However, as Tara says, a team is like an orchestra and different people solo at different times. Tonight the lead soloist was Alanna, who had a breakout game. Her twenty points in the first half kept Stanford in the game.
Alanna, however, had to leave the game with five fouls when the score was tied 66-66 and there was still 2:16 to play. The game had to be decided by others, and a game's worth of drama was compressed into that short time.
With just a minute to play, Christine Anigwe fouled Bird, who made both free throws: Stanford up 68-66. (The Cardinal made 16 of 18 free throws in the game, an important factor in the outcome.)
On the following possession, Bird blocked a shot by Anigwe and Brittany controlled the ball. At Stanford's end of the court, the ball went out of bounds with 18 seconds left. The referees reviewed the video and awarded the ball to Stanford.
At this point, Cal made a critical error. They needed to foul, but somehow allowed the ball to be inbounded into the hands of Brittany, standing alone under the basket, and she simply laid it in: Stanford by four, 70-66.
Cal was unable to score in the remaining twelve seconds, but fouled Karlie who made two free throws to set the final score.
Alanna led all scorers with a career-high 27, including 3-5 three-point attempts, plus six rebounds, three blocks, and a steal.
Karlie had 17 points, including 3-4 from long range.
Bird had eleven points plus 14 rebounds for a double-double. She also had three steals, and a crucial block in the closing seconds.
Brittany gave her all for 27 minutes, but her shot was off tonight and she hit just three of fifteen attempts. But her last made shot was the one that gave the Cardinal a four-point lead with 12 seconds left to play.
Bri and Marta did their usual skillful ball-handling, combining for 12 assists with only five turnovers.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- Smith Sensational at Cal, the Associated Press game recap by Jeff Faraudo (as posted by Stanford Athletics)
- Alanna Smith leads Card to win over Cal in 1st installment of Battle of the Bay, the Pac-12 game recap video
- Bears Lose Tough Battle With No. 10 Stanford, the Cal Athletics game recap
- Stanford women use late push to beat Bears by Rusty Simmons (San Francisco Chronicle)
- No. 10 Stanford holds off Cal to stay in first place by Elliott Almond, with photos by Nhat V. Meyer (Mercury News)
- Cal women’s basketball can’t hold lead against No. 10 Stanford, fall 72-66 by Devang Prasad (The Daily Californian)
- Cal women’s basketball blows late lead on No. 10 Stanford, loses 72-66 at homeby Jeffrey Liu (The Daily Californian)
- WBB: Stanford 72 C.al 66 on Alanna's 27 points from the CARDboard
"I'm just happy that I'm playing really well right now," said Alanna,
The audio press conference , with Tara and Alanna,
Cal's video press conference
And photos by Ben Margot (Associated Press):