June 28, 2017

First day

First day of being a Cardinal for Estella, Maya and Kiana:

(Alyssa is with the Canadian U19 team preparing for the FIBA U19 World Cup.)

June 24, 2017

Summer basketball at Kezar begins this afternoon

It's time for summer basketball again.

The San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Summer Basketball League begins its 38th season this afternoon (June 24) at 1:30 and 3:30pm. Play continues on the following seven weekends unti the championship game on Sunday, August 13.

Sad to say, none of our current Cardinal have signed up, but alums Briana Roberson and Markisha Coleman will be playing — Bri with either Bay City or San Francisco (she's listed on both rosters), Kish for San Francisco.

Don't know where Kezar Pavilion is? Here's the map. See the SF Pro-Am website for the full schedule and all the rosters.

The website warns strongly that parking is a big problem, but it won't be any worse than in previous seasons. The parking lot next to Kezar, although a bit pricey, always has space unless there's a big event in Kezar Stadium and none is scheduled yet during the ProAm season.

June 20, 2017

Alyssa's busy summer

Incoming freshman forward Alyssa Jerome began her busy summer with the Canadian Senior National team as they played a five-game exhibition series in France and Spain. As the second-youngest member of the team, Alyssa didn't get a whole lot of playing time, but she did get valuable experience playing at the college and professional level.

Alyssa will join the Canadian U19 National team on July 1st as they prepare for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, which will take place in Italy July 22-30.

This will be Alyssa's second summer with the Canadian U18/U19 team. She and Stanford sophomore Mikaela Brewer were members of the Canadian team that won the silver medal in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in 2016.

Alyssa may return to the senior national team in August for their final training phase for the 2017 FIBA Women's AmeriCup, which will take place in Argentina August 6-13.

Alyssa will end the summer with her new Stanford teammates for their September trip to Italy.

Jacob Rayburn (Cardinal Sports Report) writes more about Alyssa's valuable experience this summer in: Alyssa Jerome playing at elite level before arriving at Stanford

June 19, 2017

Commencement 2017

Commencement day photos from Stanford Women's Basketball Facebook

Click HERE for more commencement day photos from Stanford Athletics.

Bird had to work on commencement day, so she took care of graduation the night before.

June 17, 2017

Stanford awards for Karlie, Bird and Brittany

The Stanford Athletics Board held its annual award ceremony last week at which they honored 41 student-athletes in 27 varsity sports.

Karlie Samuelson was presented with a Dick and Anne Gould Captain's Award, given to the senior captain who has exhibited uncommon leadership to their team.

Erica McCall, who was unable to attend, was named a Conference Female Athlete of the Year.

Brittany McPhee was honored for her receipt in Dallas at the Final Four of the NCAA Elite 90 Award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA Division I championships (see story).

Read more in Celebrating 2016-17, which lists all the awards and honorees.

June 15, 2017

Rule changes for 2017-18

The NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee has announced the following rules changes for upcoming season:

  • The coaching boxes have been extended from 28-feet (just beyond the 3-point arc) to 38-feet (9 feet short of the center line). The committee believes this alteration will allow coaches to improve communication with their teams.

  • The 3-foot restricted area arc inside the paint will now be 4-foot. A secondary defender must be outside the arc and in legal guarding position to draw a charge. If the player is in the restricted area when contact is made, a foul (block) will be called.

  • The “use-it-or-lose-it” timeout in the first half has been eliminated. Coaches are allowed to carry all timeouts over to the second half.

  • A player must place both feet on the floor outside the lane to avoid a three-second violation.

  • Teams will now be able to choose which side of the court to inbound the ball after advancing it to the frontcourt after a timeout in the backcourt. In the past, teams had to inbound the ball at the 28-foot line on the side with the scorer’s table.

  • The 10-second backcourt count will not be reset when the offensive team calls a timeout.

  • Officials will be allowed to use replay to determine if the release of the ball on a made bucket occurred before the shot clock expired.

June 13, 2017

Fashionable at Fundraiser

Stanford student-athletes walked the runway last month at the third annual Inside Anne’s Closet fashion show, a fundraiser benefiting the Colon Cancer Alliance, chaired by John Paye (Kate's brother).

