February 08, 2015

Cardinal suffers another scoring drought in the desert

So many disappointing parallels in the Cardinal's two games in the desert:
  • First, the worst: Stanford loses, 60-57 (its first loss to Arizona since 2004).

  • Stanford has comfortable lead at end of first half — by 11 against ASU, by 12 against Arizona.

  • Stanford suffers scoring drought in second half — missed eight shots, while ASU scored 16 points; missed 12 shots, while Arizona scored 17 points.

  • Stanford's 3-point prowess is AWOL — made 4 of 14 (28.6%) in Tempe, 7 of 22 (31.8%) in Tucson; average was 39.5% before this weekend.

  • Stanford misses critical free throws in closing minutes — missed 2 of 2 in Tempe; two of our best FT shooters missed 3 of 3 (including a one-and-one) in Tucson.

  • Game is won at the charity stripe — in Tempe, Stanford led in scoring from the field (48-45), but ASU was fouled 17 times and made 8 of 17 free throws, while Stanford was fouled 10 times and made 4 of 7 free throws; in Tucson, Stanford led in scoring from the field (49-44), Arizona was fouled 19 times and made 16 of 21 free throws, Stanford was fouled 13 times and made 8 of 13 free throws.

  • Opponents' scoring came from unexpected source — for ASU, Quinn Dornstauder scored career-high 22 points (average was 7.3 ppg); for Arizona, Brianna Workman scored career-high 17 points (average was 4.8 ppg).
With almost six minutes left to play, the Wildcats took their first lead since early in the first half. Amber and Kaylee, who were on the bench with four fouls apiece, subbed back in and the Cardinal made a valiant effort to regain control. In the last five minutes:

Bonnie sank a trey
Amber sank a trey
Amber stole the ball and scored a layup
Bri drew a foul on a reckless drive to the basket but missed both FTs
Taylor G sank a trey
Bonnie sank another trey

With a minute left to play, the Cardinal were ahead by seven, but it wasn't enough. The Wildcats had sensed victory and were not to be denied. Charise Holloway, their best 3-point shooter, sank one; Candice Warthen, their leading scorer, made two jumpers and three free throws; and the Wildcat defense allowed the Cardinal just one more shot, which missed.

In other Pac-12 action tonight, WSU held a lead over OSU (as much as 16 points) for 28 minutes. But OSU regained control and won by five points.

Cal stayed ahead of a tired-looking ASU from tipoff until Katie Hempen sank her only trey of the night and put ASU ahead by one with 14 seconds left to play. Cal got possession and took the ball down the court where Mikayla Cowling missed a layup with a second left on the game clock. Penina Davidson (the player from New Zealand that Tara referred to Cal) grabbed the rebound and put the ball back as the buzzer sounded.

So OSU regains sole possession of #1 in the conference; ASU and Cal are tied for second, one game back; and Stanford is #4, one game behind them.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

A gallery of photos from the (University of Arizona).

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