Saturday, December 28, 2013

Worth the Drive to Fresno

By Wally Mersereau

I made a leisurely 3 ½-hour Saturday drive to Fresno, including a half-hour sandwich stop at the Black Bear Diner in Los Banos (pop. 37,000). The only brief traffic congestion I encountered was just north of Gilroy. Most of Highway 152 has been upgraded to four lanes. Highway 99 north of Fresno is being widened, with completion scheduled for 2016.

Once over the Pacheco Pass and down into the Central Valley, you are in the world of agriculture, primarily orchards. The road is flat, mostly straight and easy to drive, in contrast to the ascent up the pass. The large San Luis Reservoir is at a low level because of the lack of rain this season.

I was enjoying a good episode of This American Life on KQED that provided an inside look at the operation of a new car dealership when radio reception was cut off in the canyon through the pass. Once in the Valley I listened to classical music on Capital Public Radio from Sacramento State.

I made a quick visit to the small Fresno Art Museum and then headed to the Save Mart Center. A nice representation of Stanford fans were on hand. The Center is a pleasant facility with a lot of concessions. I indulged in a rocky road ice cream cone that seemed well deserved after my road journey.

The women’s game started 30 minutes after a Fresno State men’s game that the Bulldogs dominated. My guess at the attendance for the women’s game was something under 1,000.

Sara and Karlie were not suited up. Taylor started in place of Sara and continued her fine play. Bonnie and Taylor were in together for quite a while and tossed in four threes each. Amber made three threes and Mikaela one. The team total from beyond the arc was 12 of 29 or 41.4%. Free throw shooting reverted to a troubling level of 55.6%.

Chiney had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes. Taylor had 18 points, Amber 15 and Bonnie 14. The team had 26 assists to 8 turnovers. Fresno State had 4 assists and 14 turnovers. Stanford had 7 blocks and 7 steals, the Bulldogs no blocks and 4 steals. Nine Stanford players were on the floor for 10 minutes or more.

Stanford led at the half 43-31 and won the game 86-54. Tara started clearing the bench with about 7 minutes to go. Tess was last off the bench with 5 minutes remaining. Briana was the point guard for the end of the game and did ok, but not outstanding. Stanford had a 33-point lead at the 7-minute mark, which shrunk a bit with the regulars out, but was back up to 32 points at the end.

Taylor Thompson, the Fresno State point guard is an excellent player.

I thought I detected Taylor Greenfield with a very slight limp, but her play was unaffected.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fresno: Pre-game nosh at Don Pepe's?

A few Cardinal fans may gather for pre-game beer and snacks at Don Pepe Taqueria at 4950 North Woodrow Avenue. It's just across the street from the Savemart Center:

View Larger Map

Time, about 4pm, leaving plenty of time to get to the 6pm game.

By the way, Google maps thinks it is a 2:47 drive from Palo Alto to Fresno.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Deep in the heart of Texas

By Wally Mersereau

The team was on my Friday morning flight from San Francisco. Austin was not visitor-friendly, weather-wise, on this Stanford road trip. It was cold and wet--not fit for man or beast. Rain was falling as we arrived at the AUS terminal and the gloomy skies did not brighten then or later. The weatherperson on the TV news stressed it was unusual to have a high temperature below 40 on November 23. The good news was no flooding.

Kate used the wait at baggage claim to take Amber aside for some one-to-one coaching tips. Amber listened impassively. The advice must have been helpful because Amber had another great game with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals in 32 minutes.

The official attendance at the Frank Erwin Center was 3,900, but the actual crowd appeared to be no more than 2,000. Those wearing Texas brown stood before the game with right hands extended in the Longhorn salute as the 60-member band played “The Eyes of Texas” and continued to stand until their team scored. The Texas fans next to me said second-year coach Karen Asten is a big improvement over Gail Goestenkors because of more effective recruiting. Three of Stanford’s starters are from Texas: Chiney, Amber and Lili.

Discretionary Stanford starters were Lili and Karlie. Chiney lost the tip to the Texas 6-7 center. Mikaela scored 6 early points to keep Stanford in the game in what could have been a Texas runaway.

Sara had her best game so far, showing the hustle that has been missing until now. Her defense was effective and she scored two threes in the first half. Not stepping up in the first half was Chiney who had only 4 points at the half when Stanford trailed 30-37. Texas blocked at least two of her first-half attempts.

Texas is an excellent free-throw shooting team and I thought for a while this edge could win the game for the Longhorns. At game-end, free throws were 18 of 24 or 75% for Texas and 15 of 25, or 60% for the Cardinal. This game was the first of the season in which Stanford faced multiple attempts to press, none of which were successful.

Sara started the second half, apparently in recognition of her high level of play in the first half of the game. Six minutes into the second half Stanford still trailed 37-40. That was when Stanford began its pull-away, going from down 3 to up 8 in the next 6 minutes. Chiney came to life, scoring 14 points in the second half. After that Stanford held the lead to the end of the hard-fought game. The final score was 63-54.

Tara shrunk the rotation to seven players with 16 minutes or more on the court. Sara played 18 minutes, was 2 of 5 from 3 and had 4 assists and no turnovers. Mikaela had the only double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but was a pitiful 3 of 8 from the line. Karlie played 30 minutes. Bonnie did not play. Chiney fouled out with two minutes to play having made 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

I had a dry walk back to my hotel under dark gray skies. I listened to the Stanford-Cal football game on KZSU as I wrote this report.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pregame lunch in Austin

Sam Chang from the Stanford/Austin Alumni Club is wondering if you're going to Austin for the game this Saturday.
Stanford/Austin has a reservation under his name at Scholz Garten for 11AM if you'd like to join them. He says that it's a venerable BBQ/soul food restaurant that's been in operation since 1866, making it a real Austin gem.
Here's a Google map showing Scholz's and the game venue (the Erwin Center).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

On the road again

By Wally Mersereau

Fall weather is well established in Boston with a forecast high for Saturday of 48 degrees under a hazy sky, but no dramatic foliage change has occurred yet, at least not in Boston. One of four branches of the westbound Green Line trolleys ends at Boston College. From there it’s about a 15-minute stroll to Conte Forum. Tip-off was at 1 p.m.