These young women, looking considerably more fashionable that we usually see them, were among the participants:

Here's a report of the event from the Mercury News: Not in uniform: Stanford athletes fashionable at fundraiser

June 04, 2017

Alanna's busy summer

I mistakenly reported a couple of days ago that Alanna won't be trying out for the National Australian Women's Basketball squad that will compete in the 2017 FIFA Women's Asia Cup — wrong!

Although she's been chosen for the Opals' World University Games squad, she's still in the running for the Asia Cup squad.

If Alanna makes the Asia Cup squad, her basketball schedule for the summer is:

June 25 - July 3: Opals selection camp in Phoenix, Arizona.
July 17: Fly to India
July 23-29: 2017 FIBA Womens Asia Cup in Bangalore India,
Aug 19-30: 2017 World University Games in Taipei.

Read more from the Palo Alto Weekly: Stanford's Smith to play a lot of basketball this summer

June 02, 2017

And the band plays on

It's going to be lively again in Maples next season. Stanford News reports:

Most sanctions lifted on Stanford Band

As a result of hard work on the part of the student leadership of the Stanford Band, the university’s Band Oversight Committee has removed the group’s provisional status, allowing it to again be considered a student organization in good standing.

Read more ...

May 31, 2017

Alanna will play in World University Games for Australia

Alanna won't be trying out for the National Australian Women's Basketball squad that will compete in the 2017 FIFA Women's Asia Cup, as reported a few days ago, because she has just been named to the squad that will compete in the 2017 World University Games in August.

Read more from Basketball Australia: 2017 Women’s World University Games team announced

May 25, 2017

Alanna invited to try out for the Opals

The Opals — the Australian Women's Basketball National Team — will compete in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup in July, aiming to qualify for the FIBA 2018 World Cup.

They have assembled a squad of 21 players for a selection camp from June 25 to July 3, from which the 12-plsyer team will be selected.

Alanna is one of the 21 players who will compete for a spot on the team.

She brings impressive credentials. She has improved steadily in her two years at Stanford and will likely be the Cardinal's leading player in the upcoming season. She also has three years of international experience with Basketball Australia: 2015 FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship, 2014 FIBA Oceania U18 Championship for Women, and 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

Here's more about the selection camp: Opals selection camp squad named ahead of FIBA Women’s Asia Cup

May 22, 2017

Nadia not selected for USA Basketball U19 team

The USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials ended yesterday and the 12-player roster was announced (story).

Nadia is one of the other 20 athletes who were not selected.

May 03, 2017

Nadia invited to U19 team trials

Nadia has accepted an invitation to attend the 2017 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Thirty-three players will attend the camp in an attempt to make the final 12-member team, which will represent the United States at the FIBA U19 World Cup July 22-30 in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy.

Read more in:

April 24, 2017

Cardinal will open 2017-18 season against Ohio State and Louisville

The Cardinal will begin the 2017-18 season where they hope to end it — in Columbus Ohio, the location of the 2018 Final Four.

On November 10, they'll play Ohio State, the Final Four host, at Ohio State.

On November 12, they'll participate in "Showdown to Columbus" at Nationwide Arena, the site of the Final Four. There will be two games in that event: Stanford vs Louisville and Ohio State vs UConn.

Read more in the Stanford Athletics announcement: Season starts in Columbus

Note: The Stanford FBC schedule now shows what is currently known about the 2017-18 season: A few non-conference games, which conference teams Stanford will play against, and dates and sites of the PAC-12 and NCAA tournaments.

April 17, 2017

Welcome home, Lindy!

Lindy La Rocque, who played in four Final Fours with the Cardinal from 2009-12, has returned to Stanford as an assistant coach, filling the position on staff made available when Amy announced her retirement from coaching late last week.

Stanford Athletics announced: The farm is where the heart is

Way-too-early preseason rankings

Although a lot of things can change before next season tips off, Charlie Creme (espnW) thinks it's time to start looking ahead: UConn is back on top in Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2017-18

He has five Pac-12 teams in his top 25:

7. Stanford Cardinal
Forward Alanna Smith could be ready to become the next great big in Cardinal lore. She and Nadia Fingall could be one of the best frontcourt duos in the country. Marta Sniezek and Dijonai Carrington are guards whose experience now matches their talent. Brittany McPhee will take on an even more important role with the departure of Karlie Samuelson. But it's Tara VanDerveer's latest recruiting class, led by point guard Kiana Williams from Texas and 6-foot-3 wing Maya Dodson from Georgia, that could make Stanford the favorite in the Pac-12 and a contender for another Final Four.

