January 12, 2018

Cardinal Contains Cougars, 70-57

In the pre-game talk, Coach Lindy spoke of how the team was disappointed with its showing at ASU, especially in rebounding and committing fouls. Rebounding had been the focus of practice all week. Here's a spoiler: it worked. At the half, rebounds were 30-11 in Stanford's favor, and the team committed only 15 fouls for the game, giving WSU only 11 free throw attempts.

The game opened in excellent fashion: WSU had four misses and two turnovers in their first six possessions and had to call time at 6:30 with the score 10-0. The Cardinal continued hot and the Cougs continued to miss, and the first quarter ended at 22-7.

The second quarter continued a spectacular rout, and at the half the score was 45-17. Stanford was hitting at a 63% pace, WSU at 23%, and rebounds, as noted, were 30-11.

Once in the second quarter and again in the third, the score hit the Band's favorite value, "two X plus four" but WSU began to show some signs of life. They mounted an aggressive, pressing defense and began to get turnovers, and the third quarter ended at 58-32 — still a healthy lead but not the runaway of the first half.

In the third quarter Stanford seemed to get sloppy or tired; the WSU defense produced turnovers; and the Cougs began to climb back. Half-way through the quarter DiJonai went up for a block, took a mighty swat at the ball but hit arms instead and ended up bringing herself and the opposing player down hard in a heap, ruled an unsportsmanlike play.

On a positive note, a minute later Kaylee scored her tenth point to cinch a double-double, and got a solid cheer from the crowd.

The score for the fourth quarter was 12-25 and, as one annoyed fan said, "If it had gone on much longer we could have lost it." In truth the cushion was ample and there was no real danger of losing, but it was disappointing to see a lack of the killer instinct needed to finish the game crisply.

Alanna led all scorers with 20 points on 10-18 shooting. Several times she went up from the middle of a scrum under the basket to receive a lob pass, and writhed her way through multiple defenders to finish the play. She also stole the ball twice and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.

Kiana had a hot hand tonight and earned a career-high 36 minutes of playing time. She scored 15 points on two midrange jumpers, a layup, and three (of six) three-point attempts.

Brittany had 12 points, plus five assists, three steals, and a block.

Kaylee added the game-high 15 rebounds to her ten points for her first double-double of the season.

Nadia had five points and five rebounds, a steal and a block.

DiJonai had seven rebounds and a steal, but missed all seven of her shots.

With the sands of Arizona hopefully blown away by a solid win, the team will welcome the UW Huskies on Sunday.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video,

Ros interviews Alanna about upperclassmen leading the way,

The video press conference with Tara, Kaylee, and Alanna,

And a gallery of photos by Bob Drebin (isiphoto.com).

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