February 01, 2013

Cardinal downs the Ducks

Updated Feb 2 with game reports from the Register-Guard and Daily Emerald and videos from the Pac-12 Networks.

The evening at Matthew Knight Arena began very nicely with the anthem sung by a very young girl who sang the melody composed by Francis Scott Key at a good tempo and mostly on pitch.

Then on to the game. The Ducks put up a good fight, but ...

The Cardinal started off with a barrage of made baskets against the Ducks' zone defense and took an early 23-4 lead, but the Ducks fought back and whittled the lead down to eleven at the end of the first half.

The Cardinal returned after the break (and perhaps after a reminder from Tara about maintaining concentration) and went on a 13-2 run in five minutes that effectively put the game out of reach for the Ducks.

Final score: Stanford 86, Oregon 62.

It was, as expected, an up-tempo "run and gun" game. The Cardinal had no trouble matching the Ducks' pace and out-gunned them 44%-28%. The Cardinal defense often got downcourt before the Duck offense could take its intended quick shot.

The Ducks' zone defense, which they used for almost the entire game, called out for offense from beyond the arc, and the Cardinal responded more than they have for a long time. They made 10 of 27 3-point attempts for a good rate of 37%. Sara made three of her seven attempts. Jos, Toni and Amber each made one of several. Best news of all — Bonnie and Taylor each made two of five.

Chiney, of course, got through the defense and found her shots. She tallied her 16th double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds. She made 69% of her shots and also had two assists, two steals and a block. She looked as strong and as agile as ever while on the court, but played only 28 minutes, so perhaps her tweaked ankle isn't 100%.

Jos also attacked and scored in the paint. She scored 16 points on 47% shooting. She also tallied an assist, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks ... and a technical foul. After a furious tussle for a rebound that ended as a held ball, the referees conferred at the replay monitor for several minutes and finally called a 'T' against Jos. The fight for the rebound was at the other end of the court and I couldn't see what happened, but I assume that Jos was a bit too energetic and perhaps threw an elbow.

Amber played for only 20 minutes, but she came so close to a double-double of nine points and nine assists. She also had four rebounds and a steal and turned the ball over just two times.

In spite of having a brace on her right knee, what may be a brace on her left ankle and a bandage/brace around her right thumb, Toni started and played the team-high 32 minutes. She tallied six points and five assists. On defense, she got two rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Sara started again tonight and played for 26 minutes. In addition to her three 3-pointers, she got a layup, three assists and a block.

Tara used six players off the bench, and they contributed 22 points to the victory — eight from Taylor, six from Bonnie, four from Mikaela and four from Tess.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

No. 4 Stanford races past the Ducks Highlights, video from Pac-12 Networks,

Ros interviews Tara on her 400th conference win, video from Pac-12 Networks,

The Oregon postgame press conference video with coach Paul Westhead,

The Oregon postgame press conference video with Jillian Alleyne and Ariel Thomas,

A gallery of photos by Dave Cortesi,

And photos by Don Ryan (Associated Press):

Toni on a fast break
Sara plays tight defense
Chiney looks for her shot
Double trouble for Mikaela
Way to go, Cardinal!

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