November 24, 2014

Cardinal escapes wolf pack

The Cardinal wore their black road warrier uniforms in the Pit, where they found a much tougher battle than was anticipated.

Before the game, Lobos' junior point guard Bryce Owens said, "We’ll just play as hard as we can and see what happens." What happened is they came thisclose to winning.

The Lobos pulled ahead by one point with just 46 seconds left to play, but the Cardinal sank all six of their ensuing free throws and won the battle 70-65.

The Cardinal won the battle at the free-throw line, but came perilously close to losing it there too. Before those last six, they made only 11 of 23 attempts — yes, an abysmal 48%. That's going to have to be corrected soon.

It was a game of streaks.

Stanford dominated the first quarter with strong defense inside and great shooting from the outside. They led by as much as 16, largely thanks to Karlie, who sank four three-pointers in the first six minutes. She sank two more later and led all scorers at the end with a career-high 23 points.

The momentum changed in the second quarter. The Lobos began taking – and making – their shots from beyond the arc and gradually cut into the Cardinal lead. They tied the score with five minutes left in the half and were ahead by three with five seconds left. Amber, the buzzer-beater, sank a three-pointer to tie the score 35-35. She scored a total of 23 points tonight and became the 35th member of the Stanford 1000-point club.

The Cardinal started the second half with a 14-2 run, but the Lobos weren't anywhere near giving up. They kept whittling away at the lead and took it again with 46 seconds left to play.


    Kaylee was fouled on a rebound and made two free throws;
    Amber inexpicably fouled Antiesha Brown, who missed both of her free throws;
    Bonnie & Amber iced the win with two free throws apiece.

The game really was decided by free throws. The Cardinal had a huge rebounding advantage (50-31), but their inside scoring was poor. Both teams scored 26 points in the paint. And the Lobos made eight three-pointers to the Cardinal's seven. That adds up to a final "field goal score" of 50-47, advantage Lobos. Although the Cardinal missed 12 free throws, they took 13 more than the Lobos and made 10 more.

That huge rebounding advantage was largely due to Kaylee's near-record-setting performance. She grabbed 22 of the Cardinal's 50 rebounds. Chiney holds the Stanford single-game record with 24 and Nneka had 23 once. Kaylee also drew the most fouls and made enough of her free throws to tally her first double-double (the only one tonight) — 22-10.

Where was Lili? She was not feeling well and did not play tonight.

Here are game reports and commentary:

And the box score and play-by-play.

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