After dropping two conference games against the Arizona schools, No. 19 Stanford women’s basketball (18-7, 10-3) got back on track with a decisive 79-60 win against the USC Trojans.
“I think this in some ways might have been our most important game of the season,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer, “in that we come back and kind of re-establish to ourselves what kind of team we are.”
The Card began the game with redshirt junior guard Jasmine Camp and senior forward Erica Payne as starters, marking the team’s six-different starting lineup of the season. Camp and Payne, who have seen limited minutes this season, each notched a basket early in the game in their combined 14 minutes.
“I started Jasmine Camp and Erica Payne because I knew that I could totally depend on them to, number one, talk on the floor and I knew they would give an absolute A+ effort,” VanDerveer said.
“[I’m] happy for the girls that did get to start. They work hard every day in practice and they talk and they give effort and energy,” said sophomore guard Lili Thompson, who despite usually starting for the Card did not start in today’s matchup.
The Trojans got off to a quick 10-5 lead off of five points by Brianna Barrett before senior point guard Amber Orrange put the Card up 17-16 with 12:09 left in the half, a lead that the team would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
While sophomore guard Briana Roberson and senior forward Bonnie Samuelson combined for half of the Card’s first half points, seven other Stanford players contributed points before the intermission.
After closing out the first half on a 7-2 run, the Card allowed the Trojans to start the second half on a 10-4 run of their own, bringing USC within five points before Thompson scored six consecutive points, complemented by a jumper by Orrange, putting Stanford up by double digits.
“We didn’t want to be timid and play not to lose,” said Thompson. “We wanted to come out and play to win and just be aggressive.”
Stanford’s success can be attributed to its impressive shooting (55.2 percent on the night, including 58.6 percent in the second half) as well as its shutdown defense, which limited USC to 24-64 on shooting (38 percent) and forced 12 turnovers.
Four Cardinal players- Thompson (14), Orrange (13), Roberson (13), Samuelson (12)- scored double digit points, bringing Stanford’s record when four or more players score 10+ points to 10-0.
All 15 players saw action in the matchup, and 11 of them scored.
The Card will look to achieve its second sweep of the Los Angeles schools this season when it faces UCLA at Maples Pavilion on Sunday at 4:30pm.