That desire was enough to keep Cal in the game, and to keep the score close, for about 25 minutes of play. Then Alanna and Karlie took the game away.
Stanford was ahead by two to four points throughout the first half, which ended with the Cardinal ahead 37-32. Much of the credit for Stanford's lead at this point was due to Brittany, who scored sixteen points in the half.
Just seconds into the third quarter, Brittany was called for her third foul and had to take a seat. In her absence, Cal tightened the score, and over the next minutes repeatedly came within one point as the teams traded baskets.
Then Karlie hit a layup, Bri hit a jumper,
Alanna made a layup,
and Stanford was ahead by six.
Then on a Cal defensive mistake, Karlie was left open and immediately drained a three. Cal called time but shortly after play began, Karlie hit another three, and Stanford was ahead by double-digits.
Cal didn't quit playing, but with four fouls on star center Christine Anigwe, Alanna could find open lanes and made four more layups to keep the Cardinal well ahead to the end.
Alanna led all scorers with 17 and and all rebounders with eight, and added two blocks and a steal.
Brittany scored 16 points, all in the first half, and dished four assists.
Karlie scored eleven points on three treys and a layup, as well as five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Bri had nine points and played strong defense for 34 minutes.
Erica struggled in the paint against the octopus-like defense of Anigwe and Courtney Range to score seven, but had one emphatic block and five rebounds.
Every other available person (Anna and Mikaela were not dressed) got some time on the court and all but Shannon scored at least a point.
The seniors were honored after the game with tearful joy
The ceremony was video-ed (see link below), and Judy Richter will give a full report in a day or two in her blog.
Here are game reports and commentary:
- Big Night for Smith, Seniors, the Associated Press game recap by Rick Eymer (as posted by Stanford Athletics)
- No. 10 Stanford women's basketball tops rival Cal on Senior Night, the Pac-12 game recap video
- Bears Fall Short On The Farm, the Cal Athletics game recap
- Alanna Smith leads Stanford over Cal in rematch by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)
- Stanford women beat Cal again, set up showdown with Oregon State by Tom FitzGerald, with photos by Scott Strazzante (San Francisco Chronicle)
- WBB: Stanford 72 C.al 54 from the CARDboard
- Cal women’s basketball struggles on offense, falls to No. 10 Stanford 72-54 by Sophie Goethals (The Daily Californian)
A video interview: Seniors Karlie Samuelson, Briana Roberson and Erica McCall reflect on careers at Stanford,
The video press conference with Tara, Bird, Bri and Karlie,
And a gallery of photos by Bob Drebin (isiphotos.com).