December 30, 2015
December 28, 2015
However, any suspense was pretty well blown away in the first five minutes, as the Cardinal loped out to a 14-2 lead at the first timeout. It became clear that the Mocs, who have lost two of their key players to injury, were not the dominating team we played last season.
The first quarter ended at 40-18 (the Band's favorite lead at "2X plus 4", but it came just at the buzzer so the Band didn't have a chance to chant it). For the rest of the game Stanford held that 2X or greater lead.
Chattanooga has the stats of a team that defends well while fouling little, and in fact they were never in the bonus in any quarter — but neither was Stanford.
Late in the second quarter, the Mocs went to a 1-2-2 zone defense that slowed the Cardinal. They continued the zone throughout the second half. The Cardinal, holding a big lead, didn't try to beat the zone, but settled for passing the ball around the perimeter for 25 seconds on most possessions. Several times a Cardinal fast break or outlet pass got down the floor ahead of the defense and yet was pulled back, allowing the Mocs to set up their zone. Even with such passive tactics, in the third quarter Stanford outscored Chattanooga 11-7, ending the quarter at 51-25.
In the fourth quarter Jim Foster, Chattanooga's hall of fame coach, put his reserves in early. Tara did not, but left her better players on the floor until the 4:32 mark. This imbalance led to a 14-0 Cardinal run. The Mocs had only five points in the fourth quarter to end the game at 73-30.
Clearly, Stanford had the better defensive game plan (and the players to execute it) for this contest. Chattanooga's best player, Jasmine Joyner, was blanked for the first 39 minutes, only scoring a single basket at the end of the game. While the zone slowed Stanford, it didn't help the Mocs who just couldn't score effectively against Stanford's defense, and the Cardinal enjoyed their third blowout win in a row.
Several individual highlights stand out in memory. In the second quarter, Kailee had the ball in the paint, swarmed by Mocs. She looked for an outlet, and looked, and looked; then with an almost audible "the heck with it" dribbled once, spun, and dropped in a short jumper. A couple of possessions later she rebounded a miss by Karlie, passed out to Lili who shot and missed, rebounded again under the basket, and made a layup.
Bird didn't quite get her double-double tonight (no one did), but she led all scorers with 18 points, to which she added eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals.
The Cardinal were cold from beyond the arc, making just five of 22 attempts. Lili missed all six of hers, but scored inside and at the line for 11 points. She needs just 28 more to become the 36th member of the Stanford 1000-point club.
Karlie was, as always, a beast on defense. Her defensive efforts don't contribute much to the box score, but they're a vital part of the Cardinal's success. She's credited tonight with just three rebounds and one steal, but she frequently caused held balls and turnovers and unsuccessful shots. She was also the Cardinal's third double-digit scorer with 10 points and dished four assists.
Bri had the most success from beyond the arc (a perfect three of three) and the most assists (five) with just one turnover.
Kaylee was tough under the basket. She was often in contention for a rebound and grabbed six of them. Four were offensive rebounds; she put two of them back in. She also scored on two other layups for a total of eight points, and she had four steals. She's clearly out of her slump!
In the final minutes, Tess put in two nice layups, both times off assists by Alexa.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- No. 11 Stanford women crush Chattanooga 73-30, the Associated Press game recap
- Mocs Suffer Road Loss at No. 12 Stanford, the Chattanooga Athletics game recap
- More dominant defense, the Stanford Athletics game recap
- Cardinal women get defensive in hoops victory over the Mocs from Palo Alto Online
- WBB vs. UT Chattanooga; revenge of the nerds from the CARDboard
A gallery of photos by Hector Garcia-Molina (Stanford Photo).
December 26, 2015
Chattanooga grabbed national attention last season with stunning upsets of Stanford and Tennessee. They went on to an unbeaten Southern Conference record and a third straight NCAA tournament berth. Third-year head coach Jim Foster was expected to make that four in row with the return of nearly every key player.