11. UCLA Bruins
Cori Close's talented recruiting class of 2014 has reached its final season in Westwood. Jordin Canada, Monique Billings and Kelli Hayes will take one last run at a Pac-12 title. This year's recruiting class, which includes 5-foot-11 forward Michaela Onyenwere and 6-foot-1 guard Chantel Horvat, will be on board to help make that happen.

13. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks made the most improbable NCAA tournament run in 2017, reaching the Elite Eight while relying almost entirely on freshmen and sophomores. Expectations will be higher in Eugene, Oregon, but coach Kelly Graves brings every impact player back. Point guard Sabrina Ionescu and 6-foot-4 post Ruthy Hebard should be one of the game's best inside-out combos for the next three years.

18. Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils will transition from a post-oriented team to one with backcourt emphasis. Reili Richardson and Robbi Ryan were the best freshmen in Charli Turner Thorne's recruiting class of a year ago and should lead the program the next few seasons. Depth, defense and balance will still be the cornerstones in Tempe, Arizona.

22. California Golden Bears
Coach Lindsay Gottlieb will be embracing motherhood and the return of nearly her entire roster. Kristine Anigwe will push to be an All-American but needs some more help. Cal made the NCAA tournament in 2017 as one of the last four teams in. The continued improvement of guards Asha Thomas and Mikayla Cowling, and the further development of 6-foot-4 CJ West in the post, should make a postseason run more comfortable.

April 13, 2017

Amy is retiring

Yes, Amy is retiring after 32 seasons on The Farm.

Stanford Athletics has not yet published an announcement, but here is the Associated Press report:

Longtime Stanford top assistant coach Amy Tucker retiring.

On Thursday morning, the Stanford Athletics announcement:

Tucker transitions to new role.

It is expected that Amy's replacement, that is, the person who will take over her position on the staff, will be announced soon.

April 07, 2017

Beyond Expectation: Celebrating the Cardiac Cardinal 2016-2017 Edition

By Warren Grimes

There was no dominant player. Erica McCall led the Stanford team in points and boards per game at a modest 14.4 and 9, respectively. Brittany McPhee and Karlie Samuelson were consistent contributors averaging 12 or more points per game. Late in the season, Alanna Smith came on strong and began averaging double digits. Still, this was fundamentally a team whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts. They liked playing together, they were resilient, they were focused, and they made the Final Four.

Of the thirteen Stanford teams that have made the Final Four, this may have been the least likely.

True, Stanford had made it to the Elite Eight last year with most of the same players (Of last year’s starters, only Lili Thompson was missing). True, Stanford had three well established seniors who had been major contributors. True, there were some exciting new freshmen on the team. True, the team had a Hall of Fame coach.

But there were issues. Stanford had played inconsistently the previous year, struggling to a third place finish in the conference. There was no consistent go-to player on the team; no consensus All-American. The point guard position was still somewhat unsettled, with Roberson and Sniezek showing promise but with neither holding a lock on the position. Some of the promising freshmen had injury issues. Early in the season, Stanford lost a home game to Gonzaga, a good but not great team.

But the Stanford team came together to produce a 32-6 season. They did this because they complemented one another’s strengths. They did this because they worked hard and communicated on defense. They did this because, when one player was down, others stepped up. They did this because, when it came to blocking shots, this was among the best teams in Stanford history.

Erica McCall led the way with 63 blocks, including that memorable stuff in the last 2 seconds of the Notre Dame game. But McCall had lots of help from Alanna Smith (61 blocks). Kaylee Johnson, Brittany McPhee and Nadia Fingall were also proficient shot blockers.

On a per minute basis, the shot blocking award goes to Alanna Smith. She blocked shots at .0829 per minute, well above McCall’s .0516 per minute rate. Playing an average of just 19.3 minutes per game, Smith tied Jayne Appel for 8th place in the race for the highest number of blocks per season. That’s an achievement. If Alanna can avoid foul trouble, she could be a formidable shot blocker next season.

So why is this 6'3" Australian so proficient in blocking shots? Alanna is tall and athletic; she also seems to have the gift of a long reach. In the conference tournament final against OSU, Alanna had no difficulty blocking a shot by OSU’s 6'5" Marie Gulich.

