February 02, 2016

Battle of the Bay, part one: Stanford 53, Cal 46

This game started, and continued, very intense. It was clear that the players on each team were determined to keep the other side from scoring. Defense was vigorous, constant, and effective on both sides. For the fan, frustration was a constant factor as the game featured many more turnovers, fouls, and missed shots than it did scores. Two full minutes went by before any score was posted. Stanford made only two baskets in the first quarter, which ended with Stanford down by seven, 8-15.

Frustration, missed shots, turnovers and fouls continued into the second quarter, but Stanford slowly crept up on Cal until the Cardinal tied the score at 22, on a free throw with one minute to play. Thanks to a late three-pointer by Bri, the half ended with Stanford up by one, 25-24.

Both teams continued to struggle with each other's defense throughout the third quarter, with Stanford clinging to a narrow lead.

The critical moment when the game turned the Cardinal's way came four minutes into the fourth quarter. Erica completed a tough layup amid a forest of defenders. Seconds later, Karlie stole the ball, and shortly made a three-pointer off a pass from Kailee. That converted a ragged two-point lead into a comparatively huge seven-point lead. From that point, Cal struggled and could not close the gap.

Karlie led the Cardinal scoring with 15 points including three of four three-point attempts, as well as making six gritty rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Kaylee was the game-high rebounder with 15. She might have grabbed several more, had she not sat out for five minutes of the last quarter after being called for her fourth foul, all of which were against Kristine Anigwe who made only five field goals tonight.

Erica posted her 13th double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Bri may be emerging from her shooting slump — she scored nine points including two three-pointers.

Lili had a very different night from her two prior dominating performances. Possibly hampered by an injured finger (her right ring and pinkie fingers were taped), she scored only two free throws in the first half, and hit only three of 15 field goal attempts. She nevertheless ended with 11 points, including two driving layups in the closing minutes to keep Cal on the ropes.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The Stanford press conference audio, with Tara, Bird and Karlie,

The Cal press conference audio, with Lindsay Gottlieb and Courtney Range,

And a video interview of Bird

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