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Offline 81alum

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WBB: Stanford 77 Texas 66
« on: March 21, 2017, 04:28:43 am »
Preview:
It would be a mistake to think that these are the same two teams that played each other in November--both have improved and matured.  In that game Karlie was coming back from a wrist injury and shot badly and Alanna was not playing at such a high level.  Britt, however, had a superb game, prompting Alanna's dad (who was visiting and interviewed at halftime) to give his famous quip that his advice to his daughter was "get the ball to Brittany McPhee."  Brook McCarty scored 20 against us and Roberson was the only person who could halfway defend her.  That left Ariel Atkins less well guarded who scored 14.  Texas had poor three point shooting days which is unusual for them.  Also, since that game, Texas freshman Joyner Holmes has blossomed into a phenom starter, but she played just 17 minutes against us and was 1/4 in her second college game. 

The question is which team has improved more since November? 
http://thecardboard.org/board/index.php?topic=16087.0

Overview:

The stat lines for the two teams were relatively comparable, except we scored 20 points from free throws and Texas scored 10.  This did not look  to be the case in the first half in which almost anything was allowed to go and practically no fouls were called.  But the game turned when we began to made three point shots in the third quarter, and this loosened the interior as well.  This put us ahead, and our free throw shooting kept us there.


Flow of the Game


Erica, Kaylee, Britt, and Karlie all got their shots working early in the game, and put us out to a 16-11 lead.  But then our offense went stagnant and our defenders lost contact with Texas players for two easy baskets.  8 offensive rebounds helped Erica get off to a good start.  Alanna played a few minutes but started 0-4.  The first quarter ended Stanford 18-Texas 17.

The second quarter marked poor three point shooting as we got off to a 1/10 performance from beyond the arc.  Still, we hung with Texas until Carrington came in to hit a trey to tie it up 29/29.  But then our offense left us and Holmes made a layup, Sutton a trey, and Holmes a couple of free throws, and we went into halftime down 36/29.

The refs let the first half play out with lots of contact.  Erica had a good half with 6/9 for 12 points.  But Smith was 1/6 and McPhee 1/4.  Stanford needed each of them to have much better starts.  Meanwhile Texas played very balanced offense, rendering the scouting reports inert. 

The second half started with a Karlie trey and a foul, but she missed the free throw and thus the chance for the four point play.  But we grabbed the offensive rebound from the miss and Britt sank another trey for a six point trip.  Holmes, however, began to go to work down low and Texas started making treys.  Then we gave up a steal for a fast break layup, then Erica returned the favor the other way.  After this furious start we went to the first TV break down 45-43.  Karlie heated up and sank two more treys and Erica continued under the basket, and we pushed it out to a 52-47 lead on the strength of a 9-2 run.   After trading free throws, we closed it out up 54-49 after outscoring Texas 25-13 in the quarter.

The fourth quarter started well as we got out to a 7 point lead, but Marta had a touch stretch, missing a layup and giving up a layup on the other end after the ensuing fast break.  After a Marta turnover, Tara sent in Bri, who soon missed a trey.  McPhee, however, made a back door cut and-one and converted the free throw to push us back to a 61-55 lead.  After some fast back and forth we got to the five minute ad break up by 4, 61-57.

In my view the game turned at 4:26 after the break when Bri swooshed a trey to extend the lead to 7.  Following that basket the game became a game of free throws--all our remaining 13 points were free throws, as we finished out the game and pecked away at Texas's hopes until they were extinguished.

Performances:

Erica had one of her best games this year, scoring 23 points on 9/13 shooting, and grabbing 12 rebounds for a double double.  Particularly important were her 6 offensive boards which often led to points--against a taller Texas team.  3 assists and a block round out her sterling performance.

Karlie Samuelson turned the game around for us in the critical third quarter.  She scored 15 while going 4/8 from three point range, to go with 5 rebounds and a whopping 5 assists.

Britt started poorly in the first half but turned her game around in the second.  She scored 12 and while she was only 3/9, she also earned and converted 5/6 free throws on her aggressive drives to the basket.  5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a critical block gave her a full stat line.

Smith wound up with 10 points on 4/12 shooting, with 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Bri was 1/4 but held McCarty to 4/14 shooting--a critically important defensive assignment.  Roberson had no assists for the game. 

Marta tried to provide a little offense but missed her layups and her trey attempt but hit 1/2 free throws.  She had 3 assists to 4 turnovers.

Kaylee seemed to me to play pretty well in limited minutes.  DiJonai got some meaningful time and hit a critical trey.  Romano and Fingall got into the game.

Conclusion:

Now we will move on to play a wounded but dangerous Votre Dame.  But I will always remember this game as the game where Erica McCall looked like the player we knew she could be.  If she can keep that confidence and level of performance, and be joined by Karlie, Britt, and Alanna playing at each of their best levels...then we could win another game, or more.




« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 09:09:22 pm by 81alum »

Offline TheFarm07

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 09:36:58 am »
I am guessing McCall, Johnson, Smith and Fingall will all be around Holmes, like we did against Lewis and other star post players. With Smith's improvement, we are hopefully giving Texas more than just McPhee to worry about, because they obviously do not want to be burned by the same player twice in the same season.

As usual, I am expecting them to blanket Karlie whenever she's on the floor, but if the other players can take advantage of their emphasis on her, then that can just be as effective as Karlie scoring a ton of points.

I know the team isn't looking ahead, as it shouldn't against a top opponent like Texas, but we potentially have a big opportunity in the region as news broke today that N.D.'s star post Breanna Turner tore her ACL and will not be playing again this season. If N.D. can get past Ohio State, which is a major task with their own version of a high scoring Kelsey, as in Mitchell, not Plum, there will be a of exceedingly large proportions gap inside that we can exploit.

First things first though, we need to beat Texas on Friday evening

Online BobK

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 09:44:28 am »
Actually the 6-5 Lang is their post.  Holmes plays all over just doesn't shoot threes.   

Offline TheFarm07

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 10:08:42 am »
Actually the 6-5 Lang is their post.  Holmes plays all over just doesn't shoot threes.

Ah, I forgot about her. Taking a quick look at their stats, Lang shoots better (53.3% to 43.8%), but Holmes has taken more than a hundred shots than Lang and has better rebounding numbers (8.2 to 7.5 rpg).

And it's not just them and McCarty and Atkins, Higgs and Taylor are also shooting 45%+ plus each. Our defense will have our work cut out for us and with so many capable offensive players, we can't sag off anyone too greatly

Offline Jskass

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 03:49:46 pm »
so here's the question: since KY is too far to go to this weekend, any CA locals going to Stockton? I plan to drive out there w my husband Sat morning to cheer anyway for the P-12 and OSU. Any fans will recognize our loud mouths -- as in people generally move away from us when we start cheering!

Online BobK

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 03:52:17 pm »
I'll be at the HS state tourney in Sac Friday and Saturday.  12 games

Offline Papa John

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 05:24:34 pm »
So this is winter quarter finals week at Stanford. Did the team fly back for finals or did they head straight from Manhattan to Lexington?
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Offline JJJ

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 06:12:30 pm »
The team flew back Monday night, and will leave on Wed for Lex (as will the Band on Thurs).

Quote
Stanford will have a quick turnaround after flying home late Monday night. The Cardinal leave for Lexington on Wednesday and will have to take their final exams at a hotel.

http://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Strange-but-true-Stanford-could-have-a-shot-at-11016604.php
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 06:17:54 pm by JJJ »

Offline 81alum

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 07:26:41 pm »
I think the game against Texas will be the hardest barrier to getting back to the final four.  Texas beat us the last two years in a row until we got their number in November, but they will be much better prepared physically and psychologically than last time.  They could be considered vulnerable, give that they lost 4 of their last 6 regular season games, but I never like rematches.  Plus the first quarter against NC State Texas looked just awesome.  If they play like that consistently they would mow down a lot of opponents.

