January 10, 2015

Cardinal disrupts the Dawgs

This was an exciting, tense game, although it was another low-scoring affair, as both the Cardinal and the Dawgs disrupted each others' offense with strong defense.

The defense was extremely effective in the first half, which ended 22-24 and featured (if that's the word) a 2-for-17 streak of "clunks" and "clanks" and "whiffs" by the Cardinal offense.

In the second half, both teams began finding the basket. The Cardinal opened with a 9-0 run but the Dawgs quickly came back. All told, the lead changed five times in the second half, helped by long, dramatic three-point shots from both teams. Bonnie hit two very timely shots from well outside the arc, as did Washington's Kelsey Plum and Brianna Ruiz.

But the most dramatic shot of all came with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Stanford had the ball and ran the shot clock down to 11 seconds without attempting a shot, at which point Tara called time. Out of the timeout, the ball moved about from player to player but nobody could get open. With less than 2 seconds on the shot clock, the ball came to Lili, and she fired from well outside the line just as the shot clock expired. The ball came off the glass high above the hoop and dropped through.

The referees watched replays to make sure the ball had been launched in time – it had been, and Stanford had a four-point lead that Washington could not close in the remaining seconds. Stanford 60, Washington 56.

Nobody ran away with the scoring. Each team had three players who scored in double digits for a combined total of 41 points. For Washington: Kelsey Plum - 16, Jazmine Davis - 13, and Aminah Williams - 12. For Stanford: Lili - 15, Amber - 14, and Bonnie - 12.

Both Cardinal freshmen contributed greatly to the defense. Kaylee grabbed 13 rebounds, four of them O-boards (and committed only two fouls). Brittany came off the bench for 12 minutes, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

And photos by Elaine Thompson (Associated Press):

Kaylee pulls down one of her 13 rebounds
Bird, the most energetic rebounder
Lili, a bit too aggressive on defense
Bonnie tries to keep Kelsey Plum from going to her left
Amber shoots against Aminah Williams
Karlie shoots over Brianna Ruiz
Lili drives past Kelsey Plum
Amber foils larceny attempt

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