Boston College holds its own among Boston’s academic elite. Founded by Jesuits in 1863 it began to expand to a full university in the 1920s. Last year there were 34,000 applications for the 2,250 spots in the freshman class. Enrollment is 14,400, with 9,100 undergraduates. U. S. News & World Report ranks BC #31 and Forbes puts it at #35 on its America’s Best Colleges list.

When I called the BC ticket office a few weeks ago I was told all seats are general admission for women’s games so I bought my ticket at the door. There I was told all seats along both sides of the court are reserved. With my mind set on general admission, I paid $7 and got a GA seat at the end of the court behind the Stanford bench just across the aisle from the reserved section with the most Stanford fans. Official attendance was 1,628, but looked less than that—I thought more like 1,200.

The national anthem was sung by a 2010 BC women’s basketball alum who has apparently rocketed to country music stardom, but who was unknown to me. She sang slowly in her best country style.

Bonnie and Sara were off the injured list, but neither started. The starting five were Chiney, Amber, Mikaela, Alex and Kailee. Sara was first off the bench, replacing Alex after an early foul.

Stanford was off to a slow, almost bumbling, start. Kailee, a standout at the exhibition game, looked very much a freshman today. She was perfect at the free throw line in the Vanguard game, but missed all of her free throws today, including four in the first few minutes. Stanford’s defense was good in the early going, but the score was 7-7 after 4 minutes. Erica McCall made the first free throw for the Cardinal.

With 11:20 to go in the first half, Stanford trailed 13-18 and the game had become worrisome. Then Stanford took off on 28-0 run with BC stuck at 18 points for 10 minutes. Stanford led at the half 44-24. Boston College reached the 10-foul mark quite early and Stanford had only 5 fouls in the first half. Things were looking up and I celebrated with an ice cream bar.

Stanford built its lead to 57-32 in the first four minutes of the second half and my ice cream bar still tasted good. But the Eagles were determined not to fold and they did not. They cut the lead to 17 after 8 minutes. Stanford pushed it back to 20 after 10 minutes. With 7 minutes to go Stanford led by18. Kailee continued to struggle, and was pulled when she got her fourth foul and zero points. Stanford got the lead back to 20 with 4 minutes left. BC still would not fold and cut the lead to 16 at the 2-minute mark and to 12 at the end. The final score was 83-71.

It was a good thing Stanford was not playing UConn today. The Cardinal was outscored by 8 points in the second half by scrappy Boston College. And in the second half it was Stanford who got in foul trouble. The Eagles scored in lots of ways, primarily from 3-pointers, from drives to the basket and from the free throw line. Stanford will have to do much better on Monday to avoid a blowout at Storrs.

Individually, four Stanford players had a great game. Chiney had 30 points, with 11 of 12 shooting and 8 of 10 free throws, plus 14 rebounds in 37 minutes. Amber came close to a triple-double, with 19 points, including two early 3s, 9 rebounds and 10 assists with one turnover in 32 minutes. Bonnie scored 15 points, including 3 of 7 3-pointers and 4 of 4 free throws in 21 minutes. Mikaela scored 9 points and was a vital contributor for the win, battling effectively all game long on offense and defense, playing 32 minutes. But she made only 2 of 8 free throws. Sara was scoreless.

As a team, Stanford out-rebounded 44 to 26, but made only 17 of 31 free throws, for 54.8%, and 6 of 19 3-point attempts, for 31.6%.

I don’t know what Tara and the team can do to boost the overall level of play before Monday night, but a lot will be needed. Chiney, Amber and Bonnie will need to continue their fine play against a much stronger opponent. Mikaela will need to score more and make her free throws. And from somewhere on the roster a few others will need to greatly improve in the next two days and dazzle us all.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Early Offering of UCLA Game Tix

Are you planning to go to the games in L.A. this season? Stanford plays at USC on Friday, Feb. 21st, and at UCLA on Sunday the 23rd.

UCLA is sending out this link to former purchasers, offering an early shot at reserved seats before the official sale of single-game tickets begins on Oct. 1st.

Select the game and click "Find Tickets". The ensuing "Interactive Seat Map" will require you to enter an offer code; the code is EARLYBRUIN. Section 101 is behind the visitor bench and is already half-sold.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Plan for the Tournament in Puerto Vallarta (update 10/9)

The Cardinal plays in the "Hardwood Tournament of Hope" (official press release) from Tuesday November 26th through Thursday November 28th (Thanksgiving day). Not actually a tournament but more a round-robin series, the event is a benefit for a metabolic condition, Urea Cycle Disorder. Games will be played in the rather magnificent Puerto Vallarta Convention Center.

General tournament info is scarce at this point. The official tournament schedule is up. It matches the dates and times we already had for Stanford games in our schedule page. We have verified that Stanford will only play on the listed dates, the 26th, 27th and 28th.

The organizing body, PlanBC3, has announced tour packages for the tournament; click here for the details. In summary, you can buy a hotel package in a large beach resort that looks rather splendid (it is also the team hotel). The package includes resort lodging, ground transportation, game tickets and "unlimited food and beverages" including alcohol.

If you make your own hotel choice from 150 different ones (click for list), game tickets are $300.

There are no nonstop flights to PVR from SJC. Alaska has one nonstop from SFO. All other flights change planes somewhere, usually LAX.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Plan for the Boston-UConn Trip (Update 10/8)

Stanford's first road trip of the 2013-14 season will be in the second week of November—less than 10 weeks a month from now!

Update 10/8: Wally M. reports that "All Boston College tickets are general admission. Doors open one hour before game time. The ticket office is inside Gate B at Conte Forum."

Stanford will play Boston College at 1pm EST on Saturday, November 9th. Then on Monday (Veteran's Day), they play at UConn at 7pm EST. This game will be telecast on ESPN2. (Although the UConn website currently says the location is "TBA", a televised game against a ranked school would usually be held in their larger arena in Hartford, rather than on the campus in Storrs.)

