February 20, 2018

Tara honored with Integrity in Coaching award

The WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaching Association) honored Tara today as an active member coach who exemplifies spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose.

Describes our Cardinal coach to a 'T'!

Read more in the Stanford Athletics announcement.

February 19, 2018

It's crunch time

If the season ended today, the Cardinal would be the No. 4 seed in the Albany, New York region.

Click here for the NCAA's third and final Top 16 reveal of the season.

The Cardinal is in danger of falling out of the Top 16 if it doesn't bring its A-game to the remaining two conference games and the tournament.

UCLA, after trailing by 16 at halftime in Matt Knight Arena tonight, came back strong in the second half and tied it up at 90-all, but the Ducks won 101-94 in overtime.

The Pac-12 standings are now:

1. Oregon
2. Stanford
3. Oregon State & UCLA (tied)

UCLA plays the Mountain teams at home next weekend, the Oregons are on the road in Arizona, and Stanford is on the road in Washington.

There's little room for error.

GO CARD!

February 17, 2018

Bears subdue Cardinal at Haas, 66-78

The Cardinal seemed out of rhythm from the first, missing many shots and conceding turnovers early. Brittany, Alanna and Kiana scored and the first quarter ended with the Cardinal down five, 16-21.

The second quarter was closer, with Stanford catching up to tie early. From there the game was close, tied or with Cal ahead by a couple, to the halftime score of 34-36.

The Cardinal no doubt came out of the locker room feeling they were in with a chance, but the game took a decisive turn in the first minutes of the third quarter: Cal scored on their first four possessions, and Stanford did not. That changed a close 34-36 contest to 34-44, and Tara had to call a timeout, during which she could be seen to be speaking at length with many hand gestures.

From there, the teams traded baskets until the middle of the fourth quarter, when a three by Alanna brought Stanford within two, at 60-62. But Asha Thomas and Mikayla Cowling hit quick threes to re-open the gap. In the final minutes, Cal made all their free-throws and Stanford was unable to score, bringing the final score to 66-78.

In the team stats, Cal was decisively better on rebounding, at 32-47, and at three-point shots, 35% to 19%.

Brittany led the Cardinal with 24 points, hitting 9-22 (but only 1 of 7 long-range tries).

Alanna posted 20 points, as well as nine rebounds, six steals, and two blocks.

Kiana had 14 points, two reboundsm and one steal, but no assists.

Kaylee had six points and three rebounds.

And that was about it for the Cardinal. The only other one that scored was DiJonai with two points on 1-8 shooting. Marta, Maya and Alyssa were the only others to even take a shot; each went 0-1.

Stanford now practices for a road trip to the Washington schools, after which it's off to the PAC-12 tournament.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

And the audio press conference with Tara, Brittany, and Alanna.

February 15, 2018

Cardinal tames Golden Bears at Maples, 74-69

The game began in excellent fashion with two layups by Alanna and two threes by Kiana. At the end of the quarter Stanford led by nine, at 22-13, and seemed comfortable.

In the second quarter the Golden Bears jarred them out of their comfy place, settling into a dogged defense. Stanford began missing; the Bears began rebounding; and half-way through the quarter, the score was tied at 29.

Less than a minute from the end of the half, Cal had a one-point lead, 34-35. Tara subbed in Shannon, one supposes simply to put a body on Cal's big girls without risking a foul by Alanna or Kaylee. This bit of routine strategy paid off when, with the clock winding down, Marta fired to Shannon on the perimeter and Shannon dropped in a three on the buzzer. The half ended with Stanford up 37-35 and Tara looking like a coaching genius.

The tight game continued into the third quarter. The score was tied at 40, and at 42, and at 44. Then came a decisive moment: with Stanford up three, 52-49, and 40 seconds to play, Nadia dropped in a three. Then a Cal foul gave the ball to Stanford with 16 seconds left, and Marta found Nadia for a smooth jumper, to end the quarter 57-49.

The run continued in the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter, with a layup and a three from Kiana and a layup by Kaylee giving Stanford what should have been a comfortable 14-point lead, 65-51, at the 8-minute mark.

But then a scoring drought hit both teams. Stanford did not score a field goal in the rest of the game -- although they did score nine points on free throws. That let Cal come slowly back and made the final minutes dramatic; but Stanford hit their free throws and closed out the game 74-69.

