Upset Over Bruins Bolsters Cardinal Case for Tournament Place

By Matthew Harrington

The wait may finally be over for coach Johnny Dawkins and Stanford. With selection day looming, the Cardinal pieced together a statement win at the right time, beating 23rd-ranked University of California Los Angeles 83-74 at Maples Pavilion Saturday afternoon, the Cardinal’s third win over a ranked opponent this season. The upset, Stanford’s third-straight win and fifth in six games, presents the NCAA tournament selection committee with another reason to move Stanford off the bubble and into the big dance on an at-large bid for the first tournament appearance in six years under Dawkins.

The veterans have led the way of late for Stanford (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12), understanding the importance a strong finish has on their tournament hopes. One game after setting a career-high in rebounds while also moving into first place all-time in school history in blocks, senior Josh Huestis once again forged an amendment to his biography in the programs, netting 22 points to match his single-game best. His 22 points were second only to guard Chasson Randle’s 26 on the day. Randle, a junior, put on a three-point clinic with 7 treys on 10 attempts, the most he’s made in a single game. Fellow junior Anthony Brown pitched in 18 points for Stanford who clicked at an eye-popping 62.2 shooting percentage as a team. Starting guard Norman Powell matched freshman Zach LaVine’s 14 points off the bench to lead UCLA (21-6, 10-4) while Tony Parker chipped in 13 points for the Bruins.

The opening 10 minutes saw both teams refuse to cede an inch of the court, with no team leading by more than three points. Randle potted a shot from downtown with 9:46 left in the half to give Stanford the first five-point lead of the day for either team to make it 23-18 Cardinal before the home team closed the half out on a 15-12 for a 38-30 edge after 20 minutes of play.

The Bruins clawed back into the game, outscoring Stanford 35-33 over the first 15 minutes of the second half then proceeded to make it a two possession game on three LaVine free throws made with 2:48 left to play and Stanford leading 72-68. The Cardinal finished out the game with 11 points to UCLA’s 6 split the two regular season games with its Southern California foes. The Bruins previously routed a vastly Stanford squad vastly different than the one they faced Saturday afternoon 91-74 on January 23rd in Los Angeles. Stanford made 38.6 percent of shots that night and turned the ball over 19 times.

Continuing its march to a potential place in the Madness to come next month, Stanford moves on to the final road trip in Pac-12 play, a trip to Tempe that sees the Cardinal face Arizona State University Wednesday followed by a Sunday showdown in Tucson against fourth-ranked University of Arizona. After that, the Cardinal returns to Maples for one last home game against Colorado March 5th to wrap up Pac-12 play before the conference tournament tips off in Las Vegas.

Stanford Pummels Bulldogs On The Road

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By Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal returned to action after their holiday break on Saturday with a successful trip to Fresno.  The number four-ranked Cardinal were victorious by the score of 86-54.

Fresno State came into the matchup with a record of 6-4, with three wins in the last four.  Saturday marks the second straight loss for the Bulldogs, as they were defeated last weekend by the Dons of San Francisco 76-47.

Fresno State kept it close in the first half and actually held the lead at two different points in the game.  The Bulldogs kept within two baskets with the score being 22-18 until around the nine-minute mark, and that’s when the Cardinal were able to take over.  Stanford started a two-minute 11-0 run with eight to go.  Fresno State would eventually stop it with 5:42 to go in the first half, but not before the Stanford lead would be stretched to 33-20.  Baskets were then being traded back and forth before the half would end with the Cardinal leading 43-31.

The second half would see the Cardinal scoring 43 points as well.  This time, however, they were able to hold the Bulldogs to only 23 points.  Stanford had an incredible start to the second half, as they were able to outscore the Bulldogs 16-2 to give them the big 69-33 lead.  The Cardinal would not look back as they would coast for the win.

Chiney Ogwumike had yet another outstanding performance as she led the Cardinal in scoring, with 20 points.  The All-American Senior added ten rebounds to record the double-double.  Taylor Greenfield was right behind Ogwumike, scoring 18, a season high and tying her career high.  Amber Orrange had 15 for the Cardinal and added six assists.  Mikaela Ruef had an outstanding game, as she contributed in everyway, recording eight assists, seven rebounds, five points and adding a block and a steal.