Wrongggg! Late news from UConn is that this game will be in the friendly confines of Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT. From the Hartford Amtrak station to Gampel Pavilion is 27 miles; here's a map.

Wally Mersereau has already started to plan his winter's travels and writes as follows:

It's not too early to book reservations if you plan to travel cross-country to attend the Boston College and UConn games. Airfares are often lower if booked more than 60 days in advance.

There are plenty of non-stop flights to Boston from SFO and SJC. Boston College is in Newton, Massachusetts, adjoining Boston on the west and served by the Green Line of the MBTA. Boston College is the terminal station on the Green B Line, easily reached from downtown Boston. The game will be played at Conte Forum, about a half-mile walk across campus from the MBTA station.

The next leg, from Boston to Hartford is a challenge if you don't have a car. There are no airline flights and Amtrak is round-about and takes 3 1/2 to 5 hours via Springfield or New Haven. For the non-driver, that leaves the bus that will get you there in about 2 1/2 hours on either Peter Pan or Greyhound. If you plan to travel by public transport on November 11 you need to check holiday schedules.

With a car, and assuming decent weather, you are looking at a reasonably pleasant 2-hour Sunday drive on I-90 (click for a map). Renting a car for only the Hartford portion of the trip requires careful attention to details such as pick-up and drop-off locations and whether these will be open on Veterans Day. My current plan is to go to Hartford by bus, but if a FBC member will be driving and has an extra seat I would like to hitch a ride.

After the UConn game on Monday night the next task is to find your way to an airport for the return flight to the Bay Area. In my case, I'm going early to Boston and staying on in New York and will fly back from JFK. I will take Amtrak from Hartford to Penn Station in New York. Others may prefer to return to Boston for the flight home.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

It Was Great While It Lasted

By Wally Mersereau

While it ended too soon, this season’s team represented a great success by a wonderful team of players and coaches. Tara’s selection as Pac-12 Coach of the Year was recognition by her peers of her remarkable feat in teaching these young women and shaping this team. Chiney’s Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards honored her leadership, talent and skill-- and a huge amount of heart—as she rose from Nneka’s helper to shining star, while dazzling everyone with her enthusiasm and personality.

By making Stanford women’s basketball the highest priority in my life, and having the good fortune of both good weather and good health, I was able to attend every game played this season. The final season tally is 33 wins and 3 losses. That makes thirty-six games, plus a couple of exhibitions to get warmed up on. My longest trip was the one to South Carolina and Tennessee. That took five flights over six days.

So, was it worth it? Of course it was. It has been a privilege to support such a high-class endeavor and such wonderful people that have given me enormous pleasure year after year. I have been repaid many times over for my expenditure of time, money and emotion.

There were some great games, including picking off #1 Baylor in Hawaii. There was another Pac-12 championship and another Pac-12 Tournament victory to put in the record books. There was a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. There was the nearly perfect Michigan game. There was the consistently outstanding defense up and down the roster. How many teams would be overjoyed to do half as well?

We have seen one of the best players to ever wear a Stanford uniform and, happily, Chiney will return for another season. We have seen quiet Amber grow into a reliable, versatile and confident point guard. We have seen Sara and Mikaela bloom lately but well.

We have seen Joslyn struggle through illnesses we didn’t know she had to end her career with a dazzling performance in her final game at Maples. We have seen Bonnie broaden her contributions and provide thrills with her quick-release threes. Toni’s illness was the only major health problem. All but Jos will return next year.

In the end there were shortcomings that couldn’t be eliminated or overcome. Too much reliance on too few. Too much inconsistency by too many. And maybe a few unlucky bounces of the ball. I had hoped for another trip to the Final Four, but it was not to be. The players gave their all, but in the end it was not enough.

Losing is never fun. Especially when Stanford fans are so used to winning. The loss to Georgia hurt, but not nearly as much as the loss two years ago to Texas A&M.

It’s been a great ride. I thank Tara, Amy, Kate, Trina, Kurtis, Marcella and Eileen. I thank every player from Chiney to Denia and Kiran for their individual and collective dedication, contributions and teamwork. I thank the band and the Dollies for their constant support. I thank my fellow fans.

It was great while it lasted. Next season it will begin again. There will be some exciting new players.

Don’t go away. Stanford women’s basketball will return once more and the future is bright with promise. I can hardly wait.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tournament Time!

This post is a big bucket o' good stuff to make your Tournament experience better, including on-site scouting by Wally Mersereau who spent hours checking out the Seattle Center for us last weekend!

The Bracket and Schedule

The official bracket with teams and times is here (scroll down). Note there was a late change in times! Sometime last weekend they inverted the Friday and Saturday schedules. This is current:

  • Cal plays its first game at noon Friday.
  • Stanford plays its first game at 6pm on Friday.
  • Assuming both advance, Cal plays at 6pm Saturday, and
  • Stanford plays at 8:30pm Saturday.

Late-breaking news: The Stanford basketball office is sponsoring a get-together at The Spectator, a sports bar at 529 Queen Anne Ave., just West of Key Arena, on Friday at 4pm.

Arrival: Ride the Light Rail to Town

If your hotel is in downtown Seattle or close to Seattle Center, you can ride direct from SeaTac on the Sound Transit Light Rail (click for map and info). So you needn't get a rental car at all, or at least not until you want to go sightseeing Saturday morning. Wally writes:

Seattle has a good public transit system and it's a bargain. The best bargain of all is to take the light rail line from the Seattle-Tacoma airport to downtown. This costs $2.75 for most riders, but those of a certain age pay only 75 cents. 75 cents! Imagine that! The airport line ends about 30 minutes later at the Westlake Station on Pine Street, next to the Monorail that for another $2 will take you to Seattle Center. For seniors the Monorail costs $1!

There's a bit of a trick to finding the best way to get to the light rail station at Seattle-Tacoma airport. Here are the steps for ease and comfort:

Go to the ticket counter level of the airport. Go to the north end, past the United counters to the Air Canada counter. Opposite the Air Canada counter will be an escalator down to Skybridge 6 to the parking garage. Going to Skybridge 6 will keep you inside the warm airport terminal as long as possible.