Much of the success was due to defense. Stanford kept Cal's big girls, Anigwe and Davidson, to a total of three field goals and 14 points. Stanford conceded only 11 turnovers in an aggressive competitive game, and made 76% of their free throws.

Individually, Kiana led all scorers with a career-high 26 points. She hit 5 of 7 three-point tries and 7 of 9 free throws. She had three assists and four steals, against two turnovers.

Brittany collected 17 points despite a low shooting percentage due largely to Mikayla Cowling's tight defense. Britt hit 1-5 from three, and 4-15 from close in. She had two assists and two blocks, and two turnovers.

Nadia provided the spark at the end of the half that began the winning run. She had ten points in all, plus six rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Alanna scored eight points, all in the first quarter. In only 18 minutes playing time she collected 7 rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Marta played 36 minutes. She only scored two points on free throws, but had six assists against two turnovers.

Kaylee played 34 minutes, had nine rebounds and six points.

Shannon was credited with only one minute on the floor, but that minute ended with her draining a three to send the Cardinal to the locker room with a half-time lead.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video,

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

A video interview of Kiana, "I came to Stanford for games like this,"

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

February 14, 2018

Anticipating the Battle of the Bay

Here are some stories and a video about the Cardinal and the Bears on the eve of the Battle of the Bay:

February 13, 2018

Brittany still up for Naismith Player of the Year

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced yesterday that Brittany remains one of 30 players under consideration for the 2018 Naismith Women's College Player of the Year.

Read more:

February 12, 2018

Top-16 in sight for Cardinal

After the Colorado game on Sunday, Tara said that the team's focus is now on winning through to an NCAA top-16 seed and more games in Maples Pavilion (in addition to the scheduled game against Cal on Thursday).

Although the Cardinal has won its last six games, its RPI slipped from 10 to 14 last week because the Mountain schools are among the least successful. Its RPI will likely slip again the last week of the season with games against the Washington Schools, whose RPIs are currently 85 and 167.

So the games against Cal (RPI currently 36) next week are critical, as is the Cardinal's performance in the Pac-12 tourney.

In spite of the RPI decrease, the Cardinal has moved up from #17 to #14 in the AP Top 25, and to a #4 seed (a top 16) in Charlie Creme's bracket.

Here are Creme's current bracket and bracketology report: Bracketology's biggest challenge: Which teams will get to host early-round games?

Of Stanford, he says:

Interestingly, Stanford — a team the Buckeyes beat twice earlier this season — is the chief beneficiary of Ohio State's fall (as well as stumbles by Michigan and Texas A&M). The Cardinal went from a 6-6 team to the co-leaders of the Pac-12 and now in the top 16 (No. 4 seed). With four games left in the regular season (Stanford should be considered a solid favorite in each) and a good run in the Pac-12 tournament, the Cardinal have the potential to climb as high as a No. 3 seed should teams in front of them stumble at all.

February 11, 2018

Cardinal rollerblades through the Buffaloes 62-53

Roger Miller gave it as an axiom in 1966 that You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd. Tonight, the Colorado Buffs did their best to prove that true, but Stanford strapped on their 'blades and rolled through an aggressive, obstructive defense to win.

Both sides opened with aggressive play, lots of grabbing and falling, but Stanford pulled ahead to a 9-3 lead at the first media timeout. Then the Buffs seemed to raise the level of their defense and pulled to a brief lead. The quarter ended at 13-10 Stanford.

The second quarter continued the rough, ragged play. In one zany possession two minutes in, Marta missed a layup, Kaylee got the rebound and missed the layup, Alanna got the rebound and also missed a layup; Colorado got that rebound and Kaylee fouled — all in the span of 10 seconds.

The score was tied at 17-all, then tied at 19-all. Brittany put Stanford ahead (for good, as it turned out), making the score 21-19 at the media timeout. For the remaining minutes of the half, Stanford reeled off a 14-2 run, for a half-time score of 35-21.

At the half the three point shooting was Stanford, 3 of 9, Colorado 2 of 15 — the Buffs were having a terrible shooting night against the Cardinal defense. Also at the half, the different styles of play were evident in the count of free throws: Stanford had taken 17 (making 10, tsk, tsk) while Colorado had taken exactly one.

Colorado's only answer to being down seemed to be, play harder; and rough play continued, with the crowd helpfully pointing out the many fouls the referees did not whistle at.

