February 25, 2017

Beavers gnaw a narrow win out of Cardinal, 47-50

A record crowd of 9604 orange-clad fans jammed Gill Coliseum to roar support for the Beavers.

The game was dominated by defense from the start and buckets were hard for either team to manage. The first quarter ended tied 10-10. Even fewer points were scored in the second quarter, with a half-time score of 18-20. The Beavers seemed to have figured out how to defend all of Stanford's starters, so that in the third quarter Karlie had only four points, and Brittany, none.

Stanford likewise had the number of almost all the OSU players. The Cardinal held the Beavers to 28.3% shooting — well below their season average of 44.6%.

However, the Cardinal couldn't contain Sidney Wiese, but not for lack of defensive effort. Either Bri or Marta was pasted to her jersey almost every second, clearly making her life difficult. But less than a second is all she needs to fire one of her twisting, asymmetrical three-point shots, and five of nine of them went in.

Wiese's heroics notwithstanding, this was a winnable game for Stanford. In the fourth quarter the game was tied 33-33 on a Marta drive. About this time Brittany finally began scoring. The teams traded baskets until another tie, 43-43 at the 2:14 mark (Wiese with 21 of OSU's 43).

A minute later Bird rebounded a Brittany miss and put it back: Stanford ahead, 47-46 at 0:19.7.

Sidney Wiese missed a layup, but Marie Gulich grabbed the rebound and put it up and in: OSU ahead 47-48.

On Stanford's possession, OSU went to a zone defense for the first time in the game. Nevertheless, Karlie got one of the very few three-point opportunities she had all game, but missed it. That sealed the result.

No Stanford player reached double digits. Bird and Alanna had nine each. Brittany had eight, all in the fourth quarter. Nadia and Karlie had six.

The OSU fans cheered the announcement that the Beavers had clinched at least a share of the regular-season championship and everyone went home happy -- even the very few Stanford fans in the house, who at least knew they had seen a great basketball game.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

And the audio press conference with Tara.

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