Cross Skybridge 6 and follow the signs to Link Light Rail. This takes you quite a long way through an unattractive part of the garage. But it's the shortest and quickest path to the light rail station.

Buy your ticket from a vending machine on the lower level of the light rail station. There are no vending machines on the upper level platform. The machines take credit cards or bills and they give change. After getting your ticket go up the escalator to the platform from which trains leave frequently. You don't have to do anything with your ticket, just have it with you for inspection. Inspections are rare.

More on the Seattle Transit system: "Buses are $2.25 to $3, depending on length of trip and time of day. Seniors can ride any time, anywhere on the bus for 75 cents. You do need the exact fare. And if you use Seattle's public transit you don't have to pay to park. That's the greatest bargain of all."

Around the Seattle Center

The Seattle Center is the site of a number of interesting attractions besides the Key Arena. Click this link for a nice printable map of the center showing its various buildings and especially the location of parking. There are several other things worth noting:

  • Free wi-fi is available in many buildings and open spaces (but it's not clear if that includes Key Arena).
  • Tournament weekend the Center is also hosting the International Gem and Mineral Show. This may create some competition for parking.
  • At the always-interesting Experience Music Project, the featured exhibit is The Art of Video Games, along with several other exhibits.
  • This is coordinated with "Video Arcade: a hands-on gaming experience" at the next door Interactive Media Museum.
  • The Chihuly Garden is a permanent exhibit of the monumental glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly, some outdoors and some in a handsome glass house.
  • There are also two IMAX theaters, currently showing "Flight of the Butterflies in 3D", "Hubble 3D", and "The Last Reef 3D".
  • There's the Pacific Science Center with a number of exhibits.

Eating Places

The Center also has a food hall in the Armory building of which Wally writes:

The Armory name comes from the origins of this building which was constructed in 1939 as a military facility, housing artillery and tanks. It was modified into a shopping complex for the 1962 World's Fair. It was most recently spruced up in 2011.

It's a food court with a Starbucks, a Subway, a kebab place, a pizza place, a meat & veggie pie place, a couple of sandwich shops, a glazed nut stand, Seattle Fudge and some salad spots. A cursory look indicated, except for Starbuck's and Subway, it's probably no better than mediocre and the Starbucks and Subway might be below average. This is the most convenient eating location for the tournament except for concessions within Key Arena. It's the equivalent of being one block away. It is open Sun-Thurs 11 am to 6 pm and Fri-Sat 11 am to 8 pm.

Across from the monorail station and facing it is Collections Cafe in the Chihuly Glass building. It looks decent and has a modest cost menu for lunch and dinner. It also has wine. It's the most convenient place to Key Arena other than the Armory. It opens daily at 11:30 and closes at 7 pm Sunday-Thursday and at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday. It offers a very convenient location and is a bit upscale from the Armory food court.

Nearby but outside Seattle Center are many more eating places.

On Mercer between Warren and Queen Anne are: two Thai restaurants, a pizza place, Obasan--Japanese, Caffe Zingaro (coffee, tea and delectables). And the most high-end restaurant I found on my stroll: ten mercer. ten mercer is open for full dinner from 4:30 to midnight, 7 nights a week. It looked like a first class place. It's a white tablecloth restaurant. Not a bar.

Dick's is on the corner of Queen Anne and Republican west of Key Arena. It has only burgers and ice cream. Sort of a strange combination. The building looks sort of like a small Denny's. Dick's is open daily from 10:30 am to 2 am. It had a fair number of customers just before 5 pm.

On the opposite side of the Center is Tilikum Place Cafe at 407 Cedar St. with lots of Yelp raves for its "excellent" service and "inventive" menu.


There's a certain satisfaction in going to Seattle and not drinking Starbuck's coffee, and there are terrific coffee shops all around the Seattle Center. Off the NW corner, a four-block walk from the Key Arena brings you to the highly-regarded Caffe Ladro at 600 Queen Anne Ave. Slightly closer at 525 Queen Anne is Uptown Espresso "home of the velvet foam". (Both are near the restaurants Wally mentioned.)

At the opposite, SE corner of the Center, stand with your back to the Space Needle facing Broad Street and you are looking toward Forza Coffee Company at 100 4th Ave. North, again with lots of good reviews. These are only a few of the attractive-sounding places that you can find on this Google map of "coffee near Seattle Center"

Where to Hang Out

Before and after games it's natural to want to sit in a pub, have a drink and talk. We asked Wally to look at a couple of candidate establishments and his vote goes to McHugh's:

"McHugh's is in the center of a diversified eating and drinking area with many other establishments within two blocks and most within one block. So anyone headed to McHugh's will have a lot of other choices. They can indulge a whim for something different after pausing at McHugh's or stop in at McHugh's after eating elsewhere."

McHugh's is about two blocks from the West side of Key Arena. Turn right for two blocks on 1st Ave. North, then left on Mercer.

And Yet More To Do

Here are even more things to do on Saturday and Sunday:

  • The Seattle Great Wheel is a ginormous ferris wheel on the downtown waterfront, open Saturday and Sunday at 10am.
  • Seattle Art Museum, at this time featuring "Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London" and other things, open at 10am Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Olympic Sculpture Park, provided the weather is clement, is open daily.
  • Here is a dynamic list of events happening March 7-11 in Seattle. You can filter it by type and location, but just scrolling the default list brings up lots of intriguing things to go and see. Anyone for a matinee of "The Music Man" Sunday before the championship game?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Making history in Beasley

By Wally Mersereau
And so it came to pass, in a far-off land of rolling hills known as the Palouse: Stanford’s 2012-2013 Pac-12 Conference schedule came to a fitting end. There were few in Beasley Coliseum to see it happen—official attendance was 656. But on television and computer screens throughout the world committed fans watched in living color and high definition.

Season’s end found the Cardinal tied for the Pac-12 championship with the Golden Bears of Berkeley. Each of these teams beat the other once and lost to the other once. That’s pretty doggone close when you stop to think about it.

