January 05, 2015

Cardinal beats the Utes, 55-44

Updated Jan 6: Added press conference audio.

In the first half the Cardinal struggled with a terrible case of lid-on-the-basket-itis, missing shot after shot. Utah graciously allowed them to stay in the game by shooting even more poorly at 21% to Stanford's 27%. The Cardinal showed some life late in the first half, igniting the crowd with a clean 3 by Lili and a strong layup by Kaylee. Still, the half ended on the very low score of 20-14. It was notable that Utah took no free throws in that half.

In the second half the Cardinal found their stroke and quickly raised their shooting to 37%, in the process taking a double-digit lead about the second media timeout and holding it to the end.

The Cardinal found a bit of the inside offense they've been working so hard to develop. Kaylee stayed out of foul trouble and in the game tonight for 29 minutes. She provided some fine defense with seven rebounds, four blocks and a steal. Even better, she scored seven points on two layups, a jumper and a free throw.

Bird made just one of three attempts, but it was a beauty – a clean layup on a perfect bounce pass from Taylor Greenfield.

Bonnie had a rough night, being repeatedly mauled by Ute defenders and scoring only two free throws. But she grabbed seven of the rebounds that gave the Cardinal a 43-33 advantage over the Utes.

Brittany provided an exciting few moments of hustle in the first half, as she stole the ball from Cheyenne Wilson and made a fast break for the basket. She was fouled on her layup, but made both of her free throws. She also blocked three shots.

As in Saturday's game against Colorado, the bulk of the Cardinal offense came from Amber and Lili who led the scoring with 17 and 14 points respectively.

Given the unfriendly starting time of 5pm on a workday, it was no surprise that the crowd was a sparse 2,782.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference audio, with Tara, Amber and Lili,

More about Tara's injury that Rick Eymer mentions in his game report: Tara VanDerveer breaks bone in arm,

And photos by Nhat V. Meyer (Bay Area News Group):

Brittany heads for the basket with her stolen ball
Brittany is fouled on arrival at the basket
Bonnie heads for the basket
Bonnie heads for the floor as her shot is blocked
Amber takes control

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