March 26, 2016

Cardinal over-achieves

Updated March 26: Added Su Schaffer's game report and Stanford Athletics' game highlights video; replaced postgame press conference transcripts with video.

Tara told the TV announcer, "This team over-achieved just to get here."

To the delighted surprise of their fans and to the consternation of a large contingent of green-painted "Irish" fans, Stanford's over-achievement continued for 40 minutes of basketball, and the Cardinal ousted the 1-seeded Fighting Irish from the tournament 90-84.

Stanford opened the game playing with easy confidence, exchanging baskets with Notre Dame until they took their first lead, 13-12, at the 5:11 mark of the first quarter.

They never trailed again. The first quarter featured two three-pointers by Lili and one by Marta, who followed it shortly with a drive and layup.

Stanford controlled the second quarter also and reached the half ahead 50-39. At that point, Bird had 19 points on 9-11 shooting (including a three-pointer), and Karlie was 2-4 on three-point shots.

The third quarter opened with a 90-second possession by Stanford (two O-boards and a Notre Dame foul) ending in a layup by Bird. The quarter ended with Stanford ahead 67-57, and their fans were beginning to believe a win might happen.

In the fourth quarter, with four minutes left to play, Notre Dame cut the lead to four, but Stanford answered with a three-pointer by Bri to dampen Irish hopes.

Notre Dame cut the lead again — to three, 81-78. With 1:31 remaining in the game, Stanford had the ball and the shot clock was running out. The ball came out to Karlie who flung a hail-mary shot that banked in to make the score 84-78.

Karlie recalls, "The shot clock was going down, and Bird didn't have a shot and she threw it to me, and there was only one second left and I just threw it up there."

From that point on, it was only a matter of making free throws, which Stanford did, and the win was sealed.

The Cardinal made 55.9% of their shots (13% above their season average), 55% of their three-point attempts (five by Karlie, three by Lili and one apiece by Bird, Bri and Marta) and 72.2% of their free throws.

Bird led all scorers with a career-high 27 points on remarkable 12-18 shooting. ACC Player of the Year Brianna Turner didn't score her first basket until five minutes into the 3rd quarter, largely due to Bird's defense.

Karlie scored 20 points, including 5 of 6 three-point attempts.

Kaylee had the Cardinal's only double-double with 17 points (matching her career high) and 12 rebounds. She was fouled often, and she sank a career-high seven free throws.

Lili scored 11 points and dished nine assists with zero turnovers.

Marta scored 11 points , including her second career three-pointer, on 5-8 shooting.

In the preceding game, UW upset Kentucky, which means that the Elite Eight game (ESPN, 10am PDT Sunday) will be a rematch of the PAC-12 Tournament game between the Cardinal and the Huskies.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

The game highlights video posted by Stanford Athletics,

The game highlights video posted by the Pac-12,

Video of postgame press conferences with Tara, Karlie, Bird and Kaylee,

Video clips of some of the Cardinal's prettiest shots:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you putting all the coverage together, and the video clips