Pullman is the most remote location the Stanford women play, but games played there count just as much as those played anywhere else and some of those games are historic. It was in Beasley that Candice Wiggins broke the then-Pac-10 career scoring record with only 3 Stanford fans looking on.

And it was in Beasley today that Chiney Ogwumike continued her steady progress through the record books.

In my early trips to Pullman I flew into that pleasant college town and stayed near the university. However, I discovered flights there are often delayed because the Moscow-Pullman Airport lacks advanced landing aids. So I’ve changed to flying into the more capable Spokane Airport. This also allows me to enjoy the luxury of The Davenport hotel.

As I made the 75-mile drive to Pullman this morning I reflected on my good fortune in having dry weather in eastern Washington, easing my Stanford road journey.

The 54th game between Stanford and Washington State ended, as have all the others, with a Cardinal victory. As the perpetual loser in this rivalry one could forgive the Cougars for giving up, but they battled on to the end. I thought WSU started each half with tight defense, but that this deteriorated into rough play. Two Cougars fouled out and a third had 4 fouls. Once again the officials did not effectively stop the overly aggressive play.

Stanford led the entire game. At the half it was 35-21 and the final score was 72-50. The Cardinal had a 30-point lead with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. At that point Tara started subbing from the bench. Washington State took advantage of Stanford’s reduced level of play and cut the lead to 20 with 4 minutes to go. Tara put a couple of rotation players back in and this stabilized the lead.

Chiney had a double-double in the first half. She left the game with more than 10 minutes to play. Her stats were: 28 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals in 28 minutes. Her free throw shooting fell off to 5 of 8.

Jos had 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists/1 turnover in 29 minutes. Sara had 9 points, 6 rebounds and a block in 24 minutes. Mikaela had 7 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 assists/0 turnovers in 26 minutes.

Bonnie was 2 of 7 from 3. She ended with 6 points and a rebound in 18 minutes. Amber had 3 points, a rebound, a steal and 5 assists/1 turnover in 26 minutes.

No WSU player got to double digits. Galdiera was high scorer for the Cougs with 8 points.

Surprisingly, WSU outrebounded the Cardinal throughout the entire game, ending with a 49-43 advantage. But Stanford led in field goals 42.9% to 28.6% and in 3-point shooting 25% to 7.1%. Stanford again excelled in defense.

As I made the drive back to Spokane after the game I reflected on my good fortune of being in Beasley Coliseum today to again watch history being made as the remarkable Stanford women clinched the co-championship of the Pac-12. This will allow “2013” to soon be added to the board at Maples, extending consecutive championships to 13, which certainly is a lucky number. Furthermore, today’s win at Beasley makes Stanford the #1 seed for next week’s Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. The team is healthy going into the Tournament, except for Toni.

Cal assured its share of the conference title with a win over Washington this afternoon, 78-50.

The final aspect of my favorable day was to have the team on my flight from Spokane to SFO. Some people have all the luck.

So ends the regular season. Let the tournaments begin.

Tomorrow: A big round-up of food, drink and fun around Seattle Center!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Putting down the Dawgs

By Wally Mersereau

The forecast for Puget Sound today was an 84% chance of rain. It turned out to be a Seattle-type rain, meaning a heavy overcast with an occasional drizzle. I doubt it merited a trace on the rain gauge. This afternoon I rode the monorail from downtown to Seattle Center and Key Arena to do a little scouting in advance of next week’s Pac-12 Tournament.

Alaska Airlines Arena is the new name for the long-time home of Husky basketball on the University campus. This was the first time I’ve seen this name in lights on two sides of the building. Inside are new electronic boards that provide the full range of team statistics. Next door, Husky Stadium is about 6 months away from reopening after a major renovation.

UW has two husky mascots these days: one in a dog suit who rides around on a Segway and a really beautiful genuine husky on a leash.

Susan King Borchardt and her husband Curtis talked with Tara and other coaches before the game and sat behind the Stanford bench along with Kate Starbird. 7-foot-tall Curtis is a Seattle-area native. He and Susan are now home-owners in the area. Other than player families and friends there was only a smattering of red sweatshirts scattered here and there among the roughly 2,000 fans attending the game.

Washington had only 7 players suited up as a result of a 3-player, one-game suspension for violating team rules. Neither Toni nor Aly made this trip to the Northwest.

Washington got off to a 3-9 lead at the start of the game, but, sparked by a 3-pointer by Bonnie, Stanford quickly was up 15-9 after 6 minutes of play and the lead grew steadily to the final score of 71-36. The Cardinal made lots of threes in the first half, but only one in the second half when it seemed a lid was on the basket for longer shots.

Chiney had 10 points and 9 rebounds at the half and ended with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks in 35 minutes. Jos had 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal in 33 minutes. Amber had one of her best games, handling the ball very well and racking up 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, a steal and 4 assists/1 turnover in 30 minutes.

Mikaela excelled at rebounding with 13 to go along with 3 points, 2 blocks, 2 steals and 6 assists/2 turnovers in 25 minutes. Bonnie had 15 points (5 of 15 from 3), plus 2 rebounds in 24 minutes. Four of Bonnie’s threes were in the first half.

Stanford outshot Washington 40.5% to 16.9% as the Cardinal defense really locked down the Huskies. Assists/turnovers were 18/7 for Stanford and 4/9 for UW. The Cardinal had 11 blocks to zero and 6 steals to 4. Rebounds were relatively close with Stanford having the edge 54-47. The Cardinal only got to the free throw line 3 times and made 2. Washington was 8 of 10 from the line.

The Huskies were handicapped by having only 7 players with two of their better players suspended. The remaining Washington players gave it their all, but were out-classed by the Cardinal. UW will be at full 10-player strength for its game with Cal on Saturday.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

In the new Bruin Lair

By Wally Mersereau

For something a little different, three Stanford fans made the lengthy trek to Santa Ana Saturday night to watch a CIF Southern Section high school playoff game between Mater Dei (“back-to-back-to-back State champion” we were repeatedly reminded) and Long Beach Wilson. Starting for Mater Dei were Stanford-bound Karlie Samuelson and younger sister Katie Lou. Bonnie and family members sat behind the Mater Dei bench. Attendance was about 200. Mater Dei won 89-31.