Unfortunately for the Mocs, two of their key players are no longer in action. Starting junior guard and second-best scorer Chelsea Shumpert suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Mocs' third game of the season. Shumpert scored the game-high 18 points against Stanford last season on five-of-nine from beyond the arc.
Starting redshirt sophomore guard Aryanna Gilbert, who tore her ACL last December, has not played in the past four games; no injury report has been published.
In spite of these setbacks, the Mocs lead the Southern Conference with an 8-4 win-loss record. Three of the losses were to ranked teams — UConn, Tennessee (by just two points) and South Florida.
The Mocs are not ranked, but their RPI is 23 and their schedule-strength rank is 29.
As was the case last season, the Mocs are a very disciplined team. They excel defensively without fouling. They have committed the second-fewest fouls of any team in the nation (11.6 per game).
The Mocs are led by 6-2 junior forward Jasmine Joyner. She is the Mocs' leading scorer (12.4 ppg) and rebounder (8.5 rpg). In spite of her modest height, she is the nation's second-best shot blocker with an average of 4.33 per game. With Shumpert out of action, the Mocs don't have much in the way of 3-point shooting, but Joyner has begun to expand her game and is now the Mocs' best 3-point shooter with an average of 1.1 per game at a rate of 38%.
5-11 sophomore guard Keiana Gilbert, Aryanna 's younger sister, is the Moc's second-best scorer with 12.3 ppg.
5-9 senior point guard Alicia Payne was voted the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season. She averages 6.3 points per game and 3.7 assists with just 2.0 turnovers.
6-0 junior guard Moses Johnson and 5-10 freshman guard Nakeia Burks have completed the starting lineup for the past four games. The sixth Moc to consistently play major minutes is 5-10 junior guard Queen Alford. Combined, they average 16.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
December 22, 2015
Stanford began to assert itself at both ends of the floor in the second quarter, during which the Cardinal outscored the Roadrunners 24-6, ending the half at 42-18. The rest of the game was all Stanford until with five minutes left to play, Tara put in the last of the reserves to finish the game at 83-41.
For the second game in a row, every Stanford player had at least five minutes on the floor; and everyone but Alexa scored at least 1 point. Four Stanford players were in double digits: Alanna with 14, Karlie with 13 (on four of five 3-pointers), Kaylee with 11 (and seven rebounds), and Erica leading all with 15 points and 10 rebounds (her eighth double-double of the season) and four blocks and a steal.
Erica was honored before the game for her participation in USA Basketball this summer. She received a plaque presented by the coaches of both teams: Tara for Stanford and Erica's father, Greg McCall, coach for CSUB.
And she got a big hug from her dad after the game.
Stanford's dominance did not extend to every aspect of the game. The Cardinal gave up 14 turnovers to CSUB's 11 and three steals to their seven and hit only 39% of their free throws, 13-33. So these two blowout wins should not be taken as a forecast of the upcoming Chattanooga game, where Stanford will face a much stronger opponent.
Here's a game preview: It's Erica McCall vs. Greg McCall as Stanford hosts CSU Bakersfield by Michelle Smith (espnW)
The game reports and commentary:
- No. 12 Stanford women race away from CS Bakersfield 83-41, the Associated Press game recap
- No. 11/12 Stanford Defeats CSUB 83-41, the CSU Bakersfield Athletics game recap
- Daughter's Double-Double, the game recap and more from Stanford Athletics
- Stanford women rout Cal State Bakersfield by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)
- McCall helps Stanford women hoops fly past Roadrunners by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)
- WBB: Stanford 83 CSU Bakersfield 41 from the CARDboard
The press conference audio with Tara, Erica and Alanna
A gallery of photos by Nhat V. Meyer (Bay Area New Group),
A gallery of photos from Stanford Athletics.
December 21, 2015
Some people are touting this game as McCall (Erica) vs McCall (Greg, Erica's father and the Roadrunners' head coach). I doubt that they look at it that way. I expect that each of them will be delighted to win and sorry for the other's loss.
The Cardinal and Roadrunners have played each other just once before. That was four years ago when Bird was a high school senior and Greg had just stepped up from assistant coach to head coach at CSUB, which had just made the transition to NCAA Division I.
The Cardinal won that game easily and, on paper, it looks like the re-match will have the same result.
The Roadrunners play in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). They placed second in the WAC in the past two seasons and were picked to finish second this year, but are currently standing at the bottom with a 2-10 win-loss record.
The Roadrunners have had a tough non-conference schedule (South Carolina, Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA), but it's hard to understand why they've lost six other games. They lost their top shooter to graduation, but they still have their three-year star rebounder 6-2 senior forward Batabe Zampare, who is leading the team this season with 11.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
But there are also five freshmen and two sophomores on the roster. Perhaps the Roadrunners are another cake in the oven that's not quite done yet. They just broke an eight-game losing streak on Saturday with a victory over Cal Poly in which 5-9 freshman guard Addi Walters led all scorers with 15 points on 55% shooting.
December 19, 2015
The Big Red never stopped competing as hard as they could, but even in the fourth quarter, playing against the end of the Stanford bench, Cornell was outscored 20-10 on the way to the final score of 93-38.
Each of the fourteen Stanford players had at least nine minutes on the floor. Twelve of the fourteen scored, and five had double-digit scores: Alanna and Erica with 12; Lili and Karlie with 11; and Kaylee with the only double-double, putting 11 rebounds together with 10 points, three blocks, three assists and a steal for her best outing so far this season.
Especially noteworthy among the fourth-quarter outings by bench-sitters was Kiran. She was 3-4 from long range, emphatically corking every Cornell attempt at a run.
The Cardinal was almost perfect on free throws, making 21 of 24. Lack of pressure has a most gratifying effect.
In other Pac-12 action today, the Tennessee Lady Vols came out of their slump and handed the Oregon State Beavers their first loss of the season, 53-50.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- No. 15 Stanford women defeat Cornell 93-38, the Associated Press game recap
- No. 15 Stanford Downs Women’s Basketball, the Cornell Athletics game recap
- Team Effort, the game recap from Stanford Athletics
- Stanford women overpower Cornell 93-38 by Tom FitzGerald (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Five players reach double figures in Stanford's hoops win by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)
- WBB: Cornell at Stanford from the CARDboard
A gallery of photos by Bill Dally (Stanford Photo),
December 18, 2015
The Cardinal is at home on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 to the Cornell Big Red. The game won't be televised, but it will be live-streamed by Stanford Athletics here. KZSU will broadcast the game, and live stats will be here.
This will be the first Stanford vs Cornell encounter ever. Cornell, located in Ithaca NY, is one of the eight Ivy League schools.
Cornell currently stands near the bottom of the league with a 4-4 win-loss record. Its roster consists of nine guards and three forwards (the tallest is 6-2.
The Big Red is led by 6-0 junior forward Nia Marshall, who accounts for more than a quarter of the Big Red scoring with an average of 16.8 points per game. She also has the most steals (2.6 spg) and the most blocks (1.0 bpg).
5-8 junior point guard Kerri Moran scores just 7.3 points per game herself, but generates more with her good ball handling. She tallies more than twice as many assists as turnovers — 4.5/1.9 per game.
The long ball is not a major part of Cornell's game. They make just 19% of their points from beyond the arc. 5-10 freshman guard Caroline Shelquist is Big Red's quintessential 3-point specialist. She takes 90% of her shots from beyond the arc, and makes just under two per game at a rate of 40%.
December 16, 2015
Updated Dec 17: Added Michelle Smith's game report and game highlights video
Tennessee took an early lead on a Diamond DeShields jumper on the first possession, but that was it for the Lady Vols. The Cardinal dominated the game for the next 32 minutes. They held a double-digit lead for most of that time — as much as 21 points — in the face of relentless full-court pressure by the Vols.
Then the Vols upped the pressure and cut the lead to seven with 5½ minutes left to play, but the Cardinal fought back and kept control and won 69-55.
