February 02, 2018

Cardinal dams Beavers' flow, 60-57

The Cardinal got off to a brilliant start, with assistance from the OSU shooters who missed their first seven attempts, while Stanford hit four of their first six. With the score 11-0, Scott Rueck had to call time. After that, OSU got it together and began to score. Ironically, this situation would find its exact mirror image at the start of the second half. Meantime, the first quarter ended with Stanford up 21-15.

The Beavers tied the score half-way into the second quarter. Then the teams played tight, defensive ball for five minutes, and went to the locker rooms with Stanford up one, 28-27. At this point, Stanford trailed in rebounds by a few.

At the start of the half, OSU hit on three successive possessions while Stanford missed every attempt. Tara was forced to call time at 8:16 with OSU up 28-34 and threatening to put the game away.

But now Stanford tightened up its defense, and also began to scoop up rebounds. As a result, through the middle of the third quarter Stanford tallied a 17-2 run. OSU recovered a bit, but the quarter ended with Stanford ahead 47-40, and ahead on rebounds 39-31, a big change from the first half.

The Beavers were too good to go quietly; they began to work back into the game in the fourth quarter. The score was 57-54 at the two-minute mark, and 59-57 with 18 seconds to go, with the ball in OSU's hands. However, Marie Gulich missed what would have been a tying layup, and Kaylee controlled the rebound. OSU had to foul twice before Marta went to the line with 14 seconds on the clock, needing only to make two free throws to ice the win.

She missed the first.

She missed the second! -- but somehow, Alanna controlled the rebound. That one rebound changed the game. Instead of OSU having a chance to score, they had to foul again. That sent Brittany to the line with nine seconds on the clock. She made one (60-57) but missed the second and OSU controlled. They called time to inbound the ball from their bench, with nine seconds to tie the score.

The ball went in -- and dropped into the hands of DiJonai, streaking across its path. She loped a curved pattern around the basket while time expired.

The game was won on defense and ball control. There were long stretches when the Stanford defense seemed to have OSU confused. In particular they collapsed instantly whenever the ball got into the paint, forcing missed layups, blocks and turnovers.

Stanford grabbed 44 rebounds to OSU's 35 and -- very much unlike earlier games -- committed only six turnovers.

Brittany led all scorers with 18 points. She recorded 12 rebounds for a double-double, plus an assist, a steal, and two blocks.

Kiana had 14 points, hitting only one of five three-point shots, but going 5-6 for jumpers and layups. She had two assists and two steals, and conceded two turnovers.

Alanna had eleven points on 5-12 shooting, three steals and three blocks. She also had six rebounds, one of which, on Marta's missed free-throw, changed the course of the end-game in Stanford's favor.

DiJonai had nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and just one steal -- but a steal that sealed the win.

Marta had four points, three assists, and two steals against only one turnover.

With one important road win in their pocket the Cardinal will now prepare for the sixth-ranked, 20-3 Oregon Ducks.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

A video interview of Kiana about Stanford's "grind it out" win.

The video press conference with Tara, Britt, and Kiana,

And a gallery of photos by Andy Cripe (Mid-Valley Media).

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