Then the officials seemed to tighten up and try to get control. Soon Alanna and Colorado's Maya Hollingshed tangled on an Alanna drive to the basket. On review, the referees awarded Alanna free throws for Hollingshed's foul, then awarded Colorado free throws for Alanna's arm swipe at Hollingshed during the foul (her third).

Half-way into the third quarter, Brittany grabbed a tenth rebound to secure a double-double.

Early in the fourth quarter Alanna was called for her fourth foul and apparently reacted too strongly, because she was immediately T'd-up for her fifth, and left the game.

The two teams played roughly (in two senses) equal the rest of the way and the game ended 62-53. In the final stats, Stanford had taken 35 free throws to Colorado's 12, a remarkable difference. Stanford conceded 21 turnovers, but so too did Colorado. It was a hectic night on the floor in general.

Brittany led all scorers with 25 points, seven of them from the 12 free throws she was awarded. She had 12 rebounds, and a steal and a block.

Marta had seven points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal, against one turnover. She spent a lot of her time flying or sliding across the floor being tackled by Buffalos.

DiJonai had seven points and seven rebounds, plus an assist and two steals; but she gave up four turnovers.

Alanna had six points on 2-11 shooting, and six rebounds.

Kaylee had five points plus 10 rebounds and two steals.

Following the game Brittany and Kaylee were honored by the fans.

Then the team went away to tend to their bruises and get ready for back-to-back games with Cal.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

A video interview of Britt,

The video press conference with Tara, Brittany and Kaylee,

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

February 09, 2018

Cardinal routs Utes, 70-49

Coming off a very successful Oregon trip, the Stanford team was intent on not slacking off against Utah and their star, 6-6 Emily Potter, who was shooting 50% in the paint, as well as two other players shooting 40% or more from the three.

The game was close — for about two minutes. Then Brittany broke it open with a three and two layups and Utah called time with the score 11-6 (McPhee having 9). Following that break, Marta hit a three, Nadia did too, and Marta hit another, to end the quarter up 20-9. The result was never in doubt after that.

The second quarter was notable for having no scoring at all for nearly four minutes. Kiana broke the drought with a three, and the rest of the quarter was a disaster for the Utes, with the halftime score 39-15, or 19-4 Cardinal for the period. Throughout the half, Stanford defenders had doubled Potter whenever the ball reached her, and at the break, Potter's only points were from free-throws. The Utes' other hot shooters had four points each.

During the break the Utah coach made some sort of adjustment, and in the third quarter Potter and the others began to score a bit more freely. That quarter ended 57-34. It was marked by some success for Maya, who finished two layups over the Utah defenders.

The final quarter was handled mostly by the practice team and the clock wound down to the final result of 70-49.

While turnovers were not quite as low as the preceding two games, Stanford turned the ball over only ten times, a very respectable number. And they hit 5 of 6 free throws.

Brittany's outburst of nine quick points in the first quarter established a decisive lead for the Cardinal. In all she had 18 points and three assists in only 25 minutes of play.

Marta hit three of three from beyond the arc, and two of two free-throws, for 11 points. She had four assists, a steal, and a block against one turnover.

Nadia came off the bench for 21 minutes during which she earned ten points, an assist, two steals, and two blocks.

Kaylee turned toward the basket more often than usual and hit 4 of 6 layup attempts, as well as five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block.

Alanna played only 13 minutes, but had eight points, four rebounds and a steal in that time.

Kiana, playing in a mask to protect the nose injured by Brittany's tooth in the collision at Oregon, nevertheless played 34 minutes, scoring seven points and recording six rebounds and five assists with zero turnovers.

In twelve minutes on the floor, Maya hit three of four shots and pulled in three rebounds.

Next up, Stanford welcomes the Colorado Buffaloes, currently 3-10 in conference games, on Sunday afternoon. After the game, Kaylee and Brittany will be honored with a Senior Day celebration.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

The game highlights video,

The video press conference with Tara and Nadia,

And a gallery of photos by Karen Hickey (Stanford Athletics).

February 08, 2018

Thank you Kaylee and Brittany

Sunday is Senior Day.

Kaylee and Brittany will be honored after the game against Colorado.

Click here for Kayl's and Britt's reflections on their time at Stanford and a message from Tara.