The Cardinal learned the importance of rebounding from their loss to Texas and won the battle of the boards 42-31 tonight, including 13-10 O-boards. Bird led that battle with ten rebounds to which she added 14 points for her seventh double-double of the season. Only four other players in the nation have that many.
The Cardinal offense was unusual tonight in that almost all of their scoring came from within the arc. They attempted only eleven 3-pointers (about half of their average) and only Karlie and Lili succeeded with one apiece.
After the loss to Texas, Tara lamented, "so many bad shots". The Cardinal learned from that too — they made 50% of their shots tonight. Lili fell a couple short of her signature 21 points, but led all scorers with 19.
Kaylee was back in the action tonight. She made three of four shots in the paint and four of six free throws for a total of ten points — the seventh double-digit game of her career.
Marta played the point for 29 minutes tonight, during which she scored nine points, dished four assists with just three turnovers, grabbed three rebounds, and stole the ball twice. One of her drives to the basket and layup sparked the Cardinal's rebuff of the Lady Vols' resurgence as they cut the lead to seven points for the second time with three minutes left to play.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- Thompson leads No. 15 Stanford women past No. 14 Lady Vols, the Associated Press game recap by Rick Eymer
- #14 Lady Vols fall to #15 Stanford, 69-55, the Tennessee Athletics game recap
- Cardinal topples Tennessee, the game recap and more from Stanford Athletics
- Lady Vols can’t dig out of early hole in loss at Stanford by Dan Fleser (Knoxville News)
- No. 15 Stanford women hold off No. 14 Tennessee by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)
- Press bothers Stanford women, but they beat Tennessee 69-55 by Tom FitzGerald (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Abysmal shooting plagues No. 14 Tennessee, falls to No. 15 Stanford by Natalie Winters (Swish Appeal)
- Stanford's balanced attack overwhelms uninspired Lady Vols by Michelle Smith (espnW)
A gallery of photos from (Stanford Athletics),
The press conference video with Tara and Bird and Marta,
And photos by Marcio Jose Sanchez (Associated Press):
... ready to play their 33rd game all-time against the Cardinal tonight.
Dan Fleser (Knoxville News) reports on the difficulty of the trip and the difficulty of achieving their desired quality of play in: Lady Vols miles away from destination on offense
The Tennessee game preview includes the skinny on Tennessee injuries.
The Stanford game preview includes a close look at the storied rivalry.
December 13, 2015
The Longhorns' strong defense was expected — they rank in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense and in rebound margin. They out-rebounded the Cardinal 44 - 29, including 16 - 8 offensive rebounds. The Cardinal had zero O-boards in the first half of the game, three of their eight came in the last eight seconds.
Senior guard Empress Davenport's performance was not expected. She is the Longhorn's defensive stopper. Until this afternoon, she had averaged just over seven points per game in her career. This afternoon she scored a game-high and career-high 23 points at a 53% clip!
The box score reveals a very different game than I observed. It seemed to me that the Longhorns had way more possessions than the Cardinal and were making more of their shots. In fact, the field goals were exactly the same — each team made 25 of 59 attempts. And the Cardinal had eight 3-pointers to the Longhorns' four, and thus a four-point advantage.
But the Longhorn defense led not only to offense. It also led to Cardinal fouls, which led the Longhorns to the free throw line where they scored 23 points on free throws to the Cardinal's 11, and there is the eight-point victory!
There were many fine performances by the Cardinal this afternoon to substantiate Tara's belief that this team has not yet achieved its potential.
Bird's effort seemed out-shadowed by the Longhorns' strong front court, but she made her sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds, to which she added five blocks.
Lili's contribution was not dazzling (she made just one of six 3-pointers), but she made six of 13 from the inside and got to the line seven times, where she made all but one of her free throws. It all adds up to Lili's fourth 21-point game of the season.
Brittany sparked the Cardinal offense with four of four from beyond the arc (until today, she had made only nine 3-pointers in her collegiate career). She sank back-to-back 3s twice — in the second quarter to cut the Longhorns' lead to two and again late in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to four. Unfortunately, the sparks didn't quite ignite a change in momentum.