Alex Sheedy, who recorded the double-double, with 15 points and 11 rebounds, led the Bulldogs.  Guard, Taylor Thompson also saw double digits in scoring with 14 of her own.

Fresno State ends their non-conference play with loss, as their record drops to 6-5.  The Bulldogs are scheduled to start up Mountain West action on New Year’s Day, where they will travel to Las Vegas to take on the 3-9 Rebels.

With the win the Stanford Cardinal up their record to 11-1, as they end non-conference play.  They will return to action after the New Year to start conference play, as they will host the Oregon Ducks on January 3.

Stanford Upsets Tennessee in a Tight One

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By: Joe Lami

Saturday marked the second time that two top ten teams matched up against each other this week, as number one Connecticut defeated number two Duke earlier in the week.  On Saturday it would be number six Stanford defeating number three Tennessee 76-70.

“It was a great environment” losing coach, Holly Warlick stated, as 6,044 were on to see two great rivals match-up once again.

Tennessee started the game on a 4-0 run with buckets from Isabelle Harrison and Bashaaara Graves.  Stanford would answer back with a run of their own, scoring 13 straight, eight of which came from Chiney Ogwumike.  The other five points from freshman, Lili Thompson.

“We dug ourselves a big hole early, and it was tough to get out of” said a Warlick after the game.

Stanford would hold the lead for the rest of the game, with their biggest lead getting to 12 points multiple times.  The game would tighten up towards the end as Tennessee made a really strong push, cutting the lead to two with only a minute to go.  However, Junior Guard, Amber Orrange would come up huge for the Cardinal getting a lay-up and a foul shot to extend the lead to five and really put the game away.

Stanford was led by Ogwumike who registered 32 points for the second straight contest, this time however she did it while playing all 40 minutes.  Ogwumike also had 20 rebounds, with 11 of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.

“She doesn’t take a possession off, we had trouble with her all night” said Warlick on the play of Ogwumike.

Stanford had a strong performance as well from Freshman Guard, Thompson, who scored 14 points, while bringing down two rebounds in the 35 minutes that she played.

Stanford head coach, Tara VanDerveer had nothing but praise for Thompson’s play “Lili isn’t a freshman for us, and this isn’t the type of game for freshman, you can’t make freshman mistakes.”

Mikaela Ruef had eight points and eight rebounds for the Cardinal.  Coming off of the bench huge for Stanford was Taylor Greenfield scoring 11 points, with nine of them coming from beyond the arc.  The junior also brought down a single rebound.

“Taylor’s threes were huge for us today, it seemed like they were always falling at the right time” VanDerveer commented on Greenfield ‘s play.

On the other side of the ball, Tennessee was led by Ariel Massengale with 17 points.  Meighan Simmons was right behind her with 15 points, and Graves scored 14.  Harrison was on the only Lady Vol to record a double-double as she scored ten points, and added 13 rebounds.

The biggest stat of the night would have to be that of the rebound, as Stanford out-rebounded Tennessee 43-40.  VanDerveer praised the teams rebounding performance as she said to the team before the game, “If you win the battle on the boards, you will win this game.”  Though Stanford did give up 21 offensive rebounds to the Lady Vols that led to 24 second chance points, the head coach was still thrilled about the performance.  She also said that rebounding and boxing out needs to be constantly worked on throughout the season, as Cal will be a very similar team to Tennessee.

With the win, Stanford has beaten the Lady Volunteers in three consecutive contests for the first time in series history.  Stanford also defends Maples Pavilion, as Tennessee has been unsuccessful there since the 2005-06 season.

Tennessee is handed their first loss of the season and moves to 10-1.  They will go on a holiday break and return to the floor on December 29th for the last time of 2013, as they host Lipscomb.  After the New Year, they will then start SEC conference play with their first game against LSU.

Stanford keeps their winning streak alive and moves it up to nine games, and ups their record to 10-1.  The Cardinal will also go on holiday break and return to action December 28th against the Fresno St. Bulldogs in Fresno.  After the New Year, Stanford will also start their conference play with their next home game against the Oregon Ducks on January 3rd.

Michigan holds off late Cardinal surge

 

By Daniel Dullum

Thanks to some clutch free throw shooting by Nik Stauskas, Michigan held off Stanford 68-65 Saturday in a non-conference men’s basketball contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Cardinal (8-3) had won seven of their last eight games going in, including a notable road win over No. 10 Connecticut on Wednesday. But they came up short in their bid for back-to-back road victories on the East Coast.

Stauskas, who led the Wolverines with 19 points, sank two crucial free throws with nine seconds remaining in the second half. Glenn Robinson III added 17 points for Michigan (7-4), which turned the ball over only eight times. Wolverines reserve Zak Irvin added 12 points.

Stefan Nastic equaled his season-high of 14 points for the Cardinal, but he fouled out with 5:24 to play. Chasson Randle, meanwhile, led Stanford with 18 points.

Stanford pulled to within one point in the second half, but could never get ahead of the Wolverines, who surged ahead at the 14:42 mark of the first half and never trailed for the remainder of the game.

Michigan’s Caris LeVert missed a pair of foul shots with 45 seconds remaining in the second half, which left the door open for a Cardinal comeback. After Grant Verhoeven made 1 of 2 free throws for Stanford with :44 showing, the Cardinal chose not to foul and Robinson’s layup put Michigan up 66-62 with 14 seconds left.

Chasson Randle’s 3-pointer cut the Cardinal deficit to 66-65 before Stauskas hit his two foul shots that gave Michigan some breathing room. Randle’s last-second 3-point attempt was short as time expired.

It was Michigan’s first game since dropping a 72-70 home decision to No. 1-Arizona on Dec. 14.

After a holiday break, the Cardinal return home on Sunday, Dec. 29, for a non-conference game against Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

A Night of Records as Stanford Stomps Lobos

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By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal hosted the New Mexico Lobos on Monday in their final tune-up before the big matchup this Saturday, where the number six-ranked team hosts the third ranked Lady Vols.  They defeated the Lobos by the final score of 75-41, to move their record to 9-1.  The team has also won the last 8 in a row.  For the Lobos, they saw their two-game winning streak snapped and their record falls to 4-5 in the process.

The night for Stanford started great for Chiney Ogwumike, who recorded her 2,000th career point just minutes into a first half that she will never forget.  The Stanford All-American Senior recorded 24 of the team’s 40 first half points.

“She’s such an anchor for us” raved VanDerveer on Ogwumike’s performance.

Ogwumike eventually would slow down the production as she finished off her night with eight in the second half ending with 32 points, only four shy of tying her career high, which is set earlier this season against Cal Poly.

The team production was something to be impressed about, as eight different players got on the scoreboard.  The bench scored 32 points of their own. Bonnie Samuelson and Taylor Greenfield led the bench with eight each.  Alex Green and Erica McCall were right behind them with six.  McCall also added eight rebounds, tying her career high, which she set against Purdue in November.  Though Mikaela Ruef only scored two points, she was outstanding on the boards, leading the team with ten.

“Mikaela got it done on the boards”praised VanDerveer on Ruef on her performance.

New Mexico was led by Guard, Bryce Owens, who scored 12 points.  She was the only Lobo to get into double-digits.  Brooke Allemand came off of the bench to add eight points. She was also great on the defensive side of the ball, with her only steal being a memorable one as she anticipated a pass, jumped in front of it and it led to a lay-up.

Lobos coach Yvonne Sanchez stated “it was an opportunity for us to go and play a great team” in her chance to go up against the sixth-ranked team.

