November 04, 2016

A splendid exhibition

The 2016-17 Cardinal took the floor for an exhibition game against Heidi Vanderveer's UC San Diego Tritons, and at the end, the fans were talking excitedly about how strong the Cardinal looked from one end of the bench to the other.

The Tritons are not a patsy team; they won their division last season and showed some good skills. Nevertheless the Cardinal put them away 85-41.

Every available player played at least 13 minutes. Every available player scored, and every player had at least one rebound. And no player made any silly errors. It was a very encouraging start.

That said, the following players deserve special mention.

First, Karlie and Anna were not suited up for this game. Karlie wore a brace on her left wrist, but Tara said in the post-game talk that Karlie would play in the next game. No word about when Anna might suit up.

Then, in jersey number order...

Shannon astonished and delighted the crowd with a striking improvement from her freshman year. She had 14 points on four of eight shooting, six of seven free throws, and added two blocks and four rebounds.

Nadia had only four points (and several near-misses), but got seven rebounds and a block, and she set some huge screens.

Kaylee had eight points and eight rebounds in only 15 minutes, and seemed to be looking for more shots than in prior seasons.

Bri sank the first 3-pointer of the season for her only score, but she followed up with four assists and two steals and her usual pesky defense.

Alanna's playing time was limited by foul trouble, but she contributed one of the Cardinal's eight 3-pointers, four rebounds and a block.

Brittany had a huge game, delighting the fans who have always had high expectations for her. She scored the game-high 19 points on five of seven short-range and two of three long-range shots, to which she added the game-high nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal — all in only 21 minutes on the floor.

Marta scored six points, mostly on free throws, but she threw several long, accurate outlet passes that led to layups for her teammates.

Mikaela introduced herself in her debut game with eight points on two of five long-range shots and two free throws. And she got cheers for a dramatic, athletic block of a Triton shot.

DiJonai, who missed her high school senior season with a knee injury, was rusty, making just one of her four shots, but she added five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Alexa also scored only one of four shots, but was all over the opposition with a fast, graceful intense defense.

Bird was second only to Brittany with 16 points on four of six short-range shots plus two of three 3-pointers — and four rebounds, a block and a steal.

All in all, the Cardinal couldn't have had a more optimistic opener for the season.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

And a gallery of photos by Mike Rasay from SWBB Facebook

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