January 10, 2016

Cardinal contains the Buffs

Colorado is at the bottom of the PAC-12 standings and came in with a depleted bench (only nine players suited up, not including Buff star Jamee Swan), so this should have been an easy win for Stanford. The final score of 71-56 might look as if it was easy, but it wasn't.

The Cardinal came out cold. At the pregame talk, Kate had said we like a fast pace and want to be faster. That was visible on the floor — as with Utah, the pace was blistering in both directions, but the Stanford shots weren't falling. Halfway through the first quarter the Cardinal were 1-9 on shooting and the Buffs were ahead 11-6. Stanford got its first lead on a Brittany 3-pointer and finished the quarter at 14-14.

Erica opened the second quarter with a nice jumper, and soon after ignited the crowd when she unleashed a long outlet pass to Karlie for a layup. The half ended 28-21 with Stanford looking as if it was finally in control.

Colorado had other ideas. They continued playing at speed and hitting shots, and the game remained close well into the fourth quarter. At that media timeout the score was 57-52. Both teams kept their starters on the floor to the end, but Stanford, aided by the fact that three Buffs were playing with four fouls each, was able to pull away from that point to seal the win.

Marta again started at point. She played 18 minutes and had two points, one assist and two turnovers. In the pregame talk Kate mentioned that Marta was "a born point guard" but that she's young.

The high scorer was Kaylee, with a career-high 17 points and 11 rebounds, to which she added a career-high four assists and two blocks. Bird also had a double-double (16 and 11), her tenth of the season — and three blocks and a steal.

In the post-game talk, Amy remarked that we had not had two posts with double-doubles since the regional game against Penn State in 2014 (Mikaela and Chiney).

Lili had 12 points, including two 3-pointers. The first one, which she launched at the 3:12 mark in the second quarter, took her into the Stanford 1000-point club.

Karlie contributed the fourth double-digit points (11), three assists, two steals and her usual fierce defense to the Cardinal victory.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The audio press conferences, first Tara with Bird and Kaylee, then Colorado coach Linda Lappe,

A postgame video interview of Kaylee by Mary Murphy,

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