Watching this game confirmed the younger Samuelson sisters are difference-makers. Both have Bonnie’s quick release and shooting style and primarily shoot threes. Because they left the game well before the end I’m not sure of their final point counts, but Karlie had at least 12.

Family resemblance (Karlie Samuelson)

(The team was on my flight home. I told Bonnie we went to see her sisters play last night. She was surprised and pleased. Her face lit up. She said, "They did pretty good, didn't they?" I agreed.)

Sunday afternoon was Stanford’s first visit to the newly remodeled Pauley Pavilion.

South-east corner (nearest the car park)

The renovation came in under-budget at about $130-million. In comparison, 6-year-old Galen Center, built from the ground up, cost $147-million. Pauley is larger, seating almost 14,000 in its maximum configuration. Galen seats about 10,250. Although characterized as a renovation, it’s hard to find any evidence of the original Pauley. Everything looks and even smells new.

I really like the new Pauley. Its spacious concourse gives a pleasant, open feeling—and is bright in daylight.

All seats are cushioned and with armrests, although the cushions are a tad hard. One gold seat is reserved for John Wooden in his favorite location. Pauley is almost a shrine to Wooden with several display cases devoted to him and his era.

Pauley acoustics magnified the noise of the crowd of 3,100, making it one of the noisiest places Stanford has played this season. UCLA has techniques for getting its fans aroused and keeping them fired up that are worthy of study and emulation.

This game was rough and bruising. It’s ironic that Tess was called for a flagrant foul for throwing an elbow. UCLA played so rough it merited multiple flagrant fouls. UCLA has good and skilled players. It’s unfortunate that Cori Close has them playing maul ball. I’m proud of how the Cardinal stood up to the onslaught, holding on to its lead. UCLA narrowed the lead in both halves, but could never completely close the gap. Stanford led by 5 at the half and won by 11, 68-57.

In addition to being rough, UCLA played with frantic effort for the entire game, bringing a pressing and determined defense at all times. Stanford kept its poise and withstood all the Bruins threw at it.

Chiney did not get a double-double, but she deserves the game ball for her heroic efforts in leading the team to victory. She had 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals and played the entire 40 minutes. Her statistics don’t do justice to all that she brought to this game. Mikaela did get a double-double, her second, with 10 points, 10 rebounds and a steal in 31 minutes. No one on the team puts forth more effort than Mikaela and she was essential for the win.

Jos fell just short of a double-double with 10 points, 9 rebounds, a block and a steal. She also played the entire 40 minutes. Amber, as usual, was multi-talented for another great stat line: 9 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists/5 turnovers and 5 steals in 38 minutes. Bonnie produced two valuable 3-pointers, plus 3 rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes. She also provided excellent defense.

As a team, Stanford was outshot by the Bruins 54.5% to 39.7% and only made 4 of 19 3-point attempts for a poor 21.1%. But in other categories the Cardinal did better, leading in rebounds 38 to 31, in steals 11 to 9 and had fewer turnovers, 15 to 21 for UCLA. And Stanford free throw shooting was excellent making 18 of 20 for 90%.

This was as rough and unlady-like a game as Stanford has encountered this season. UCLA did get a lot of fouls called against it late in the game that gave Stanford many bonus free throws and these were an important part of the win. But the mounting fouls did nothing to subdue the Bruins. The Cardinal showed today that it can deal with the most unpleasantly aggressive play and keep doing what needs to be done to come out on top. Stanford had many women warriors on the court this afternoon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cardinal triumphs over Trojans

By Wally Mersereau

Los Angeles provided traditional Southern California winter weather today with blue skies and a high temperature in the upper 70s. The San Gabriel Mountains were clearly visible from my hotel window. I watched the first half of the 6 pm Cal-UCLA game on my computer before heading for Stanford’s 8 pm Galen Center match-up. Cal was having an easy time with the Bruins. The final score in Westwood was known just before tip-off at Galen with Cal winning 79-51.

When USC came to Maples on January 20 Stanford led by 13 points at the half, but was outscored by the Trojans in the second half, with the winning margin down to 9 and a narrow 5-point lead with 3 minutes to play.

Tonight’s game at Galen resulted in a stronger win for the Cardinal. Stanford again led by 13 at the half, but won by 24, without a serious USC challenge in the second half. This was despite markedly more spirited and aggressive play by the Trojans in the last half. Stanford handled the USC efforts with poise and several times took advantage of Trojan players being left behind down court because of ineffectual defensive efforts.

USC has lost some close games in the Pac-12. This wasn’t one of them. There was no doubt as to the superior team or the outcome tonight.

Chiney had only 8 points in the first half, but then let loose in the second to get her 20th double-double, including 26 points, 15 rebounds and a block in 37 minutes. She did have 6 of Stanford’s 13 turnovers.

Jos also had a double-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in 38 minutes. Mikaela continued her excellent play on both sides of the ball, ending with 12 points, 8 rebounds and a block in 30 minutes. Amber scored 10 points and had a rebound. She had 5 assists and only one turnover in 29 minutes. Jasmine also did well at the point while scoring 4 points.

USC had two players with double-digit points: Harberts with 13 and Valoletama with 14. Crook was held to 6 points.

Stanford out-shot USC 46% to 27% and out-rebounded 43 to 26. Stanford 3- point shooting was only 28.6% (6 of 21), despite the first two Cardinal baskets being threes by Mikaela and Bonnie.

Toni made the trip, but was not suited up. Jeanette and Cindy Pohlen attended. Tara invited Jeanette into the locker room after the game. There was a respectable Stanford fan turnout within Galen’s total attendance of 844.

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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Downing the Ducks

By Wally Mersereau

Wally Mersereau caught on "Oblivi-Cam"
It was a murky day in Eugene. The sky was heavily overcast with the temperature in the mid-40s. Mercifully, it was dry and I walked about two miles from my hotel to attend the Stanford fan get-together at a restaurant across the street from Matthew Knight Arena prior to the 6 pm game. About 20-some fans turned up, about equally divided between visitors and locals.

