March 17, 2018

Cardinal advances to second round with a shower of 3's

The first half of this game was fast and somewhat sloppy with frequent steals and turnovers. And it was close at first, with Stanford up only four, 22-18, at the end of the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter Alanna hit a three, Kiana hit a three, Alanna had a layup, and the Gonzaga coach, suddenly facing a 32-20 deficit, had to call time. The teams played even the rest of the period and at the half it was Stanford by 11, 47-36.

In the third quarter the Zags made a bit of a run, coming within eight, but then, starting at the 4:00 mark, Alanna made a three, Kiana made a three, and Nadia made a three. Meanwhile Gonzaga went scoreless. The 9-0 swing closed the quarter at 65-48 and the game was pretty well decided.

Kiana just edged Alanna for top scorer, hitting 5-8 threes and 8-16 shots in all for 21 points. She caught two rebounds, and recorded two assists and two steals, against one turnover.

Alanna hit 3 of 6 threes, 8-13 overall, for 20 points, and recorded six rebounds, two steals and four blocks.

Brittany had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, plus six assists and two steals.

DiJonai had 11 points on 4-8 shooting, and five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in limited minutes.

Kaylee went 3-4 to get six points, plus eight rebounds a steal and three blocks.

The team as a whole hit 50.8% of their shots, and exactly 50% of their long shots (11-22). Unfortunately they hit almost the same proportion of free throws, at 55% (11-20). For a brief while, the field goal percentage was higher than the free throw percentage, but they did better at the stripe the second half.

In the closing minutes, Gonzaga fouled repeatedly to get the ball. Even so, there were a total of 39 fouls called in this game. Note that number for contrast to the other game of the day.

In the first game of the day, #12 FGCU upset #5 Missouri, 80-70.

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles have a team slogan, "Raining Threes" and that is supposed to be their offensive style -- and one would think appropriately so, as none of the team are taller than 5-11, while at least a third of the Missouri Tigers are over 6 feet. However, right from the start of this game, the Eagles took the ball inside again and again, and succeeded, either scoring or getting fouled. Their defense was also disruptive, causing many more turnovers than they conceded.

It is not clear if the referee squad for this game was calling it very tightly, or if both teams were being intentionally physical. At any rate, there were a total of 56 fouls whistled in this game (as against 39 in the Stanford-Gonzaga game). Both teams were in the bonus in every quarter, and many free throws were shot.

The Eagles did attempt 17 threes, making 7 of them (compare to Stanfords' 11-22 in their game). Meanwhile the Tigers had an abysmal shooting day, going 4-24 on threes. The Floridians pulled out a 9-point lead in the first half. Despite a heroic effort by Missouri's Sophie Cunningham -- who played 40 minutes and ended with 35 points, 14 of them from free-throws -- the Eagles held on to their lead to the end of the game to secure the upset.

Stanford and FGCU will play for the right to advance to the Lexington Regional at 6pm Monday.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video from the Pac-12,

The game highlights video from Stanford Athletics,

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

And a gallery of photos by Al Chang and Don Feria (,

No comments: