The No. 12 Stanford women’s basketball team (17-5, 9-1 Pac-12) soundly defeated the University of Washington Huskies (16-6, 5-5) 82-69, marking the second game in a row in which five players scored in double figures for the Cardinal.
Senior forward Bonnie Samuelson led the team with 17 points and earned her 200th career 3-pointer after going 3-of-5 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
“I love threes, so that’s really exciting for me,” Samuelson said about reaching this milestone. “I am just honored to be among some of those [other] names.”
Sophomore guard Briana Roberson was the team’s second leading scorer with 15 points and went 3-of-6 on threes. Roberson, who has been in the starting lineup for four games now, has emerged over the past six games as one of the team’s offensive weapons and went into Monday’s game averaging 11.7 points per game.
Senior point guard Amber Orrange also hit many clutch shots and went 6-of-10 from the field, ending the game with 14 points.
“I think we started out well,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer. “We’re getting five people in double figures [scoring], which I’m excited about. [Only] seven turnovers I’m excited about. Our [defensive] boarding is getting better. I think we could get o-boards better, but we’re small, so that might not happen every night. Just overall I thought that it was a really good team game for us.”
Despite giving up the game’s first five points, Stanford shot 50 percent in the first half, putting it ahead 45-29 at intermission. The squad’s main success came from its 3-point shooting: Nearly half its points came from threes as it went 7-of-16 from beyond the arc. Besides Roberson, who contributed two threes in the first half, the Card’s 3-point shooting prowess also came from sophomore guard Karlie Samuelson, who went 2-of-4 on threes in the first half and ended the game with 10 points. Stanford’s impressive first-half free throw shooting (8-8) also allowed it to maintain a sizable lead over the Huskies.
On the other end of the court, the Card played aggressive defense on the Huskies. They forced seven turnovers, off of which they scored 13 points. The Pac-12’s leading scorer, Kelsey Plum, was limited to four points, although Aminah Williams and Jazmine Davis combined for 19 in the first half alone.
After halftime, the Huskies went on a 16-8 run to put the squad within eight of the Card with 13:24 left in the second half. Free throws by Kaylee Johnson and a 3-point play by Taylor Greenfield increased Stanford’s lead to 13 before it was once again reduced to single digits, this time to six after a free throw and layups by Williams and Plum.
This 58-52 score was the closest the Huskies would ever get to completing a comeback, as Stanford regained its double-digit lead off of three free throws from Lili Thompson.
“They are a very explosive team and basketball is a game of spurts,” VanDerveer said. “I thought leading up to that time that we weren’t taking the shots that we needed to take…and that were working for us. We were running in the beginning of the game and then things were going really slow in the second half. I don’t know why we didn’t keep pushing it.”
Freshman forward Kaylee Johnson’s performance is also worth noting: She earned her fifth double-double of the season, ending the game with 11 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks.
“All of the coaches and players have really helped me come in and be confident and know that I can play here,” said Johnson. “It is fun and I can feel like I can learn every game and every play someone on the court will have a tip and I’m really being helped to be transformed into the kind of player that we need. So I’m just going to try to keep improving every game and getting better.”
Stanford will travel to the Grand Canyon State this weekend, where it will face the No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils this Friday at 7 p.m. before tipping off against the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday at 2 p.m.