The only down side for the Cardinal was that they once again gave up way too many offensive rebounds, with 20.  “We have to do a lot better job of keeping teams off of the glass offensively, but that will give us something to work on between now and when we play Tennessee” said VanDerveer.  The Lobos, who are ranked second in the Mountain West in rebound differential, did a great job against the Cardinal as they were out-rebounded by only two.  The Cardinal won the rebound battle 43-41, however lost the offensive rebound battle 20-12.

The win for the Cardinal also marks the 750th win for VanDerveer as Stanford’s head coach.

The Stanford Cardinal have the rest of the week to prepare for what will be their toughest challenge at home yet, in number three ranked Tennessee.  New Mexico will take a break for Christmas holiday and will return to the court on December 28th.

 

Cardinal Keeps Bulldogs on Leash

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By Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal returned to the court on Saturday, after a two-week long hiatus for finals.  They took on the number 23 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs, and defeated them by the score 73-45.

The Bulldogs came into the game with a record of 8-1, with their only loss coming to the 11 ranked Oklahoma Sooners by the final score of 82-78.  The Zags were also riding a six-game winning streak coming into Maples Pavilion.

The first couple of minutes were going back and forth with a score of 9-8 in favor of Stanford, until around the 15-minute mark Stanford started to pull away from the Bulldogs. Stanford had gone on a 24-8 run to end the half to make the lead 33-19.

Stanford continued the dominance in the second as well, outscoring their opponent 40-26, to give them the 73-45 win.

Stanford was lead by Senior, Chiney Ogwumike who scored 19 points, just one point shy of recording her seventh 20-point game.  However, she was held to only seven rebounds, a season low at home.  Amber Orrange had anther strong outing for the Cardinal scoring ten points and three assists.  Freshman, Kailee Johnson came off of the bench to score 11 points, a new career high. Johnson also led the Cardinal in rebounding with eight, another career high for her young career.

Sonja Greinacher led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18, all of them coming from the field.  Greinacher also had six rebounds, with five of them coming on the offensive side.  Elle Tinkle, younger sister of former Stanford player Joslyn, was held scoreless, but still had two rebounds.

With the win, Stanford ups their record to 8-1, seven of them have been consecutive.  The Cardinal return to Maples on Monday, where they will host the New Mexico Lobos.  Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard live in the Bay Area on Stanford radio, 90.1 FM KZSU, or online at kzsuive.stanford.edu.

 

 

Stanford Has the Perfect Mexican Road Trip

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By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal wrapped up their three game road trip with a victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Thursday. The Cardinal were victorious in all three of their games as part of the Hardwood Tournament of Hope, with victories over Purdue, Florida Gulf Coast and South Dakota State.  The number six-ranked team moves onto a record of 7-1, and improves their winning streak to 6 games.

Stanford beat the Jackrabbits by the final score of 80-60.  Their first half was quite impressive as they held the Jackrabbits to only 19 points.  The Cardinal were leading 20-14 with about ten minutes left in the first half when they completely took over the game; Stanford then went on a 20-5 run to end the half.

Stanford came out of half time leading by the score of 40-19.  The game was completely in their hands.  The second half went back and forth and was really tight, but the 21-point lead going into the half would be more than enough for Stanford to earn the victory.

Chiney Ogwumike led the squad with 29 points in 29 minutes.  The pre-season All-American also added 12 rebounds to record her sixth double-double of the year.  Guard Amber Orrange also contributed 13 points, four assists and five steals.  Freshman Kaliee Johnson came off of the bench and had her second straight game where she found double digits in scoring with ten points.  Redshirt Senior, Mikaela Ruef helped out a lot as well, though she only recorded one point, she had 12 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block.

Ogwumike was also given the tournament MVP, as she averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds and shot nearly 78 percent over the three days.

Megan Waytashek led the Jackrabbits with 13 points, including nine from beyond the arc.  Forward Megan Stuart was the only other player to hit double digits in scoring, as she came off of the bench to add 11.

The Cardinal return back to the farm with a record of 7-1 and get a couple of weeks off for finals. They then return back to Maples Pavilion on December 14 to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

VanDerveer Records Win Number 900

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By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal took on the Florida Gulf Eagles on Wednesday afternoon, as part of the Hardwood Tournament for Hope.  It was the second game in as many days for Stanford in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and for the second straight day, the Cardinal came away victorious.