When it comes to rebounding, McCall and Smith were essentially tied in the rebounds per minute category. Decisively ahead of both (at .34 boards/minute compared to McCall and Smith at .28/minute) was Kaylee Johnson. That should not surprise those that have watched Johnson over the past three years. She set rebounding records as a freshman. If her offensive production can step up next year, Kaylee’s additional minutes on the floor could set rebounding records.

One has to bow to the three seniors who set the tone for the rest of the team. Karlie Samuelson’s injury in the semifinal game could have been the difference maker. Erica McCall’s block in the last seconds of the regional final was the difference maker. These two players were deservedly named as honorable mention All Americans. Briana Roberson averaged 6.5 points and 2.5 assists per game. All three of these seniors played smart, played focused, and played hard. Leading by example, they were the best kind of team leaders.

Resilience will, by itself, commend this team as one of the best. This season, getting ahead of Stanford, more often then not, just made Stanford mad.

Stanford came back against Oregon in the Pac 12 tournament semifinal.
They did it again against OSU in the Pac 12 tournament final.
They did it again against New Mexico State in the 1st round NCAA game.
They did it again against Texas in the Elite Eight game.

But the season’s two most memorable comebacks were:

  1. Overcoming an 18-point first half deficit and defeating UW in Seattle (this, late in the conference season);
  2. and
  3. Overcoming a 16-point deficit at the beginning of the third quarter, and taking down Notre Dame in the regional final.

Thank you to the seniors, thank you to the team, for those great memories.

April 06, 2017

in the record book, 2016-17

The 2016-17 team was not a record-breaking team, but they did earn a lot of entries in the Stanford record book. Perhaps that's why this hard-working group of young women took Stanford to the Final Four for the first time in three years.

Bird earned ten entries in the Stanford record book this season and ends her college career with thirteen.

Karlie matched two Stanford records this season, earned seven other entries in the Stanford record book, and had two other noteworthy accomplishments. She ends her college career with eleven entries in the Stanford record book.

Bri earned one entry in the Stanford record book.

Kaylee did not earn any entries in the Stanford record book this season, but she retains two freshman records and five other entries that she earned in the past two seasons.

Alanna earned two entries in the Stanford record book.

Marta earned one entry in the Stanford record book this season, and she retains the three entries and the Pac-12 tournament record that she earned last season.

The team broke one Stanford record this season and earned seven other entries in the Stanford record book.

Note: You can see the complete Stanford record book online at Women's Basketball History, section Records, and the Pac-12 record book at Pac-12 Conference: 2016-17 Women's Basketball Media Guide, section Records. (They have not yet been updated for the 2016-17 season.)

Erica ("Bird") McCall

Blocks

Bird blocked 63 shots this season, including this one that sealed Stanford's 76-75 victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Elite 8.

Bird blocked 200 shots in her career, which places her fourth in Career Blocks. That's just one less than Val Whiting in third place and two less than Chiney Ogwumike in second place.

She blocked 66 shots last season, which placed her in a three-way tie with Chiney Ogwumike and Joslyn Tinkle for third place in Single-Season Blocks. Her 63 blocks this season also places her in sixth.

Bird also is also in a tie with Joslyn Tinkle for second place in Single-Game Blocks, which she earned last season with seven blocks against Utah on February 21, 2016.

Rebounds

Bird grabbed 976 rebounds in her career, which places her seventh in Career Rebounds behind Val Whiting in sixth place.

She grabbed 343 rebounds this season, which places her twelfth in Single-Season Rebounds behind Kaylee Johnson and Jayne Appel who are tied for tenth (Appel is also in seventh place).

Bird is also in twelfth place in Single-Season Rebounds Per Game, which she earned last season with 9.4.

Points scored

Bird scored 1,376 points in her career, which places her 23rd among the 37 members of the Stanford 2,000/1,000 Point Club.

Games played and started

Bird played in 144 games in her career, which places her sixth in Career Games Played with just one less than Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike who are tied for fifth place.

Bird played in all 38 games this season. She joins Karlie, Bri, Alanna, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

She started in all 38 games, which places her in a tie with Nneka Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen, Jayne Appel and Jeanette Pohlen for fourth place in Single-Season Starts.

Minutes played

Bird played 1,220 minutes this season, which places her sixth in Single-Season Minutes Played behind Candice Wiggins in fifth.

Karlie Samuelson

3-Pointers

Karlie sank 249 3-pointers in her career, which places her third in Career 3-Pointers, between Jeanette Pohlen in second and sister Bonnie in fourth.

