Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beaver Bashing in Corvallis

By Wally Mersereau

My hunch that Stanford would be ready to dominate in its rematch with Oregon State proved correct. The Card struggled to a 7-point win at Maples in the first meeting of these teams. But there was no Stanford struggling tonight at Gill Coliseum. The defense was strong, shooting was good, ball handling was deft and the team took care of the ball.

The Cardinal jumped out to an early lead and was up 15-5 after 10 minutes. At the half it was 36-16. Oregon State played Stanford evenly during the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Card bore down to end the game 78-45.

Eight Stanford players had more than 12 minutes on the court. Nneka had 16 points at the half and ended with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 30 minutes. She left the game with 10 minutes to play. Chiney had foul problems in both halves and was limited to 21 minutes, during which she scored 10 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and had 2 assists and 2 blocks.

Joslyn was a rebounding machine, snagging 14 to go with 7 points and 2 assists in 34 minutes. Her overall defense was excellent, as was that of the entire team. Toni also had 34 minutes and made 9 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.

Three-point shooting was good for Stanford tonight with the team making 10 of the long shots at a 45.5% rate. Toni and Bonnie both had three and Lindy and Sara both had two. It was especially nice to have Bonnie be successful after her recent drought and for Sara to get a pair, plus another basket, in only 9 minutes. It was also nice to have Lindy hit her threes.

As a team Stanford had 22 assists and 7 turnovers compared to OSU’s 10 assists and 15 turnovers. Rebounding was fairly close with Stanford leading 35-32. The Cardinal had another good effort at the free throw line, making 10 of 12 for 83.3%. The Beavers made 5 of 8 free throws for 62.5%.

The all-male officials seemed to have lost their whistles in the first half and there was lots of wild, rough playing under the baskets. The officiating seemed better in the second half.

Oregon State has no stand-out player, but continued to get good contributions from many players. The Beavers played good defense, made a stalwart effort to the end, but were out-classed.

Attendance was about 2,500 on a gray, cool and drizzly day. A large OSU pep band with six tubas played an assortment of tunes, including a rousing national anthem. One OSU male cheerleader held a small female aloft on one upraised arm. Fan participation events were fast-paced with multiple contestants, which made them more entertaining than usual.

This was an enjoyable and satisfying game for Stanford fans. On the other hand, Oregon State fans were rather muted as any hopes for an upset evaporated early.

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