December 16, 2011

Cardinal holds that Tiger

... but it wasn't nearly as easy as the score (85-66) suggests.

The Tigers came to Maples to play and showed themselves to be a good strong team. Their aggressive defense kept the game close all through the first half, and they went into the locker room just seven points behind. Taylor began the second half with a 3-pointer that gave the Cardinal their first double-digit lead.

The Cardinal played good defense too. They had five blocks, seven steals and a few more rebounds than the Tigers. They held Niveen Rasheed, the Tigers' leading player, to 16 points and seven rebounds ‐ a bit below her season average.

The Tigers weren't able to control The Sisters.

Nneka led the Cardinal in scoring (22) and rebounding (12) and also had two assists, two blocks and a steal. Nneka didn't just pile up points in the paint today. Six of her eight field goals were long- or mid-range jumpers — pull up, pop, in it goes. "We haven't been coaching that," said Tara after the game, "Nneka's been spending a lot of time working on her shooting."

Chiney scored about a point a minute — 21 points in 22 minutes on 10-of-11 shooting. She also tallied nine rebounds (six of them O-boards), an assists, a block and a steal and made her free throw.

The Cardinal had trouble finding the basket from beyond the arc, but improved in the second half. Lindy made 3-of-8 threes, Toni 2-of-4 and Taylor 1-of-4.

Here are game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

The game highlights video,

A gallery of photos by Richard C Ersted (Stanford Photo),

And photos by George Nikitin (Associated Press):

Nneka drives Chiney shoots Toni goes for a loose ball Sarah struggles for the ball

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