February 06, 2017

Cardinal caged by Bruins

Except for one quarter, the UCLA defense stymied Stanford's best moves, and the Cardinal couldn't stop the Bruins' three-point shooters, resulting in a frustrating loss before a small crowd on a rainy Monday evening.

The first quarter ended with the Cardinal trailing by ten, 12-22. Because that was almost the differential for the final score, one might think the game was settled then, and the teams played even-up the rest of the way -- but that was not the story at all.

In the second quarter, the Cardinal, in the persons of Brittany and Alanna, put a charge into the crowd with a streak of excellent play. Brittany made two of her driving layups. Then Alanna hit a long three from the top of the arc. Then there were made jumpers by Brittany, Alanna, and Karlie. And a layup by Alanna and a jumper by Karlie and a three from Bri and ... at the half, Stanford was ahead, 40-37.

Sadly, after that streak of splendid offense, the Cardinal went scoreless for the first four minutes of the third quarter while the Bruins caught up. The two teams played close for a while, with the third quarter ending with Stanford down only four, 51-55.

In the fourth, the Cardinal could not progress. On two consecutive possessions they stopped UCLA from scoring only to immediately turn the ball over on a bad pass. Those two turnovers squelched any chance of a last-minute comeback.

The Bruin defense denied Karlie all but a few three-point shots but, as usual, she found other ways to contribute. She played all 40 minutes of this grueling game. She dished the game-high seven assists and and never turned the ball over. She led the Cardinal scoring with 15 points, including two three-pointers (of five attempts).

Karlie now has 212 three-pointers in her career and stands alone in fourth place in the Stanford record book. She needs 26 more to move up past sister Bonnie into third place. At her current rate, she will get them if the Cardinal make it to the Pac-12 championship game and the NCAA Elite Eight (which, I daresay, would please Karlie more than beating Bonnie).

Bird ground out her ninth double-double of the season (14 points, 11 rebounds) against the Bruin's aggressive post defense.

Alanna had 14 points ...

... and Brittany, 13.

Bri had 12 points from hitting four treys. The last two of these were in the final seconds when, twice in a row, Stanford got possession after a UCLA free throw and Bri sprinted down the court to hit a three.

This was all the more remarkable because near the end of the third quarter Bri had suffered a full-speed, bug-on-windshield collision with a UCLA screener, and had left the floor, shaken up. Yet she was back ten minutes later, hitting clutch threes.

However, the Bruins were making all their free throws, so the last-second heroics were for nothing.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video,

A gallery of photos by Bob Drebin (isiphotos.com),

And Tara talks about a disappointing game ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

disappointing that the person who is supposed to shoot dished out more assists than her teammates.