She attempted 562 in her career, which places her fourth in Career 3-Point Attempts behind sister Bonnie in third.

She made 44.3% of her 3-point attempts in her career, which places her second in Career 3-Point Percentage, behind Jennifer Azzi's 45.2%.

Karlie sank 96 3-pointers this season, which places her in a tie with Jeanette Pohlen for the Single-Season 3-Pointers Made record. She is also in tenth place with the 80 she made last season.

She attempted 198 3-pointers this season, which places her sixth in Single-Season 3-Point Attempts behind Krista Rappahahn and Candice Wiggins who are tied for fourth

Karlie made her 3-pointers this season at a rate of 48.5%, which ranked second in the nation, and which places her second in Single-Season 3-Point Percentage behind Jennifer Azzi's 49.5%. She also holds third place in that category with 47.3% in her junior year.

Free Throws

Karlie didn't draw many fouls. But when she did get to the line, she swished free throws at a rate of 83.3% in her career, which places her second in Career Free Throw Percentage behind Kelly Suminski in first.

She made 86.4% of her free throws this season, which places her ninth in Single-Season Free Throw Percentage behind Jeanne Ruark Hoff in eighth.

Points scored

Karlie scored 1,164 points in her career, which places her 30th among the 37 members of the Stanford 2,000/1,000 Point Club.

Games played

Karlie played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Bri, Alanna, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

Minutes played

Karlie played 1,274 minutes this season, which places her in a tie with Kayla Pedersen for the Single-Season Minutes Played record and which ranked fourth-best in the nation. She played for at least 37 minutes half of the season (19 games) and for the entire game nine times.

Briana Roberson

Games played

Bri played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Karlie, Alanna, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

Kaylee Johnson

Kaylee did not earn any places in the Stanford record book this season, but retains the places she earned in her freshman and sophomore seasons.

Blocks

Kaylee is in third place in Freshman blocks.

She is in eleventh place in Single-Season Blocks with the 54 she had in her freshman season and in thirteenth place with the 51 she had in her sophomore season.

Rebounds

Kaylee holds the Freshman Rebounds record and the Freshman Rebounds Per Game record.

She is tied with Jayne Appel for tenth place in Single-Season Rebounds and is in tenth place in Single-Season Rebounds Per Game.

Alanna Smith

Blocks

Alanna blocked 61 shots this season, which places her in a tie with Jayne Appel for eighth place in Single-Season Blocks (Appel is also in first and second place.)

Games played

Alanna played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Karlie, Bri, Marta and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

Marta Sniezek

Assists

Marta dished 169 assists this season and has a career total to-date of 278, which do not earn places in the Stanford record book.

But she retains the entries she earned last season: A three-way tie for third place in Single-Game Assists, eighth place in Freshman Assists, and ninth place in Freshman Assists Per Game.

And her 13 assists on March 3, 2015 vs Washington in the Pac-12 Tournament still holds as the Pac-12 Tournament Single-Game record.

Games played

Marta played in all 38 games this season. She joins Bird, Karlie, Bri, Alanna and seven members of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams in sixth place in Single-Season Games Played. (Five members of the 2007-08 team share first place with 39 games).

The 2016-17 Team

The team won 32 games this season, tied with Washington for second place in the Pac-12, won the Pac-12 Tournament for the 12th time and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the 13th time.

The team extended its Pac-12 record for most 20-win seasons to 27 and retained its record for most conference championships (23).

The team blocked 212 shots, which breaks the Single-Season Blocked Shots record of 211 set in 2015-16.

The team also earned these entries in Single-Season Team records:

A tie with the 2008-09 and the 2009-10 teams for second place in Games Played (38).

Ninth place in Lowest Opponent Scoring Average (56.5).

Eighth place in Lowest Opponent Field-Goal Percentage (.350).

Eighth place in 3-Point Field Goals (236 ).

Eighth place in Rebounds (1,562 ).

The team blocked 12 shots at New Mexico State on March 18, 2017, which places it in a 5-way time for third place in Single-Game Blocked Shots

The team won by 58 points vs Yale on Dec 28, 2016, which places it in a three-way tie for fifth place in Single-Game Margin of Victory.

Anna's concussion treatment

Here is an encouraging article about Anna 's treatment for concussion: With the Help of Plasticity Brain Centers Anna Wilson Defeats Her Concussion.

