November 20, 2016

Matadors subdued in productive win

The Cal State Northridge Matadors provided Stanford with a pleasant scrimmage and tune-up before next week's Thanksgiving tournament. The final score of 88-54 makes it look perhaps a little easier than it actually was; everyone had to work hard.

The difference was more in the relative defenses than in the offensive attacks. During the first quarter the Matadors were fresh and feisty on defense, and the Cardinal offense was anything but dominating. At the first media time-out, the Stanford starters were shooting a combined 2-10. However, the Cardinal defense was even tighter, so at that point the score was 7-3, and the Matadors were never in danger of taking a lead thereafter.

Even in the second quarter, Tara began subbing in other players. By half-time, Nadia, Dijonai, Alexa and Mikaela had all seen some minutes. In the second half, with the Matadors tiring and perhaps a bit discouraged, Nadia, Dijonai and Shannon had good stretches of play and established career marks for points:

* Nadia showed a promising ability to score in the post with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting ... and she grabbed seven rebounds.

* Shannon exceeded her prior best (five points at UC Davis last fall) with eight points in just seven minutes.

* Dijonai bested her prior mark (five points against Cal Poly) with seven points and five rebounds.

Of the starters, Erica had 17 points and five rebounds; Brittany had 14 points and Karlie had six. Kaylee had seven rebounds, but only 4 points on 1-9 shooting.

Prior to the game, Tempe told the fans in Kissick auditorium that Marta would not be starting, and when asked why, said she would start again "when she can shoot as well as she does in practice." Marta may have gotten the message: although she did not start, she played 20 minutes and scored four points on 2-5 shooting.

The team leaves early Tuesday for a Thanksgiving tournament in Cancun, where they will play three games in three days. This game was a good tune-up for that marathon, where it will be important to field lots of bodies.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The press conference audio with Tara and Nadia,

And a gallery of photos by Bob Drebin (

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