December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Have you used up all of yesterday's stories? Here are lots more to amuse you until it's time for the Cal game or whatever else you do in your life besides basketball. Also new today are:
  • A video of Geno's press conference
  • Fast Break Fan Pix with photos from Steve Mitchel, Baranduin Briggs, Dave & Marian Cortesi, and a new contributor — Kelley L Cox, a professional photographer and sports fan.
Check Deb's Photos and Judy's Event Report to see if they have posted yet today.

December 30, 2010

Cardinal Bookends The Streak!!!

This is UConn's record since 6 April 2008, beginning with a 73-82 loss to Stanford in the NCAA Semifinal round:


and ending with a 59-71 loss to Stanford at Maples on 30 December 2010.

A sweet pair of Cardinal bookends around a historic achievement!

Jeanette told her father before the game that she was sick and tired of losing to UConn. Her determination to win this one was clear from her three-pointer that began the scoring all the way to her six free throws at the end that sealed the victory. In all she scored a career-high 31 points, including five of nine three-pointers and ten of ten free throws. She also had nine rebounds, six assists and a steal.

2x + 3 for #23
#23 Jeanette scored 31 points. #23 Maya Moore scored a season-low total of 14 points. The latter was largely due to Chiney's tenacious defense. She stuck to her like super glue and – along with Kayla, Nneka and Joslyn – held her to five of 15 field goal attempts, the first successful one not coming until 17 minutes into the game. Chiney kept up her superb defense until the last 1:42 minutes when she finally fouled out. She also scored six points and had five rebounds.

Kayla was as determined as Jeanette to get her second win against UConn. She led the Cardinal's defensive effort with 11 rebounds and two steals. She didn't shoot much tonight, but got off a couple of "How did she do that!" reverse layups and scored a total of eight points.

I'm sure Geno remembered what he said of Nneka after she scored 20 points against UConn last season, "I wish she was a free agent; I would do a Steinbrenner and go after her." She drove through the Huskie's defense time after time tonight and made five of her nine field goal attempts. She ended with 12 points, six rebounds and a steal.

Lindy started again tonight and played for a career-high 35 minutes. She continued her excellent ball-handling with six assists and just one turnover. She also made a couple of lovely three-pointers herself.

Here are game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference video with Tara, Kayla, Jeanette and Nneka,

The press conference video with Geno

The game highlights video,

Video clips from ESPN:

Photos by: And some of the many celebratory photos:

December 29, 2010

More than just another game

So many opinions ...

What about UConn?

Here are a few more reports of yesterday's victory over Xavier that anticipate tomorrow's game against UConn.

December 28, 2010

Cardinal Xs out Xavier

The Cardinal didn't need buzzer beater heroics against Xavier today. They came out strong and confident and in control, and stayed that way to their 51st consecutive victory at Maples, 89-52.

The entire team performed splendidly. Tara was hard put to find an answer when she was asked after the game if she was displeased about anything today. Some of the highlights were:

The coaches have been telling Nneka to be more aggressive. She took their advice — scored the game-high 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had three steals — in just 30 minutes.

Jeanette was determined to prove that last season's victory over Xavier was no fluke. She had 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists with just one turnover, and three steals.

The Cardinal's quick double-teams slowed down Xavier's big posts, Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips. They held Phillips to three field goals and Harris to six field goals in the paint.

Lindy's persistent defense shut down Katie Rutan, Xavier's 3-point specialist. She made just one today when Lindy fell down while going after a loose ball. Lindy herself sank two three's.

The Cardinal made 38% of their three-point attempts — two from Lindy, two from Jeanette and one each from Kayla, Joslyn, Grace and Ashley.

The Cardinal have been turning the ball over too much this season. Not today — they had just eight turnovers to Xavier's 17. They stole the ball from Xavier 13 times.

Some of the Cardinal have been careless at the free-throw line. Not today — Nneka and Chiney were perfect. The team total was 13 of 16.

Here are the game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference video with Tara, Jeanette, Kayla and Nneka,

The game highlights video,

A photo gallery by Richard C. Ersted, Stanford Photo,

A photo gallery by Kyle Terada, US Presswire,

A slide show by Nhat V. Mayer, Mercury News,

A photographic blog by Kelley L Cox,

And more photos :

Special Jennings turns it over to Jeanette & Kayla Jeanette lays it up and in Katie Rutan tries to get away from Lindy and past Sarah Nneka and Ta'Shia Phillips go for the rebound Kayla and Joslyn double-team Amber Harris An Ogwumike sandwich Chiney celebrates her good play The bench celebrates Grace's three-pointer Awesome!

December 27, 2010

Tough games this week

A couple of stories about this week's tough games:

Is Stanford ready for Xavier?

Q McCall (Swish Appeal) writes about the Cardinal's identity crisis — about their trying to figure out how best to play without Jayne, Ros and JJ. Read more...

December 26, 2010

Contenders or pretenders?

Rick Eymer, who covers sports for the Palo Alto Weekly, writes about the Cardinal's upcoming games against Xavier and UConn:

"What a way to finish the year and get ready for Pac-10 Conference play. The eighth-ranked Cardinal will know one way or the other if they are contenders for the national title, or pretenders to the crown." Read more...

December 24, 2010

Tara is named 2010 South Bay Sports Person of the Year

Marc Purdy (Mercury News) writes that Tara's off-the-court activity is what makes her the perfect choice as the 2010 South Bay Sports Person of the Year. Read more...

December 23, 2010

Many more wins await Tara

Mechelle Voepel (ESPN) writes that many more wins await Tara, who isn't defined by her wins and losses. Read more...