The game mentioned in the article is the game vs Yale on Dec 28. I hope Anna's health continues to improve until she's back to her full capabilities.

April 05, 2017

Look back at a magical season

Stanford Athletics looks back to memorable moments in Stanford's magical 2016-17 season with videos and stories about:
  • Trip to the Final Four
  • Winning the Pac-12 Tournament
  • Tara's 1000th Victory
  • Highlight Games of the Season
  • ...and more
Click here to see all of them.

April 03, 2017

Congratulations to Bird, Karlie and Britt!

Recognition of some achievements was lost in the flood of Final Four news.

Bird and Karlie earned Honorable Mention honors on the 2017 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches' All-America Team. Here is the announcement from the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association.

With a 3.73 GPA in human biology, Brittany won the NCAA Elite 90 award as the top student-athlete in Division I Women's Basketball at the Final Four. Here is the announcement from Stanford Athletics.

April 01, 2017

Stanford season ended by South Carolina's defense, 53-62

In this national semifinal game, Stanford reversed the pattern of the three previous games: Instead of trailing at the half and coming back in the third to win, they went into the half with a healthy nine-point lead and in the third were stifled, leading to a loss.

This closed out a winning season, and wrapped up the college careers of Karlie, Bird and Bri. Indeed, late in the second quarter it looked as if Karlie's career was ending prematurely: Going around a screen she tangled with the other player, went down, and stayed down. She was helped up but appeared to be unable to walk, favoring her right leg. Alanna picked her up and carried her from the floor. Everyone in the crowd of 500 red-shirted fans were thinking the worst.

For the rest of the quarter the Cardinal played with unusual intensity and ended the half, as mentioned, leading by nine, 29-20.

To every fan's delight, when the team returned to the floor, Karlie was with them, apparently moving normally. She played only a few minutes in the second half, and finished with no points, but at least she didn't go out from a serious injury.

In the third quarter the Cardinal hit the kind of scoring drought they had previously imposed on OSU and Notre Dame: for nearly seven minutes nothing fell, while the Gamecocks forged a 17-4 run to take command of the game. Despite coming within three in the fourth quarter, Stanford could not stop South Carolina's "bigs" long enough to get ahead.

This game closed a season in which Stanford won the PAC-12 tournament in dramatic fashion and won four post-season games to reach the Final Four. The three departing seniors went out with style:

Although Karlie ended this game with no points, she played 26 minutes despite an injury. Had she only hit one three-point shot, she would have broken the Stanford single-season record for threes. As it stands, she merely tied it.

Bri left the floor with five points and three assists and a record of lock-down defensive play.

Bird finished in her accustomed style, a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, plus two blocks.

Among the players that will be integral to next season's team:

Alanna had a double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks -- one of them of the 6-5 A'ja Wilson.

Brittany had eight points, three assists, and a block.

Marta had eight points, two steals, and six assists. One of the assists was a half-court pass to Brittany in the corner for a three.

Kaylee had two points, five rebounds and two steals in only 13 minutes on the floor.

Nadia and DiJonai had short minutes in relief, and DiJonai scored once.

This very special team will head back to Palo Alto with the satisfaction of knowing they were one of the four best teams in the nation. The staff and fans will be able to look ahead to a new season with solid play as well as an exciting class of freshmen.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video from the NCAA

The game highlights video from Stanford Athletics,

Interviews with the players in the locker room after the game,

And the video press conference with Tara, Bird and Alanna,

March 30, 2017

Game day minus one

Interviews in the locker room

The stories of the day

SWBB Facebook's best photos of the day

Click here to see them.

Advice from Kobe Bryant

Wrapping up day 1 in Dallas

Here's more about the Cardinal's first day in Dallas from the social media

Cardinal gets gifts from Nike

Cardinal goes country

Stanford met the other three teams in the Final Four for a country-themed welcome dinner in downtown Dallas.

Brittany is top student-athlete

With a 3.73 GPA in human biology, Brittany wins the NCAA Elite 90 Award as the top student-athlete at the Final Four. I believe that the award will be officiailly announced at the championship game, so more later.

Bri's Stanford Story

Karlie is the sharpest shooter

SWBB Facebook's best photos of the day

Click here to see them.

