November 18, 2014

Can anyone beat UConn? YES-S-S-S!!!

Tara expected to be proud of her young team's performance against two-time national champion UConn. I'll bet that even she didn't expect to be this proud.

The Huskies had the lead for most of the game, but never by more than 10, and that for just 30 seconds well into the second half.

The Cardinal took a one-point lead on a three-pointer by Bonnie with two minutes left in the first half. They took the lead again, by four, on a three-pointer by Karlie two minutes into the second half.

This is what happened at the end of regulation, with just over one minute to play:

Time Score Action
01:19 68-71 Bonnie makes a FT, reduces UConn lead to 3.
00:47 70-71 Lili makes 2 FTs
00:37 70-73 Breanna Stewart makes 2 FTs
00:26 72-73 Amber drives to the basket and lays it in
00:24 72-75 Mosqueda-Lewis makes 2 FTs
00:16 74-75 Amber drives to the basket and lays it in
00:12 74-77 Morgan Tuck makes 2 FTs
00:04 77-77 Amber sinks a 3-ptr
00:01 77-77 Mosqueda-Lewis heaves inbound to Stewart at half court, who launches a shot that falls just short of the rim

The Huskies scored first in overtime and held a one- to three-point lead until:

Time Score Action
01:39 85-84 Amber sinks a jumper
00:20 87-84 Bonnie makes 2 FTs
00:03 87-86 Saniya Chong makes a layup
00:02 88-86 Karlie makes a FT
00:02.6 88-86 Mosqueda-Lewis inbounds to Kiah Stokes, who passes it back to M-L, who dribbles 4 times. The buzzer sounds. Game over!

Video by Dave Cortesi

The victory was a great total team effort by the Cardinal.

Before the game, coach Tempie Brown said that the game plan was to avoid mistakes. The players were advised to control their own efforts — don't foul, don't turn the ball over, get the rebounds.

They did a pretty good job of that. Each team committed 24 fouls (and made about two-thirds of their free throws). The Cardinal committed 15 turn-overs, to the Huskies' 13. The Cardinal out-rebounded the Huskies, 41-37.

The Cardinal defense was outstanding. Everyone was assigned to guard the Huskies' top scorer, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis — when defense was needed elsewhere, Karlie was to be responsible. KML was so closely guarded that she took only six shots and made none in the first 30 minutes of the game. She ended with just 12 points: two three-pointers, one jumper and four free throws.

In total, the Huskies made only 40.6% of their field goals — 10% less than their 2013-14 average.

Kaylee did an outstanding job in the post. She didn't score a lot, but she led all rebounders (Cardinal & Huskies) with 13.

Lili was so full of energy that she was a bit out of control at times and managed to make only seven of her 12 free throws, but she ended as the top scorer (Cardinal & Huskies) with 24 points.

The Cardinal shot well from beyond the arc — Bonnie sank two three-pointers and Taylor, Lili, Amber, Briana, and Karlie each sank one.

And Bonnie, on a night when the Cardinal's free-throw shooting was making fans very anxious, swished in all six of hers.

Amber was a great leader of this great team effort. She tallied 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Most important, she took charge and was most effective when it was needed most — in that last critical minute of regulation and to turn the tide in overtime.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The Stanford game highlights video,

The PAC-12 game highlights video,

The Connecticut press conference audio,

The Stanford press conference audio,

A gallery of photos by Bob Drebin (Stanford Photo),

A gallery of photos by Kyle Terada (USA Today Sports),

And a few postgame photos:

Tara's plan pays off!
The winners celebrate
Bonnie and Karlie exult
Lili savors the moment with her family
Geno talks to the media after the game

No comments: