Sunday, February 3, 2013

In Beaver Nation

By Wally Mersereau

Even on a gloomy day, it’s a pleasant half-hour drive north from Eugene to Corvallis through the broad and green Willamette Valley. The natural and cultural history museum at the U of O informs that the valley has been inhabited for 600 generations. Representatives of the most recent generations assembled this morning at the Corvallis home of Ed and Mary Jennings for a sumptuous pre-game brunch before moving on to Gill Coliseum to see your Stanford Cardinal take on the Oregon State Beavers.

Gill is a pleasant place to watch a basketball game if you aren’t distracted by the overuse of black and orange. The facility opened in 1949 and has been nicely modernized within its historic shell. It’s named for a 36-year coach at OSU with the floor named for another coach of shorter tenure. Gill seats a maximum of 9,600, placing it about midway in capacity between Matt Court and Maples. 1200 turned out for today’s game on Super Bowl Sunday.

I neglected to mention in my Oregon game report that Matt Court has an abundance of media boards that show comparative team statistics during games, allowing fans to be well informed at all times. Gill has just the basics.

So, how was the game those of you who chose to watch the Super Bowl may ask. It was the Chiney Super Show. Yes, she had another double-double, but that detail is dwarfed by the personal best of 32 points tallied in 36 minutes along with 18 rebounds. Chiney could have had 6 more easy points, but she faltered at the free throw line, making only 8 of 14 or 57%. Since she was the primary Stanford free throw shooter she pulled down the team percentage to just about the same level.

The problem with Chiney’s record performance was it didn’t leave room for anyone else to do much. The two exceptions were Bonnie, who sank 4 of 5 from 3-point land in 11 minutes on the floor, and Amber, who also had 12 points, along with 2 rebounds, 8 assists to 3 turnovers and 3 steals in 38 minutes. No other Stanford player had more than 3 points and only Sara had that many.

So the diversified offense displayed on Friday in Eugene did not survive the trip to Corvallis. Jos had 2 points and Toni had none. Stanford shot only 38.5% from the field, barely outdoing OSU with 35.8%. Stanford out-rebounded 47 to 32 and out-stole 9 to 2, but was out-blocked 1 to 6.

The other personal best of the night was achieved by Tess who scored the last two points of the game by making two consecutive free throws in one trip to the line, something she has not been able to do previously.

More than half of Oregon State’s points were racked up by Jamie Weisner and Ali Gibson, two talented guards, and the only Beavers in double digits.

The Cal women were on my return flight from Eugene to SFO, allowing me to confirm with Layshia Clarendon that the Bears had beaten the Ducks this afternoon. This gave coach Lindsay Gottleib her 100th career win.

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