January 08, 2017

Cardinal loses battle to Beavers in OT, 69-72

During the pregame talk, Kate said that Bri would guard the dangerous Sydney Wiese and,"We think we have a pretty good plan for Wiese."

That plan worked very well for 16 minutes. At 3:33 in the second quarter, both numbers 24 – Wiese and Bird – were scoreless. At that point Wiese broke loose and scored seven points in the remaining minutes of the first half, which ended with OSU up by one, 22-23.

That first half was some of the most exciting basketball we've seen this season. There were beautiful plays and dramatic turnovers on both sides. Both teams moved at dazzling speed — sometimes too fast in OSU's case, who had 12 turnovers in the half. A fan commented that, with the speed of play, both teams would spend halftime "getting oxygen and saline IVs".

In the second half OSU moved to a zone that slowed Stanford's offense to a crawl. Nevertheless the game remained close, with the teams trading a one-point lead and OSU slightly ahead until the third quarter ended at 33-36. Stanford trailed most of the fourth quarter until Brittany tied the score at 51-51, sending us to overtime.

Overtime started well with Stanford out to a five-point lead, but OSU came back to lead 61-63. With seconds left, Bird made a desperation layup through two defenders to tie the score at 63-63 and we were off to a second OT.

During the second overtime players on both teams were visibly exhausted, making mistakes and shooting the ball short or long. Stanford made some progress but by now the OSU zone was spreading the offense much wider, with vast gaps of open hardwood between the defenders and the Cardinal passing the ball slowly around a wide perimeter. Just the same, Nadia made a layup to bring the OSU lead down to one, 70-69, with 17 seconds to play. Then Stanford had to foul, and had to foul Wiese, who made two free throws to ice the result, and the Beavers celebrated their first-ever win at Maples.

The Beavers had "pretty good defensive plans" for the Cardinal's top scorers too.

So effective that Bird was held scoreless for the first half. She finally managed to break through their double- and triple-teams and scored 25 (just one less than Wiese) in the second half. She added twelve rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.

For the fourth conference game in a row, Karlie played almost the entire time — 48 minutes tonight. The Beavers defended her so closely that she never got clear enough to launch a trey and succeeded in making only one of her eight attempts in the paint. But she got eight rebounds and five assists, forced several held balls, and accounted for a good part of the Beavers' 22 turnovers with six steals.

Nadia was the only other Cardinal to score double digits. She started again tonight and had ten points on 5-10 shooting in 25 minutes of play.

Bri and Brittany and Marta each scored nine points. Marta was about the only Cardinal to succeed in driving to the basket through the Beavers' defense. She succeeded on four of 11 attempts. She also stole the ball six times.

Bri gets our unofficial Aerobics Award, having played the hood ornament to the Sydney Wiese limousine wherever it went for 45 minutes.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The press conference audio with Tara and Bird,

The game highlights video,

A gallery of photos by Nhat V. Meyers (Bay Area News Group),

And a gallery of photos by Bob Drebin and Bill Daily (isiphotos.com).

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