January 30, 2016

Cardinal prevails over Huskies' zone

After Stanford failed to solve an OSU zone, and was apparently helpless against a UCLA zone, it was no surprise that UW came out in a 2-3 zone and stayed in it for most of the game. However, according to Tempe at the pregame talk, Tara had been reviewing video of Stanford offense against zones as far back as 2005, and the players took the floor with an air of being on a mission.

One player in particular was out for blood early: Lili hit five of five three-point shots in the first quarter, the majority of the first-quarter score of 26-13.

Lili continued hot into the second quarter, and other players picked up the pace, so that Stanford held at least a 13-point lead the rest of the game.

The Cardinal's determined defense kept them in control for the entire game. When asked at the pregame talk who would defend against the Huskies' star shooter Kelsey Plum, Tempe replied, "All five." And they did. Although Plum ended with 23 points, 11 of them were free throws and she made just five of 19 shots, far below her sizzling average.

Rebounding helped a lot too — the Cardinal finished ahead on rebounds 49-30.

Lili ended the game with 27 points (one short of her career high). Brittany had 12, and made several exciting drives to the basket. Bird also had 12 points and several times scored from inside a thicket of big UW post defenders. Karlie had 10 points and several times forced held-ball calls. Kaylee had 14 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. Although Marta took only one shot, she contributed six assists with just three turnovers to the victory.

All told it was a tough, determined performance that should have greatly improved the morale of both the team and its fans.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The audio press conference with Tara , Lili and Bird,

"I think our mentality changed," said Lili in the Pac-12 postgame interview,

A gallery of photos from Stanford Athletics,

And photos by Marcio Jose Sanchez (Associated Press):

Karlie drives to the basket
Lili drives to the basket
Lili puts up one of her 20 shots
Brittany drives
Brittany shoots over Deja Strother
Kelsey Plum dribbles past Kaylee
Alana defends against Chantel Osafor
Marta grabs a rebound
Bird battles for a loose ball

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