December 03, 2017

Cardinal smothered in Waco, 57-81

Baylor's defense, especially the defense in the paint from 6-4 Lauren Cox and 6-7 Kalani Brown, smothered the Stanford offense, producing an awful first quarter. After six Baylor steals and seven Stanford turnovers, the Cardinal could be almost glad the score was no worse than 8-25.

The Cardinal seemed to regain some composure in the second quarter, which opened with a nifty reverse layup by Kiana, who at that point had scored all of Stanford's points. Shannon was put in, one assumes to defend Brown, but she began to hit threes, and the team put together a 9-0 run and got within nine at 24-33. The half ended at 26-39.

No magical adjustments happened in the locker room. The Cardinal continued to play competent basketball; Alanna began to find ways to the basket through the bigger trees; Shannon continued to defend and to hit threes; but the Bears were clearly the better team and widened their lead slowly, but inexorably, to the final score of 57-81.

Shannon led the Stanford scoring with 14 points (her personal best) including hitting four of eight three-point tries (another personal best). Her defense contributed to holding the Baylor juggernaut to its lowest field-goal percentage of the season (a mere 43%) while comitting only one personal foul. This was definitely a breakout game for Shannon, who will likely get more playing time in future games than she has previously.

Kiana had 13 points (including three of eleven three-pointers, all in the first half (when for about 12 minutes of the game, she had all of Stanford's points). She ran the point for 34 minutes and was credited with two assists and zero turnovers.

Stymied in the paint, Alanna tried her outside shot and sank two of six long ones. She scored 11 points, plus a steal, two blocks, and five rebounds.

Maya showed great promise with two blocks, seven rebounds, and seven points on 3-6 shooting, including a couple of rebound-and-put-back plays that looked very Ogwumike-like.

Kaylee got into early foul trouble and played only twelve minutes, during which she grabbed the team-high ten rebounds.

Stanford now returns to "dead" week and finals, before three home games that precede the PAC-12 season, which begins late in December.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The audio press conference with Tara,

The game highlights video from Fox Sports,

And photos by Ernesto Garcia and Rod Aydelotte (Waco Tribune-Herald)):

Kiana launches one of her three-pointers
Kristy Wallace eludes Maya and Nadia
Kaylee grabs one of her ten rebounds
DiJonai drives to the basket
Alanna drives against pressure

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