December 21, 2016

A capital victory for the Cardinal

It may have had something to do with the low frame rate of the internet video stream, but it seemed that both teams in this game were dashing up and down the floor with the jerky speed of a Keystone Kops flick — and with about as much finesse.

The first quarter was full of misses and turnovers on both sides, ending with Stanford up 11-10 and both teams with low shooting percentages. The GW defense was swarming Bird in the paint and the referees seemed to have defective whistles.

The game broke decisively the Cardinal's way in the second quarter. The Colonials went stone-cold on shooting, passing nearly 11 minutes — from 6:15 in the first quarter, to 5:01 in the second quarter — with no field goals. Meanwhile the Cardinal broke loose, scoring 30 in the second quarter to end the half with what one might have expected to be a decisive lead of 41-19.

Decisive? Not so much. GW coach Jennifer Rizzotti (a familiar figure to Bay Area fans from her days as UConn's point guard and an all-star for the New England Blizzard of the ABL) got her team on track during the break and they came out hot, going on a 12-3 run to get in striking distance and forcing Tara to call a time-out.

In the fourth quarter the Colonials got within eight at 58-50, but from there, the Cardinal pulled away again to the eventual 71-52 victory.

A large part of GW's ability to stay in the game was their vigorous rebounding. They ended with 41 total (21 offensive) to the Cardinal's 36 (only six offensive), but failed to capitalize on that advantage. They took 14 more shots than the Cardinal, but made only 28% of them, while the Cardinal made 49% of theirs.

Brittany led all scorers with 21 points on 8-11 shooting. Bird had a double-double with 13 very hard-earned points, which got her into the Stanford 1000-point club, and 10 rebounds. Nadia came off the bench to score 11, plus six rebounds. Bri had 10 points on 5-7 shooting.

Marta had seven points including three that came when Karlie drove toward the basket, the GW defense collapsed on her, and she fired to Marta who was standing on the three-point line with at least 15 feet of clear hardwood to the nearest defender. Marta calmly dropped a three as if it was a warm-up, which greatly pleased the large Sniezek contingent in the stands.

Here are game reports and commentary:

And the game statistics.

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