March 11, 2017

Alanna is stepping up big

Alanna is one of three players that Michelle Smith (Pac-12) has tabbed as building momentum heading into the postseason:

Alanna Smith is the first international player in the history of Tara VanDerveer’s time at Stanford and Smith has turned out to be a great find. Smith, from Melbourne, Australia, has had a handful of breakout games this season, including a 27-point game against Cal and a 24 point game against Oregon earlier in the season.

In the Pac-12 championship game, Smith came off the bench to give the Cardinal offense a critical spark after a difficult start. She finished with a game-high 18 points on 6 of 14 shooting from the floor. She added four blocked shots and proved a difficult matchup because of her versatility both in the paint and out on the perimeter.

Smith said she has been focused on being more aggressive late in the season and it’s paying off. It will certainly help the Cardinal as it looks to embark on another long NCAA run. After winning the Pac-12 Tournament, Stanford expects a high seed in the NCAA field. “For me, it's just having an aggressive mindset, and just slowing down and reading the defense,” Smith said. “That's something my coaches have been telling me and I've really been trying to take on board.”

VanDerveer likes what she sees from her sophomore forward. “It's been really exciting to see Alanna's improvement throughout the year,” the Hall of Fame coach said. “She has a lot of talent. She gives us a big body that can score on the perimeter, score on the block, runs the floor. She's had some super games for us, and she really stepped up big (Sunday night).”

Here is Smith's complete story: Women's Basketball stars emerge from postseason spotlight

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