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Women’s basketball to face Utah, Colorado on weekend road trip
Junior guard Brittany McPhee will be an important asset to the team this weekend. She currently has improved her points per game by 6.8 points. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

Women’s basketball to face Utah, Colorado on weekend road trip

After being downed by No. 10 Oregon State (15-1, 4-0) in Maples last weekend, No. 13 Stanford women’s basketball (13-3, 3-1) travels to Utah (12-3, 1-3) on Friday and to Colorado (11-4, 1-3) on Sunday.

Expecting to bounce back after Sunday’s upset, the Cardinal are looking to improve their offense coming into this weekend’s contests. Against Oregon State, the Cardinal struggled offensively. Stanford committed “key turnovers,” as head coach Tara VanDerveer said.

Despite a tough night on Sunday, Stanford still is one of the most efficient teams in the nation.

Senior forward Erica McCall has 26 double-doubles in her last 50 games, ranking fifth in the country since the start of 2015-16, and she scored her 1,000th point against George Washington on Dec. 21. Senior guard Karlie Samuelson places second among active players in career three-point field goal percentage, shooting 42.8 percent from distance, and is currently 10th in school history with 188 three-pointers. Junior forward Brittany McPhee improved her scoring average by 6.8 points per game scoring, while freshman forward Nadia Fingall, who had her first start in December, is third in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage.

Stanford will need a strong offense against Utah, whose defense ranks 11th in the country in terms of field goal percentage allowed (.339). The Utes’ defense will similarly be challenged as Stanford only allows its opponents to make 34.2 percent of their shots on average. The game promises to be a defensive showdown.

The Cardinal have not lost to the Utes since the first times the schools met in 1983. During that span, Stanford holds a 20-0 record against Utah. The Cardinal have dominated the past eight confrontation by an average 20 points, the latest of which dates back to Jan. 2016, when the Cardinal beat the Utes 72-52.

Stanford’s trip to Colorado will mark the 20th face-off between the two teams. The Cardinal have won their last 10 games against the Buffs. The last times the two teams met, in February 2016, Stanford outscored Colorado 80-49, and four Stanford players scored double digits. The Buffs are 1-2 against ranked opponents this season, and will play No. 24 California before hosting Stanford.

 

Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta‘at’stanford.edu.