March 29, 2017

The first day in Dallas

Last trip, best trip

Time to hoop

The road ends here

Behind the scenes

Here are the stories of the day:

Pac-12 broadcaster and former KNBR anchor Kate Scott is a fervent fan of Stanford Women's Basketball. She has no doubt that the trophy is coming back to Palo Alto. Listen to her unconditional endorsement of the Cardinal's success in Dallas, beginning at 03:03 in the podcast.

March 28, 2017

The last leg of the trip to Dallas

The Cardinal took the road to Dallas today (by charter flight, I assume)!

Bird and Karlie took another national award with them: AP All-American honorable mention.

Here is the first batch of Final Four stories:

March 27, 2017

Lexington wrap-up

Second-seed Cardinal topple Fighting Irish to head to thirteenth Final Four. by Lorenzo Rosas (Stanford Daily)

Stanford stages massive comeback to stun Notre Dame, by Paige Sherrard (Swish Appeal)

The last two minutes:

From an unhappy Notre Dame locker room: Regret clutters Notre Dame women's basketball locker room, by Al Lesar (South Bend Tribune)

An interview with Caspar, Wyoming's pride and joy: Final Four Bound Kaylee Johnson Interview, from KCWY Caspar, WY

The daily Samuelson Sisters story: Samuelson sisters cheer each other's NCAA Tournament runs, from the Associated Press

March 26, 2017

Cardinal takes the fight out of the Irish!

Stanford spotted Notre Dame a 16-point lead, then clawed back into the game to grab a one-point, come-from-behind, upset triumph in the Elite Eight.

The announced crowd in the cavernous Rupp Arena was 2,527 on a damp Sunday in Lexington. The great majority of folks in the stands wore the Irish green; a cluster of a hundred or so in cardinal tried to out-shout them from behind the Stanford bench.

Through the first quarter the teams seemed well-matched, and Stanford held several small leads. Then in the second quarter Stanford fell into a scoring drought while Notre Dame's phenomenal freshman, Arike Ogunbowale drove freely to the basket. After allowing a 13-0 run for the Irish, Tara called time; shortly after, Ogunbowale closed the half with a three leaving Stanford down 14.

That became a 16-point deficit shortly into the third quarter when Notre Dame's equally dangerous Marina Mabrey hit a jumper. There was gloom among the red- shirted fans, who didn't known that this marked the start of a historic recovery. It began with a three by Brittany, then a jumper by Alanna, then another three from Brittany. With the score 43-51, Notre Dame called a timeout. A few minutes later Bird made a layup and Karlie hit a three to bring Stanford within four; Brittany made a layup to close out the quarter with a 16-point deficit reduced to just two, 55-57.

The fourth quarter was a tense, see-saw battle. Looking only at the scoring and ignoring all the misses and steals and fouls, it went like this:

  • Brittany hits a three to give Stanford its first lead of the half, 58-57.
  • Mabrey, who is like an eel wriggling through the defense to the basket, makes a layup: 58-59.
  • Bird makes one free throw to tie, then Brittany hits a jumper: 61-59.
  • Mabrey makes another layup: 61-61.
  • Notre Dame's Erin Boley hits a three: 61-64. Gloom among the red-shirts!
  • Karlie hits a three: 64-64. Red-shirts explode!
  • Alanna makes a layup: 66-64.
  • Two free throws by Ogunbowale: 66-66.
  • Two free throws by Brittany: 68-66.
  • Mabrey hits a three-pointer: 68-69.
  • Two free throws by Marta: 70-69.
  • Mabrey makes a layup: 70-71.
  • Brittany makes a layup: 72-71.
  • Two free throws by Notre Dame's Lindsay Allen: 72-73.
  • Alanna layup: 74-73.
  • Lindsay Allen jumper: 74-75.
  • Tara calls time at 0:36.
  • Alanna makes a layup: 76-75.

Now Notre Dame had the ball, down one with 25 seconds to play. Stanford had a foul to give, so Marta helped them pass some time by fouling the point guard. With three seconds left, Lindsay Allen missed a jumper, the ball went out of bounds, the refs reviewed the video and awarded the ball to Notre Dame.

Tara called a timeout. Then Muffet McGraw called a timeout. Finally, Notre Dame inbounded the ball. Ogunbowale went for a game-winning jumper, Bird blocked it, and the buzzer went off: Stanford wins!

Brittany led all scorers with 27 points (Ogunbowale had 25), including 5 of 9 three-point attempts, plus five rebounds, two blocks and four assists.