Kailee started for the first time since her freshman season and earned a career-high 25 minutes of playing time with her strong defense.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- Davenport leads No. 5 Texas over No. 14 Stanford 77-69, the Associated Press game recap by Mark Rosner (with AP photos)
- Stanford tripped at Texas, the Stanford Athletics game recap
- No. 5 Women's Basketball Defeats No. 14 Stanford, 77-69, the Texas Athletics game recap
- No. 5 Texas downs No. 14 Stanford; hooks 3rd win against ranked opponent by Sarah Welch (Swish Appeal)
- Davenport leads Texas to victory over Stanford by Rick Cantu (Austin American-Statesman
- Into the Storm by Wally Mersereau, FBC traveller
Postgame quotes from Texas coach and players and from Tara and Lili,
A gallery of photos from (Texas Athletics).
December 12, 2015
By Bill Bradley (Las Vegas Review-Journal) asks: Could Las Vegas be home to Women's College Basketball World Series?
Debbie Antonelli has proposed the idea for years. She thinks that NCAA women’s basketball is too often not entertaining or exciting. She has been saying, "Let’s do something dramatically different," — take the NCAA tournament to Las Vegas.
Dan Steinberg (Washington Post) told the story after last season's Final Four: Does women’s college basketball need more Vegas?
NCAA-sanctioned events aren't allowed under NCAA rules because of legalized sport betting in Nevada, but NCAA President Mark Emmert said this week that change might be coming:
NCAA boss: organization 'hypocritical' about Vegas by Mark Anderson (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas, baby?! NCAA discussing championship events in Nevada by Dennis Dodd (CBS Sports)
December 10, 2015
It’s the second early season recognition for Lili, who was named to the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 on November 17.
December 08, 2015
Updated Dec 11: RPI ranks, Tennessee statisticsThe Cardinal return to the court after finals break for two of their toughest nonconference games of the season — against opponents who defeated them last season.
They travel to Austin for the first game — against the University of Texas Longhorns. The game will be on Sunday, December 13 at 10:00 am Pacific Time. It will be televised by ESPN and broadcast by KZSU, with Live Stats here.
Then they return to Maples for their 33rd game against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers. The game will be on Wednesday evening at 6:00. It will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast by KZSU, with Live Stats here.
There will be a chalk talk before the Tennessee game and a Behind the Bench session in Maples after.
The Longhorns were ranked high in the national polls last season (No. 3/3 for a couple of weeks) until injuries derailed them midway through the season. Fortunately, the players that were healthy enough to get the Longhorns to the Sweet 16 returned, most notably the post duo of 6-7 senior center Imani Boyette (née McGee-Stafford) and 6-5 junior center Kelsey Lang.
The Longhorns have started strong this season: a perfect 7-0 (one of 15 undefeated teams). Two of their wins were by a decent margin against Top 10 teams: No. 8/8 Mississippi State (53-47) and No. 9/9 Tennessee (64-53). They are currently ranked No. 5/6. Their RPI rank is 48 and their schedule strength rank is 284.
The Longhorns' primary strength is their defense. They've allowed their opponents just 48.7 points per game (sixth-best in the nation) and held them to just .328 field goal percentage (16th-best in the nation).
Their defense has led to a good amount of offense: an average of 72.6 points per game.
The Longhorns have four 9+ scorers. They're led by Boyette with 13.6 ppg. She also has the most rebounds (8.9 rpg) and blocks (1.9 bpg). Close behind are 5-4 sophomore guard Brooke McCarty (13.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 apg), 5-9 junior guard Brianna Taylor (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and 5-9 freshman guard Lashann Higgs (9.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 spg) .
The Longhorns score 60% of their points from the inside and 20% from beyond the arc. McCarty is their most productive 3-point shooter with an average of 1.9 per game at a rate of 42%.
The remaining points come from free throws, which they make at at rate of 65.0%.
