December 16, 2017

Cardinal romps past Lady Rebels 74-33

Before the game, Assistant Coach Lindy gave her first-ever "chalk talk" for fans, and reported that Brittany was still "day to day" but wouldn't suit up today. She did not mention DiJonai, but she also was in street clothes, although looking healthy. Lindy also mentioned a new starting lineup meant to reward recent good performances: Shannon, Anna, and Kiana joined Alanna and Kaylee in starting.

With Brittany and DiJonai on the sidelines, Tara had twelve available players. The result was a most unusual Stanford box score: twelve players played and all twelve scored.

The game opened disastrously badly for UNLV. In the first four minutes they were able to take only one shot, which missed. Other than that they gave up the ball on four successive turnovers and a steal. At 6:56, with the score 10-0, coach Kathy Olivier called time. It didn't really help. The half ended with Stanford up 35-13. At 8:28 into the third quarter Kiana hit a jumper that made her personal score of 14 equal to the UNLV team's score.

Tara was sending in substitutes in ASU-like waves from the middle of the first quarter. In the end, nobody had more than 23 minutes on the floor. One effect was to keep fresh legs on the floor, facilitating the new high-speed offense. UNLV gave significant time to only eight players and they were visibly dragging by the fourth quarter.

Kiana led the scoring with her 14, hitting 3 of 4 long balls.

Alanna had 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Maya also had 11 points, four rebounds, an assist and two blocks. She repeatedly catches the fan's eye with athletic, twisting moves and put-backs that are strongly reminiscent of certain Cardinal alumnae.

Anna had eight points, including two early three-pointers that set the tone for the first quarter, and two steals, one of which ended in a fast break layup.

Nadia was the fifth Cardinal who scored from beyond the arc today. She made two of two. As a team, the Cardinal made nine of 21, for a very nice 43%.

In the third quarter, ten players had been on the floor and of them, only Alexa had not scored. But by the end, she had scored seven from a three-pointer, a layup, and two free throws.

By that point, twelve had played and only Estella and Mikaela were without points. Fans cheered when Estella hit a three, and then in the final seconds Alexa, who would normally have just dribbled the clock out, fired a pass to Mikaela so she could score a layup before the buzzer. Twelve played, twelve scored.

At the chalk talk, Lindy said that Shannon has one of the bast basketball IQs on the team, and she showed that today in the first start of her college career. Her efforts didn't contribute much to the box score (three rebounds, three assists and two points), but she played solid defense for 15 minutes, quite unlike her brief appearances in the past three seasons.

Also notable were Kaylee's ten rebounds, which she grabbed while committing just one foul. She (and other members of the team) have too often limited their playing time this season with careless fouls. Today the entire team committed only seven — just two more than the Stanford record low.

The next game, against Western Illinois, will be quite a different affair, but it was nice to have a good old home romp for a change.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The video press conference with Tara, Maya and Kiana,

And the game highlights video,

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