December 22, 2010

Cardinal romp to #800

Coach Azzi had good reason to be proud of her young team tonight. The Dons showed good basketball skills, kept up with (or a bit ahead of) the Cardinal for about ten minutes, and never quit trying. But they couldn't prevail over the Cardinal's size, strength and skill and went down 100-45.

I'm sure Coach Tara also felt proud as every member of the team contributed to her 800th career victory:

  • All healthy members played at least seven minutes and scored at least three points.
  • Kayla had a monster double-double with 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
  • Sara sank four three-pointers, scored 14 points, and had eight rebounds — all career-highs.
  • Joslyn also scored a career-high 14 points.
  • Lindy started for the second game in a row, played the point for 21 minutes, and sank the three that took the score to triple digits.
  • Chiney, who rolled her ankle in practice today, kept very busy leading the high-five salutes to the eleven three-pointers from Lindy, Jeanette, Joslyn, Grace, Mikaela, Sara and Toni
And everyone was proud of Tara — her players, her former players, her staff, all her fans ... It was a happy night in San Francisco.

Here are the game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

And more celebratory photos :

December 21, 2010

Old friends get together

Longtime Cardinal fans may be reminded of the good old days — Tara Vanderveer, Jennifer Azzi and Katy Steding together again — but on the sidelines, not on the court, as Stanford and USF play on Wednesday night.

Although this season's two teams are mismatched, I'm sure both will play their best, as expected by their coaches.

But Stanford is likely to win, and Tara to chalk up her 800th career victory against two women who came to Stanford in 1986 and helped her win 101 of those games, a national championship and an Olympic gold medal.

Read more in these articles:

December 20, 2010

More about the Tennessee game

Here's more about last night's game in Knoxville:

December 19, 2010

Cardinal loses in overtime

Yet another in the home-you-win and away-you-lose series between Stanford and Tennessee. This one went to Tennessee, 82-72.

The Cardinal looked tentative during much of the first half and fell behind by as much as fourteen. They came back strong and confident in the second half and fought their way back to a six point lead with eight minutes left to play. The Lady Vols whittled that down to a tie and had the ball with 23 seconds left to play. It looked like they would win on that possession, but a pass to Stricklen bounced off her fingers and the Cardinal recovered the ball. Toni took the ball downcourt with 5.1 seconds on the clock, but couldn't quite pull off a "Jeanette 4.4".

The Lady Vols won the overtime period quite easily, mostly with free throws, after Jeanette and Sarah fouled out.

There was lots of good play from the Cardinal tonight. Jeannette led the way with another big scoring performance — six 3-pointers, and 24 points. Her season average is now up to three 3-pointers and 16.1 points per game. She also had five rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Nneka had a huge double-double &mdash 10 rebounds and 20 points. Her season averages are 17.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg.

Although Kayla didn't look 100% tonight, she still played 44 minutes and had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Here are the game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

And the photos :

Meighan Simmons drives against Toni Toni and Angie Bjorklund fight for a loose ball Nneka takes a shot over Bjorklund Get outta the way, Glory! Jeanette drives past Bjorklund

The view from Knoxville

Dan Fleser, Knoxville News-Sentinel, reports:

The evidence has been mounting for weeks that Tennessee still is struggling to improve its health, organize its personnel and reshape its roster into a team. Read more...

At their practice session on Friday, the Lady Vols prepared scouting reports for today's game against Stanford. Junior forward Glory Johnson was interviewed after the practice session for this video ...

Jake Curtis reports that Kayla has been cleared to play. She, "... passed all the tests needed for medical clearance for the head injury she sustained last Sunday against Fresno State, and she practiced wth the team on Saturday. "

Now, if there was only a way to stifle some of those 14,000 orange-clad fans ...

December 18, 2010

Tara's new title

You may have noticed in recent Stanford women's basketball news that Tara's formal title is now Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer.

Stanford recently received a major gift from Setsuko Ishiyama that endows the head coaching position for Stanford women's basketball. Mrs. Setsuko Ishiyama and her late husband George Ishiyama (pictured below with their family) have long been great supporters of Stanford University.

Stanford Athletics says of coaching endowments:

Functioning much the same way as endowed professorships do, the payout from these funds is used to help pay the salaries of coaches. This eases the burden on the athletic department's annual operating budget and ensures the longevity of specific programs by providing coaches' salaries in perpetuity. A coaching endowment is a source of pride and prestige for the coach.

December 17, 2010

The view from the other side

It doesn't make up for losing, but it feels good to realize what a great day it was for DePaul and Coach Bruno. The Blue Demons played a great game and earned every bit of their landmark victory.

Patricia Babcock McGraw (Chicago Daily Herald) gives us DePaul's view of Thursday's game.

December 16, 2010

Cardinal bedeviled by Blue Demons

Doug Bruno avoided the hat trick he didn't want. Unlike Pat Summitt and C. Vivian Stringer, Tara will get her 800th career win against someone other than DePaul — the Blue Demons crushed the Cardinal 91-71.

Kayla did not play tonight, ending her string of 121 straight starts beginning with the first game of her freshman season. It would have been a different game with her on the court, but perhaps not a different outcome. DePaul's aggressive swarming defense kept the Cardinal off balance and out of sync — never able to get their game going.

And the Blue Demons were red-hot on offense. Senior forward Felicia Chester, who has a career average of 7.6 points a game, scored 24 points at a rate of 89%. Keisha Hampton, DePaul's top scorer made 57% of her shots for 27 points. As a team, they shot 59.6% to our 40.6%.

Jeanette led the Cardinal with 23 points, Nneka had a double-double (10 and 10), and Joslyn sank three 3-pointers, but it wasn't nearly enough. DePaul was by far the better team tonight.

Here are the game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

And a few photos:

Toni goes for a loose ball Sarah snags a rebound Chiney puts up a shot Mikaela drives to the basket