Near-new Matt Court is one of the finest on-campus facilities in the country, primarily financed by Phil Knight of Nike and named for his son who died at age 34 while scuba diving in Central America. As far as women’s basketball is concerned it has not been a case of build it and they will come. Attendance for this evening’s game was 1,812 in the more than 12,000-seat arena.

Words on the wall at Knight Court.

Oregon has some good players, with Ariel Thomas the scoring standout with 17 points. Several Ducks played good defense and Oregon out-rebounded Stanford 48-40.

Stanford jumped out to what seemed likely to be a runaway game, leading 23-6 with 12 minutes left in the first half and held this lead to the 5-1/2-minute mark. Taylor made a 3-pointer during this period. Oregon then began to battle back, getting the lead down to 10. The score at the half was 38-27.

Once again I failed to win in the challenging bingo contest that is an enduring half-time tradition at Oregon home games, but there’s always next year.

Stanford quickly increased its lead in the second half to 51-29 after only 4 minutes of play and at one point was up by 29 points. Oregon reduced the lead a bit, but the final score was Stanford 86, Oregon 62. Taylor made a second three near the end of the game. Bonnie also made two threes. Chiney left the game with about 6 minutes remaining, followed shortly by Joslyn as Tara began moving down the bench.

Oregon’s major problem was keeping control of the ball. The Ducks had 17 turnovers to the Cardinal’s 8. Unfortunately, Stanford failed to score on several steals that led to fast break lay-up opportunities.

Chiney battled her way to another double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds, a block and two steals in 28 minutes. She did not appear to be bothered by last weekend’s ankle injury. Jos added 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 4 steals in 26 minutes.

Sara did well in everything with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 26 minutes. Amber had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists/2 turnovers and a steal in 20 minutes. Toni also made a diversified contribution with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists/1 turnover, 2 blocks and 3 steals in 32 minutes. Jasmine played 12 minutes and had 2 assists/1 turnover, but did not score.

For a last place team with only one win in Pac-12 play, Oregon did well, out-playing Stanford at the end of the first half and requiring the Cardinal to keep its best players in the contest until near the end.

The most encouraging aspect of the game was that Chiney was given a lot of help from a goodly assortment of teammates. I was particularly pleased with Sara and Taylor coming through. Here’s hoping Stanford will be able to maintain a broad-based and productive offense to add to its reliable defense.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Planning for the PAC-12 Tournament

This year, as most know, the PAC-12 Women's Tournament will be held at the Key Arena in Seattle, a cozy venue, one-time home to the NBA Sonics and later, the WNBA Storm.

Dates and Schedules

The dates are Thursday March 7th through Sunday, March 10th. Here is a link to the PAC-12 Tournament page, which has a bracket with times, and current standings. Here's a recap:

  • Thursday: four games in two sessions (noon to 4:30, 6 to 10:30) among the lowest eight seeds, eliminating four of the twelve teams.
  • Friday: four games in two sessions (same times) among the remaining eight teams. The #1 seed plays in the first session, #2 in the second session.
  • Saturday: two semi-final games, 6pm and 8:30pm.
  • Sunday: the championship game, 5pm.

(Note that the late Sunday game-time means you can't fly home to the Bay Area Sunday night. With the game ending about 7pm, even if you don't stay for the net-cutting and general hooplah, the earliest departure you could schedule would be 9:30pm. The last nonstop to SFO departs at 8:50. So plan on an early Monday departure.)

Thursday and Friday are "iron-butt" days, many hours of basketball. Some fans, confident that their team won't play Thursday and wanting to save some time and money, will not arrive until Friday.

Saturday and Sunday afford plenty of free time to explore and enjoy Seattle's many attractions. For a list of some of those attractions see our Travel Page


Buy reserved seats near other Stanford fans through Stanford The Stanford ticket office has sold out its allotment.See next paragraph for a deal on GA seats. Or you could contact any other PAC-12 school's ticket office (see our main page for links to all of them) hoping for decent reserved seats. For instance one might hope that either Arizona school would have unsold tickets still.

The PAC-12 is also making general-admission seats available on a "flex plan": $32 gets you four vouchers that can be used for GA seating in any of the six sessions. The general admission seats include the areas directly behind the baskets as well as the usual corner and rafter seats. Click here to view the seating chart and purchase.


The PAC-12 has a deal with the Crown Plaza. Click this link and fill in your dates to book a room at the Crown Plaza for $139 to $179 a night. The Crown Plaza is a high-rise building in the center of downtown, at 6th and Seneca. It is a five-block walk to the start of the Monorail at 5th and Pine.

The Seattle Monorail runs between 5th and Pine and Seattle Center, location of the Key Arena, every 10 minutes until 9pm Thursday—and thus, shuts down before the end of the last game that day. It runs until 11pm Friday and Saturday.

There are many hotels much closer to Seattle Center. This link to TripAdvisor is a list of hotels centered on Seattle Center, sorted by distance. You can easily re-sort by price and by ratings. Here is a similar list from

Update: we have verbal recommendations from friends of FBC members for Hampton Inn and Suites, an easy walk to the arena; and for the Marqueen Hotel, which is even closer.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fan Plans for Oregon

Over on the Travel Page we have updated the Oregon Fan Plans section.

To recap:

  • We will have a block of seats behind the bench in Eugene, if you haven't asked for yours already, you need to email travel at right away!
  • Prior to the game we'll meet across the street from Knight Arena for drinks and snacks and schmoozing with Barb Arnold and the other Eugene Alums.
  • Sunday morning we're all invited to the Jennings' place in Corvallis for brunch before the game at Gill Coliseum.

To get to the Sunday brunch, follow instructions on the travel page to print out a nice map.

Oregon is maybe the nicest of the PAC-12 away weekends; hope you can make it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Unsettling the Utes

By Wally Mersereau

The team boarded its bus at the Boulder Marriott for the Denver airport at 9 am on Saturday morning. I moved to a hotel in Denver and stayed on in that city until Sunday morning.

