1:28, with the score 9-18, Tara called a timeout. At this time, all nine of Stanford's points were from free throws. At 0:30, Lili hit the first Cardinal basket, and the quarter ended at 11-18.

In the second quarter, the Cardinal began to make headway against the smart, aggressive Cougar defense. Lili hit an early jumper, then Karlie hit a three. The Cardinal got its first lead at 24-23 from a Brittany jumper, but the Cougars quickly got it back and the half ended at 25-27.

The game swung Stanford's way in the third quarter. WSU's shooting cooled off and Lili, Erica, Karlie and Kaylee all began to score. The Cardinal took back the lead and gradually increased it to 45-39 at the end of the quarter.

But the Cougars continued their tough defense and victory was not assured until late in the fourth quarter.

With three minutes left to play, the Cardinal was still ahead by just six points. Then Lili turned the tide with her third three-point jumper of the afternoon. A minute later, Karlie missed a long shot, but Kaylee grabbed the rebound and put it back in.

WSU was not able score again, so the two more three-point shots Lili hit in the last two minutes were only icing on the final score of 69-52.

Lili had a career-best 30 points in all, including five of six from long range.

Bird had her 12th double-double of the season with at 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Kaylee pulled in a season-best 19 rebounds, just three short of her personal best.

Brittany and Karlie had 9 and 10 points respectively and both played tough defense against skilled, physical opposition.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The audio press conference with Tara, Lili and Kaylee

A postgame video interview of Kaylee,

And a gallery of photos from Stanford Athletics.