If we get past Texas we might play a team we beat last year and the team that is taking Lili next year.  There will be a big psychological motivation to beat them to get the final four and our players will have the confidence that we can do it.  Confidence = made three point shots.  And while I do not wish an injury on anyone--no one who was a Stanford fan in 1998 can ever, ever be pleased to benefit from someone else's injury--it is nevertheless true that this will be a substantial diminishment to Votre Dame's chances.  Votre Dame already plays a three guard lineup, they will have to bring another big in, and the forward with the next most minutes is freshman Erin Boley, who has started 8 games this year.  She is not a bad player--we talked about her in our recruiting threat-- but she is no Brianna Turner, and she is a freshman.

So...I now wonder if we should consider Ohio State the favorite in that game.  Maybe they are the biggest challenge now.  Well, Tara will have to scheme for all three other teams.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 07:32:36 pm by 81alum »

Offline TheFarm07

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 08:27:28 pm »
That's why I was happy to see NC State beating Texas until I saw how explosive NC State's guards were and how difficult they would be to defend, as I was not thrilled about a potential rematch with the Longhorns.

Tara's scout defense is not as effective when there are potentially five scoring threats out on the floor, which Texas might field. We need to score and we can't afford to go on one of our in-game slumps or at least, we need to limit the length, because as good as our defense is, Texas is going to score and we need to keep up.

After McPhee scored seemingly at will against them in November, they will certainly gameplan against her, but if we have her in at the same as Smith who was largely a non-factor in the first game and Karlie, who was coming back from injury, we might be able to spread the floor and Texas won't be able to key in on one player as much.

Plus, Texas has the advantage of resting in Austin rather than us having to go back to Stanford for a day or two and then flying out to Lexington. If I was a neutral observer, I would say Texas would be the slight favorite going into the game considering these factors, but I hope Tara can work her magic and having the familiarity against someone we played will help us with this short turnaround period.

Offline StanfordMatt

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 09:15:48 pm »
The original plan was for the team to return to campus but they ended up going straight to Lexington from Manhattan today.

Offline Papa John

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 09:59:08 pm »
Thanks, StanfordMatt. That makes sense from a body-clock perspective. Otherwise, the team would have landed early morning Pacific time on Tuesday and flown to the Eastern Time Zone on Wednesday. That's just brutal.

Speaking of brutal, is the Monday-Friday turnaround typical for the women's round of 32/sweet 16? Friday doesn't avoid conflicts with the men, so it makes more sense to just play the sweet 16/elite 8 games Saturday-Tuesday like the first two rounds.

In any case, I really admire the Stanford student-athletes who are taking finals as they pursue championships on behalf of my alma mater!
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Offline TheFarm07

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 10:14:10 pm »
The original plan was for the team to return to campus but they ended up going straight to Lexington from Manhattan today.

That will definitely help the team avoid another cross-country trip. I'm sure Tara will get them into the right mindset being away from campus for an extended period.

I agree, it's a testament not only to our ball club, but to all the others, in balancing finals and a NCAA tournament run at the same time. I imagine the freshmen and seniors have it hardest, as the former are dealing with the juggling act for the first time, trying to find that right balance and the latter knowing that this is their last shot at a deep collegiate postseason run but also wanting to do well in their classes

Online BobK

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 07:15:30 am »
i understand the plane needed a part that didn't arrive in time therefore the best laid plans, etc, etc

Online Spiny_Norman

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Re: WBB: Stanford vs. Texas Friday
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2017, 10:44:56 am »
Speaking of brutal, is the Monday-Friday turnaround typical for the women's round of 32/sweet 16? Friday doesn't avoid conflicts with the men, so it makes more sense to just play the sweet 16/elite 8 games Saturday-Tuesday like the first two rounds.

Could be worse.  Oregon and Maryland play at 8:36 am pacific on Saturday morning.  If I were a Stanford player, I would prefer Friday evening to early Saturday morning.
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