The west side of the Rockies is colder and whiter than the east side. The Great Salt Lake Basin is heavily covered in snow, much more so than in the Denver-Boulder area. The temperature this morning when I arrived at the Salt Lake airport was 12 degrees and the sky was overcast. On my flight from Denver was the women’s basketball team from Weber State University, returning to its Ogden home after losing to Northern Colorado yesterday.

Red banners proclaiming “Home of the Utes” and showing the Pac-12 logo are on every lamp post along the main street between downtown and the university. All single game seating for Utah women’s games is general admission. After lunch at my favorite Salt Lake City restaurant I bought my ticket at the arena about the time the doors opened at 1 pm. Attendance was poor, in the USC range, at only 500-600 or so.

Utah is a good team—as good as Colorado, based on this weekend’s games. Not until almost halfway through the second half was Stanford able to achieve more than a four- or five-point lead. The Utes presented a strong defense and had a multi-pronged offense with many players scoring. With 11 ½ minutes left in the game Stanford got its first 10-point lead and then kept the difference between 9 and 12 points until the last minute when it was able to stretch it to 14 points. The final score was 70-56.

So Stanford topped the Utes by 14 compared to Cal’s 5-point win on Friday. And Stanford beat Colorado by 17 on Friday compared to Cal’s 4-point win in Boulder today. Pretty much the same results, but with Stanford clearly doing better against both Rocky Mountain teams.

Toni did not play, with no explanation announced, and Taylor again started in her place. But it was Sara who soared in this game. At Colorado Sara bumbled with two successive turnovers and not much else of note. Today was completely different. Sara was red hot and her accomplishments kept her in the game for 31 minutes—a personal record to go along with new personal bests of 18 points and 4 assists. Sara’s scoring included three confidence-building 3-pointers.This was a long overdue breakout game for Ms. James, earning her my game ball for her inspirational performance.

Three other Cardinal players scored in double digits—Chiney with 20, Amber with 16 and Jos with 12. While topping Stanford scorers, Chiney did not have her typical double-double. Amber continued her aggressive play on offense and defense and showed no lingering effects from her ankle injury on Friday. Jos had 2 blocks and 3 steals and was essential for the win.

This trip to the Mountain West was satisfying and fulfilling. Stanford rebounded nicely from its UConn loss and won two hard-fought games, doing better than Cal in both of them, to set the stage for next week’s two meetings with the Golden Bears. There were some impressive individual performances and no one, with the possible exception of Toni, was injured. The Stanford Pac-12 win-streak remains intact.

To cap the trip, the team was on my flight back to San Francisco from Salt Lake City. Nice.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rounding up the Buffaloes

By Wally Mersereau

The high temperature in Boulder today was 39 degrees under sunny skies. The ground is generally covered in snow with streets and most sidewalks clear. There is no wind, making it seem relatively balmy in the afternoon.

Boulder is dramatically located at the foot of the Front Range with snow-covered peaks of the Rockies visible to the west. From here the Great Plains start their gradual descent east to the Mississippi.

I’m staying at the Boulder Marriott that also is the team hotel. It’s a brisk 30-minute walk to the Coors Events Center on the CU campus. Going up inclines or a long flight of stairs leaves me a little breathless—a reminder of the official elevation of this city of 5,344 feet above sea level. The elevation provides an extra home-team advantage for the locally acclimated CU student-athletes.

The Coors Events Center was built in 1979 and was renamed in 1990 after a gift from the Adolph Coors Foundation. It is home to CU men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. Women’s basketball has been more successful than the other sports, winning 74.4% of its home games. The arena seats just over 11,000.

Colorado is a good team and deserves its ranking. Its strength is defense—plus Chucky Jeffery. Chucky is the real thing, a determined scorer and able to produce some amazing, twisting drives to the basket. CU played Stanford even in the second half, really battling at times, requiring Tara to keep her top players in until the end. Chucky ended with 17 points, 6 rebounds and a steal in 35 minutes.

Highlights for Stanford included another double-double by Chiney, Jos returning to the scoring column, Jasmine’s best game of the season and a top-notch, gritty game by Amber.

The top stat lines for the Cardinal were Chiney with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal in 35 minutes. Amber with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists/2 turnovers and 2 steals in 34 minutes. Joslyn with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal in 32 minutes. Mikaela with only 2 points, but 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal in 27 minutes.

Stanford had a 17-point lead at the half, 31-14, and a 17-point lead at the final, 57-40. The second half was 26-26 in a really hard fought game. Colorado deserves a tip of the hat for its second half effort. I didn’t observe any adverse high altitude effects on the Cardinal. The Buffaloes had great fan support. Attendance was 5,880—a more than half-full arena—and the crowd got really loud when encouraged by the scoreboard to do so.

This was not Stanford’s finest game, but it was reassuring to get this comeback win after the UConn defeat. Stanford shot 47.9% from the field, only 20% from outside the arc (2 of 10, with Jasmine and Jos being successful), 75% free throw shooting (9 of 12) and had 8 blocks and 5 steals. In the first half Stanford seemed to get a block on just about every CU possession.

Taylor played 21 minutes and Bonnie 13 minutes, with both of them being in the game at times. But neither made a 3 and Bonnie was scoreless. Taylor had 4 points and 2 steals.

Colorado was only 28.8% from the field, 8.3% from 3, and 47.4% from the line, largely due to Stanford’s outstanding defensive game. The Cardinal outrebounded 41-27, but Colorado outstole 13-5. Stanford’s team assists/turnovers were a disappointing 13/18, but Colorado’s were a more lop-sided 6/16.

Amber injured an ankle in the second half and was hobbling on the floor before she came out. But she went back in after a quick taping job by Marcella and looked fine.

There is something wrong with Toni. She started, but played only 10 minutes in the first half. She did not play at all in the second half. I did not see any injury and she appeared normal except for not playing. Toni’s absence gave Amber and Jasmine a lot of playing time together and both did well as point guard.

Ros Gold-Onwude was in the Pac-12 TV commentator chair, looking spiffy in a red blouse.