November 19, 2017

Running away from the Roadrunners, 57-34

Bird's dad Greg McCall brought his CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners into Maples, returning the visit we paid to the Icardo Center last December.

In the pre-game chalk talk, Coach Paye said that Brittany's "foot issue" was indefinite: "In a couple of weeks we'll see." (Post-game, Tara said much the same, indicating that they were in no hurry to rush Brittany back, and in fact, had she been playing this game, she might have, "taken minutes from some players who need the experience.")

Kate said that the "new" offensive scheme being taught this year is the "Princeton Offense" first taught by the famous Pete Carril. For those who'd like to know more, here is the Wikipedia description of the Princeton Offense, which needs "5 players who can each pass, shoot and dribble at an above average level," and for good reason, as "the ball is kept in constant motion through passing..."

While the ball did seem to be in pretty constant motion during Stanford possessions, apparently the full system was not being run because, as Tara noted after the game, Bakersfield played a defensive zone the whole time, and "This was the first time we've played against the zone this year."

In any event, the Cardinal quickly opened a 9-0 advantage, maintained it into the second quarter, and then steadily increased it to the end. In the first half, three-point shooting was notably better than in the prior game; at the half the Cardinal was shooting 37% from long range. Unfortunately a flurry of misses in the second half pulled that number down to 25% by the end — still an improvement from the dismal 11% of the prior game.

Alexa led all scorers with 13 points from 3 made 3-pointers, a nice two-point jumper when she had to step in over the line to avoid a defender, and a free-throw. That was her career high in points. In her 23 minutes Alexa also tallied three rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Anna got a healthy 21 minutes on the floor (no doubt thinking "Thanks, Brit!") and scored nine points on three made 3's. She also pulled in four rebounds and blocked a shot.

The Roadrunners' zone collapsed onto any "big" who got the ball down low. Nevertheless, Alanna scored eight on 4-7 shooting, plus four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Maya also scored eight on 4-6 shooting, plus four rebounds and a block. And Kaylee scored seven, on two layups and three free-throws (and six rebounds and a block).

Dijonai played 31 minutes and, although coming up empty on 0-5 shooting, had seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

Alyssa, who was the featured guest at the post-game "Behind the Bench", played 17 minutes and scored four points.

Estella came into the game in late minutes and scored her first college points, hitting one of two three-point attempts.

With this comfortable home win behind them, the Cardinal packs up and flies to Las Vegas for the Play 4 Kay tournament. They'll get a team Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, because on Thursday they have a game against Kent State. On Friday they play against (probably) Gonzaga; and if they win that, they'll have a probable rematch against Ohio State on Saturday.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The video press conference with Tara, Alexs and Anna,

And a gallery of photos by Bob Drebin (

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