Stanford beat the Eagles by the final score of 83-59, with a strong first half showing by the Cardinal outscoring their opponent 45-28.  Three different players got into double digits in scoring; including Mikaela Ruef with 14, Freshman Lili Thompson with her career high of 12 and Chiney Ogwumike with 27.  Ogwumike and Ruef also got double-double as Ruef picks up her second of the year with 12 rebounds and Ogwumike her fifth of the year with 13 rebounds.

Three players for Florida Gulf Coast also got into double digits in scoring as Kaneisha Atwater led the way with 15, right behind her was Stephanie Haas with 14 and Sara Hansen had 11.

Though the win gives Stanford their sixth of the season and makes it five straight for the Cardinal, there was a much more important number, and that is 900.  As in the 900th career win for hall of fame coach Tara VanDerveer.  With achieving the milestone, she just becomes the fifth coach in women’s basketball history to reach the historic number, joining the ranks of Pat Summitt, Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer and Jody Conradt.

VanDerveer has an outstanding record of 748-153 with her tenure at the farm.  She was also presented the game ball, with the inscription of “900” on it.  Two players are still on the team when the coach hit her 800th win in 2010, with Ogwumike and Reuf.

VanDerveer looks to make it win number 901 when her Cardinal take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to finish off their historic week in Mexico on Thursday.

Cardinal routed in Brooklyn

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

By Jeremy Kahn

Traveling across the country proved to be difficult for the Stanford Cardinal in the championship game of the Progressive Legends Classic.

Lamar Patterson scored 24 points, as the Pittsburgh Panthers never trailed in their two games and won the championship in a 88-67 victory over the Cardinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Jamie Dixon’s team also got help from Durand Johnson and Talib Zanna each scored 14 for the Panthers, who improve to 6-0 on the season.

Dwight Powell led the Cardinal with 20 points, while Anthony Brown scored 16 and Chasson Randle added 10, but the Cardinal fell to 5-2 on the season.

Despite Powell grabbing a game-high nine rebounds, the Panthers out rebounded the Cardinal 34-30 and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, while the Cardinal pulled down eight offensive boards.

The Cardinal cut the Panthers lead down to 11, but the Panthers got a big three and a free throw for a four-point play to put the Panthers up by 15 and they never looked back.

Stanford Makes It Four Straight with win Over Purdue

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By: Joe Lami

Stanford started their week in Mexico with a win against Purdue on Tuesday.  The Cardinal took on the Boil Makers as part of the Hardwood Tournament of Hope. This is the first time that Stanford has played a regular season matchup outside of the United States, they have played tournaments in Alaska, Hawaii and even the Virgin Islands, but never outside the United States.  Purdue was coming into the contest with a perfect record of 4-0 and the rank of the 16th best team in the country.

Stanford beat Purdue by the final score of 86-69.  With the win, Stanford is now 1-1 against ranked opponents, with the only loss of the season coming to number one ranked Connecticut.  The Cardinal had the five-point lead going into the half, and were able to extend the lead to 17 by the end of the game.

Chiney Ogwumike lead the team once again with 22 points.  For the second straight game she was unable to record a double-double.  This was after she started the season with four straight.  The Boil Makers held Ogwumike to eight rebounds.

Guard, KK Houser had a great game for Purdue, she led the Boil Makers with 20 points in the 31 minutes she played.  Courtney Moss had 12 points herself and was the only other player for Purdue to get to double-digits in scoring.

The win for Stanford gives head coach, Tara VanDerveer, win number 899 in her career.  “I know that everyone keeps reminding me of it (win #900), but I look at it as Florida Gulf Coast is our next opponent and we are going to watch video on them tonight and prepare for them like any other game” said VanDerveer on not looking to far ahead towards win 900.

Stanford will try to get VanDerveer win number 900 on Wednesday, as they continue their play in Puerto Vallarta where they take on Florida Gulf Coast.