Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dull is not the right word, but …

By Wally Mersereau

Tonight’s 69-42 Stanford win over Hawaii on the second day of the Rainbow Wahine Classic lacked a little something in a weekend of epic and unexpected Stanford victories on the court and on the field. The win over Hawaii was not unexpected and there was nothing epic about it.

I was able to watch the Stanford-Oregon football game on TV in my hotel room up to the time Stanford tied the game 14-14 when I left for the basketball game. When I arrived at the arena I was informed Stanford had defeated Oregon in overtime for an upset of similar magnitude to the women’s win over Baylor the night before.

In the Hawaii game the Stanford women made an effort and got the win, but it was lacking the intensity and wonder of yesterday’s great accomplishment. So, what was noteworthy about it?

Well, for one thing, Tara was able to show she can produce an 11-player rotation under the right circumstances. Yes, eleven players logged 11 minutes or more and none had more than 25. Every player who came on this trip got in the game (Alex did not travel). Chiney recorded another double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Jos was tops in scoring with 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Amber had 13 points and Toni 12.

Mikaela wore a black supportive sleeve on her injured left knee, but started again and played 11 minutes so her injury does not seem to be serious. Chiney returned to representing the team at tip-off and was successful after stepping aside to let Mikaela face Brittney Griner. Tara and her staff continued to dress informally in keeping with the locale.

The game started slowly with Stanford getting in a groove about the 10-minute mark, but the entire game had plenty of sloppy shooting. The team field goal rate was 43% (down from 51% against much stronger Baylor) and 3-point shooting sagged to 27% (4 of 15) compared to 50% in the Baylor game. Free throws were about the same at 68%.

Amber had 4 assists and one turnover as she continued to handle the ball well. Tess had one point and 8 rebounds. Mikaela, Jasmine and Taylor were all scoreless.

The most entertaining play occurred in the first half when the ball was passed to Chiney at the post. Instead of catching the ball Chiney tipped it out to Jos who shot from further away and made it.

Speaking of Baylor, the Lady Bears defeated Tennessee-Martin in the first game today 82-67 wirh Griner reportedly making a dunk.

The Hawaii band played well, with a varied repertoire, while diminutive cheerleaders were raised aloft. Attendance looked to be about the same as yesterday except the 50 Stanford fans and the 50 Baylor fans were generally not present at the same time. The Stan Sheriff Center is distinctive in having a concession stand with five different types of ice cream—not flavors, types.

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