November 10, 2017

Over-boarded in Ohio, 64-85

Updated Nov 11: Added links to videos and audio press conference.

Both Ohio State and Stanford claimed to want to run a fast game with lots of running and ball movement. Tara welcomed this matchup, saying it would show the freshmen "what pace really means".

In fact, Stanford did run well with the Buckeyes, at least in the first half, which was a footrace from start to finish. The first quarter ended 24-27, with both teams on pace to score over 90. Early in the second quarter Stanford took their only lead of the game at 33-32. The first half ended with a score of 40-46, and the Cardinal could go to the locker room feeling they were doing respectably well.

Throughout the third quarter something other than speed came into play — rebounding. The Buckeyes simply dominated the glass, getting one second-chance point after another. Late in the game, the TV commentators noted that Ohio had a 28-2 advantage in second-chance points -- which was more than enough to account for the score differential.

Central to OSU's rebounding was the play of Stephanie Mavunga, who in the third quarter reached a career high of 18 rebounds but didn't slow down, ending the game with 26 rebounds, 14 of them offensive. (Mavunga also had 17 points, 4 blocks, 3 assists and 2 steals.)

The final tally on rebounds was 41-64. Most other team stats were close, so that was the deciding factor. For example, field goal percentage was 36.9 for Stanford, 34.5 for OSU. However, thanks largely to O-boards, OSU took 19 more shots than Stanford (29 of 84, vs. 24 of 65).

If Mavunga was OSU's heart, Brittany was Stanford's. She played 34 minutes and scored 24 points, including a game highlight that we will see often in the future: At the end of the first half she took an inbound with 4 seconds on the clock. With 1.4 seconds left she launched a shot from mid-court that dropped in on the buzzer.

No other Cardinal was in double-digits. Alanna and Nadia had eight. Also with eight points was Alyssa, who played 17 minutes in her freshman debut and dropped in two three-pointers, and had two rebounds and a block.

Maya had seven points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in 26 minutes on the court. Dijonai had six points and five rebounds. Marta played 33 minutes, had the team-high eight rebounds, three points (on free-throws), and five assists (but five turnovers).

All other players had some time on the court but were unable to affect the outcome.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics.

The game highlights video,

And the audio press conference , with Tara and Brittany.

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