They Lady Vols lost their three double-digits scorers from last season to graduation. But they gained 6-1 sophomore guard Diamond DeShields, who sat out last season after her transfer from North Carolina, and 6-6 sophomore center Mercedes Russell, who missed last season due to surgery on both feet. They join a solid returning core of 6-2 senior forward Bashaara Graves, 5-11 junior guard Jordan Reynolds and 5-9 junior guard Andraya Carter and top-rated 5-8 freshman point guard Te'a Cooper, giving coach Holly Warlick the most talented team she has had in her four seasons in charge of the Lady Vols.
In spite of dealing with leg injuries, DeShields leads the Lady Vols in scoring (13.6 ppg) and assists (2.9 apg).
Russell is the leading shot-blocker (2.2 bpg) and the second-best rebounder (9.2 rpg) and scorer (12.1 ppg). She makes 53% of her shots.
Graves comes in a strong third in scoring (12.0 ppg) with a dazzling .725 field goal percentage. She also grabs the most rebounds (9.5 rpg).
Cooper's playing time has been limited a bit by foul trouble and turnovers, but she still averages 10.9 points, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
The Lady Vols score 66% of their points from the inside and 17% from beyond the arc. DeShields is their most productive 3-point shooter with an average of 1.3 per game at a rate of 29%.
The remaining points come from free throws, which they make at at rate of 72.5%.
The Lady Vols started well this season, but have been hit hard by the injury bug and faltered lately. They've played two ranked teams: Squeaked past No. 25 Syracuse 57-55 early in the season, but lost to No. 8/8 Texas 53-64 two weeks ago and to unranked Virginia Tech last week. In their most recent game, they pulled out a win in the last few minutes of a close game against a one-win Wichita State team playing without its leading scorer.
They are now 7-2 and ranked No. 16/15. Their RPI rank is 17 and their schedule strength rank is 9.
Team by Team Comparison
|Points scored per game||72.6||72.6||66.0|
|Points allowed per game||48.7||59.0||55.7|
|% of total points from beyond the arc||.20||.39||.17|
|% of total points from the inside||.60||.42||.66|
|% of total points from free throws||.20||.19||.17|
|Field goal %||.449||.414||.411|
|3-pointers per game||4.9||9.4||3.7|
|Free throw %||.650||.716||.725|
|Rebounds per game||43.9||42.6||40.1|
|Rebounds allowed per game||30.6||41.7||34.6|
|Assists per game||14.0||14.7||14.7|
|Turnovers per game||15.9||15.4||17.7|
|Steals per game||7.7||6.9||12.0|
|Blocks per game||3.9||5.9||3.9|
|Schedule strength rank||284||7||9|
December 03, 2015
In a busy week for the Cardinal, junior guard Lili Thompson helped Stanford to a 4-1 record, including a Gulf Coast Showcase title where she was named the Most Valuable Player.
Posting averages of 20.8 points, 6.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game, she shot 42.2 percent from the floor (27-for-64) and was even better from long distance, knocking down 44.1% of her three-point attempts (15-for-34). She missed just one free throw all week, going 14-for-15 from the line for a 93.3 shooting percentage. She netted 21 points in the 61-58 setback to Santa Clara and 26 in the 82-65 win over Missouri for her fourth-straight 20-point effort, making her the first Stanford guard since four-time All-American Candice Wiggins to achieve the feat. She also had 19 points and seven assists in the 74-66 win over Dayton, after recording back-to-back six-assist outings in the opening games of the Showcase.
She closed out the tournament with 17 points, nine of which were from a perfect outing from the charity stripe, to lift the Cardinal to a 71-65 victory over Purdue. Thompson and the Cardinal will next play at Texas on Dec. 13.
December 01, 2015
In three games, Lili averaged 20.8 points, 6.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game, shot 42.2 percent from the floor (27-for-64) and was even better from long distance, knocking down 44.1 percent of her 3-point attempts (15-for-34). She missed just one free throw all week, going 14-for-15 from the line (.933)
Read more from Stanford Athletics: Thompson Week's Best