February 23, 2018

Brittany named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team

Brittany was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 8 Team on Thursday. She will now be placed on the ballot to vie for a spot on the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.

We know all about Britt's athletic achievements. Perhaps less about her academic achievements — she's a human biology major with a 3.71 cumulative GPA.

Read more in the CoSIDA announcement and the Stanford Athletics announcement.

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.