After getting upset by Gonzaga at home just two days prior, No. 11 Stanford women’s basketball (3-1) rebounded by trouncing the CSUN Matadors (2-2) 88-54 on Sunday.
The home victory featured strong team play, as half of the Cardinal’s points came off the bench and three players finished in double digits. Senior captain Erica McCall led both teams in scoring with a final tally of 17 points on a game that featured 33-of-69 team shooting from Stanford, which improved from registering only a 37.9 percent mark in its loss to the Zags.
“This is the kind of game we needed, a bounce-back from the other night,” head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “Great team win. No one had to play too much … If we can play what I call tag-team, we’re getting a lot more off the bench from our post play.”
McCall was followed by 14-point efforts from junior guard Brittany McPhee and freshman forward Nadia Fingall, who went an impressive 7-of-8 from the field.
“She’s come along real well,” VanDerveer said of Fingall. “She listens, she works really hard at practice. She has a big, strong body … The biggest thing is, just the pace is faster than what high school is, so she’s adjusting to the pace.”
Recording her highest point and rebound totals in her first four games at the collegiate level, Fingall said that VanDerveer has encouraged her in practice to run the floor harder and that she puts in the time to catch up to college-caliber speed.
“You really don’t know what you’re getting into until you get [to college],” Fingall said. “So definitely just getting in, getting extra work with my coaches, asking questions and stuff has really helped getting the game to slow down.”
Defensively, Stanford effectively muted the CSUN three-point game, holding the Matadors to just three hits on 19 attempts. While the Cardinal allowed Gonzaga 61.5 percent efficiency from behind the arc last game, Stanford stymied the Matadors from that range in a 15.8-percent showing. The team also outrebounded them 52-29, with Fingall, sophomore forward Alanna Smith and junior forward Kaylee Johnson each notching seven boards.
The matchup was largely won by aggressive post play, with Stanford scoring 52 of 88 points in the paint.
“We’re excited about our post play,” VanDerveer said.
The team travels south to play in the Cancun Challenge against Northeastern, Wichita State and Purdue on three consecutive days starting on Thanksgiving morning.
Contact Tristan Vanech at tvanech ‘at’ stanford.edu.