Widgets Magazine
Women’s basketball improves to 3-1 in Pac-12 after weekend on the road
Despite returning to the lineup only against Tennessee, senior guard Brittany McPhee (above) has already had three 20-point scoring performances as she led her team to a 3-1 conference start. (JOHN TODD/isiphotos.com)

Women’s basketball improves to 3-1 in Pac-12 after weekend on the road

After starting off conference play with a confidence boosting win against UCLA, No. 24 Stanford women’s basketball (9-7, 3-1 Pac-12) beat USC (10-4, 0-3) 72-65 and Arizona (4-11, 0-4) 61-46 before falling to No. 25 ASU (13-3, 4-0) 73-66 this past week.

Having lost three of their last four games heading into conference play, Stanford used senior Brittany McPhee’s return to the lineup to turn the tide and win three of the following four. Thanks to that stretch, the Cardinal is fourth in the Pac-12 standings after a little over a week of play, despite losing most tiebreakers because of the team’s tough season start.

The Cardinal started at home on the last day of 2017, only two days after beating UCLA in both teams’ Pac-12 openers. McPhee led Stanford in scoring as she put up 21 for her third consecutive game with over 20 points. The senior scored nine of her points in the final frame of the game to keep the game away from USC.

The highlight of the game, though, was junior Marta Sniezek. The guard almost recorded a triple-double as she posted eight points, six assists and a team-high 10 rebounds. In the past four games, Sniezek has 26 assists for only eight turnovers.

Fellow classmate Alanna Smith and freshman Kiana Williams added 13 points to the board, as the Cardinal overcame a 12-point deficit.

Down 20-8 late in the first, the team went on a 7-0 run spurred by Williams to pull back within a couple possessions. McPhee put the Cardinal up for good as she scored eight straight points between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, making the score 58-50.

Despite attempted comebacks by USC, Stanford’s team play — exemplified by the team’s season-high 19 assists — sealed the win.

Stanford kept its momentum on the road against a struggling Arizona team. Shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first quarter, the Cardinal took a 23-11 early lead. Williams got things started offensively as she buried three consecutive shots from deep.

Throughout the game, Stanford outrebounded Arizona 51-32 and grabbed 24 offensive boards. While Arizona made it within 10 late in the third, Stanford answered with a 13-4 run to bring the score to 58-39, as the Wildcats missed 10 consecutive shot attempts.

Sophomore Dijonai Carrington scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Cardinal while McPhee had eight points and seven rebounds. Smith and senior Kaylee Johnson each had three blocks as the Cardinal recorded a season-high 10 blocks as a team.

Despite double-digit scoring from McPhee, Carrington and Williams, Stanford wasn’t able to contain ASU on Sunday as the Sun Devils used a 21-7 second quarter to build a lead the Cardinal could not overcome. Down by nine with less than thirty seconds left, Stanford went to Carrington who drained back-to-back threes, but Arizona closed the game at the free throw line, going 4-for-4 from the stripe.

Over the game, ASU shot 48 percent from the floor to Stanford’s 42 percent. Johnson-Chapman led the Sun Devils in scoring with a game-high 16 points as she made all six of her shots, all within the arc.

This time around, the Cardinal weren’t dominating inside, as they were outrebounded 47-24 while giving up 22 second-chance points and 13 offensive rebounds. On the other hand, Arizona allowed only five offensive rebounds and two points over the course of the game.

Stanford also got in foul trouble, conceding 39 free throw opportunities, 24 of which were converted. In the meantime, the Cardinal only earned five points on nine attempts from the line.

The team now has five days before its next game against Washington State on Friday.

 

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