January 02, 2016

Cardinal de-claws the 'Cats

The flow of this game resembled that of the prior game against Chattanooga: the score by quarters was: 20-8, 19-7, 11-7 and 9-12. In short, it was another blow-out. Late in the fourth quarter Arizona hit their only three-pointer; had that not gone in, Stanford would have had nine straight quarters holding opponents to 10 or fewer points.

The basis of the rout is clear in one stat, field-goal percentage: Stanford 44%, Arizona 21%. Before this game, Stanford was second nationally in field goal percentage defense (.306). That has now dropped to .299.

The Wildcats' low shooting percentage was due in part to nine blocks by the Cardinal. But any advantage the Cardinal gained from blocks, they gave right back in the form of sloppy ball handling — turnovers were Stanford 23, Arizona 13. With turnovers, Arizona was actually able to take more shots, 53 to Stanford's 43, but they could not get the ball to fall, and that was due to the smart, tenacious Stanford defense forcing them to take late shots and awkward shots.

Cast-iron defense was a team effort, but there were individual highlights on offense.

Brittany scored 21 points on six of 10 shooting (three of six from beyond the arc). This was a welcome breakout for Brittany — her season-high and within three of her personal best.

Alanna scored 16 points, most of them from hitting four of five three-point shots. In all, eight Cardinal players scored, but only Brittany and Alanna reached double digits, and nobody had a double-double.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play.

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