Karlie had fifteen points on 5 of 8 three-point attempts, two rebounds, one block and four assists.

Alanna had fifteen points including what proved to be the winning layup, two blocks, two steals and seven rebounds.

Bird had nine points, eleven rebounds, and two blocks including the one that preserved the win in the final second.

Bri had seven points and three assists.

Marta had just two points, but recorded three rebounds and eight assists (with zero turnovers).

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video from Stanford Athletics,

The game highlights video from ESPN

Video clips from ESPN:

The video press conference (Notre Dame & Stanford)

And a gallery of photos by Mark Mahan SWBB Facebook.

March 25, 2017

Regional Final Eve

Graham Hays (espnW) discusses how Stanford and Notre Dame got to the Lexington Regional Final: Confident stars carry Irish, Cardinal to Elite Eight

Al Lesar (South Bend Tribune) explains what Tara has to worry about: Defending Arike Ogunbowale a challenge for Stanford

Ken Kilmek (South Bend Tribune) discusses Notre Dame's revised offense: Notre Dame women's basketball set for Stanford chess game in Elite Eight

Tom FitzGerald's (San Francisco Chronicle) report of today's press conference: Irish downplay revenge factor vs. Stanford in duel for Final Four berth

Graham Hays (espnW) writes about the third matchup between two former national champions: Notre Dame, Stanford meet again with Final Four trip on the line

Here's the press conference on which some of the above stories were based:

And, finally, Road Trip - Day 10:

March 24, 2017

Cardinal grinds out a win over the Longhorns, 77-66

Stanford had a narrow lead, gave it up, fell behind, then came back against a determined, aggressive Texas team to move to an NCAA tournament game against Notre Dame for the third year running.

An announced crowd of 3,160 occupied the lower bowl of the vast Rupp Arena for the first game of the night, Notre Dame versus Ohio State. Notre Dame won that fairly easily, and a lot of red-clad Buckeye fans and green-clad Irish deserted the scene, perhaps to watch the UCLA-Kentucky men's game. Considerably fewer were present when the Cardinal tipped off against the Longhorns.

The Longhorns' defense was aggressive and physical, and the refs were in tournament mode, letting a lot of contact go unwhistled. There were more players sliding or crashing to the floor than usual. Nevertheless, the Cardinal took an early lead and were up by one at the end of the first quarter, 18-17.

During the second quarter Alanna came out looking distressed and left the floor for several minutes, leading fans to think she was ill. However she soon returned and played well in the second half. Also during that quarter Texas took a lead, and were up seven at the half, 29-36.

The third quarter opened with a remarkable series that brought Stanford back into the game. Bird got an offensive rebound which led to Karlie hitting a three and being fouled. Karlie missed the and-one, but Alanna rebounded it and Marta passed to Brittany for another three.

So the Cardinal went from down-seven to down-one in a minute's play; and the game remained close for the next several minutes. Then Karlie hit a three to give Stanford its first lead of the half, 47-45; and when Texas tied the score she hit another three to retake the lead 50-47.

After a Bird jumper, Texas called time to regroup, but it didn't help. The quarter ended with Stanford up 54-49.

They maintained a lead of four to six points through most of the fourth quarter. At one point the Longhorns had come back within three, 58-55, when Bird lobbed a pass to Brittany standing in a group of Texans for a layup.

That put the Cardinal again up by two possessions and it stayed that way until Texas began the foul parade in the final minute. Stanford made most of their free throws, so the final score looks like an easier win than it really was.

Bird had a big game against the Longhorns' tough defense, scoring 23 points on 9-14 shooting, plus twelve rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.

Karlie played all 40 minutes and had fifteen points (4 of 8 from long range) plus five assists. As noted above, her threes were critical to bringing Stanford back into the game and then keeping a lead.

Brittany had twelve points, including five of six free throws, plus three assists and a block.

Alanna shook off whatever was bothering her in the second quarter to score ten points plus seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.

Kaylee had five points and three rebounds in only eight minutes on the floor.

Bri had six points and Marta, one, while between them they held Texas sharpshooter Brooke McCarty to only eight points, well below her season average.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video from Stanford Athletics,

The game highlights video from ESPN,

A Bird and Karlie highlights video,

The video press conference , with Tara, Bird and Karlie,

And a gallery of photos by Mark Mahan (SWBB Facebook).