By Ellie Chen
No. 14 Stanford Women’s basketball (2-2) defeated UC Riverside (0-3) 53-43 on Friday Nov. 17 and CSU Bakersfield (1-3) 57-34 on Sunday Nov. 19 to start undefeated (2-0) in Maples Pavilion. Different players continue to step up big for the Cardinal, with sophomores DiJonai Carrington and Alexa Romano having career nights versus Highlanders and Roadrunners, respectively. The Cardinal donned turquoise uniforms to honor Native American Heritage Month versus CSUB.
Versus UC Riverside, Carrington posted her first career double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 22 boards. She is now tied for third, behind only former Cardinal and current WNBA players Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike for most rebounds in a single game. When asked about her huge night, Carrington replied, “It’s just grit. We can control rebounding, effort, and our attitude.”
“What a great job [Carrington] did on the glass,” head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We’re a really young group. We did some really nice things and have a lot of work to do … We have to take care of the ball.”
The young Cardinal team are still working on taking care of the ball, as they committed 11 first half turnovers Sunday versus CSUB, coached by the father of former Cardinal star Erica “Bird” McCall (‘17). Despite the early turnovers, Stanford’s rebounding and gritty on-ball defense held the Roadrunners to 16 first half points and 24 percent shooting overall.
Offensively, Stanford jumped out to an early 7-0 first quarter lead. Following her stellar performance Friday, Carrington started her second game of the season. During the second quarter, sophomore Anna Wilson found her offensive stride hitting three consecutive treys from deep, extending the lead from 23-14 to 32-14. Carrington then lobbed it to freshman Maya Dodson who gave the Cardinal their largest lead of the game, 34-14. Dodson scored another hoop off junior Marta Sniezek’s fourth first half assist to give the Cardinal a 36-16 lead heading into the half.
Junior Alexa Romano dominated the third quarter on her way to scoring a game and career high 13 points. She found offensive flow, hitting two consecutive threes. When CSU took away her three-point shot, she pump faked and sank a mid-range jumper to score eight of the Cardinal’s 13 third-quarter points. Romano is stepping up and taking advantage of playing twice as many minutes as she did last season.
Romano and Wilson shot a combined 6-15 from behind the arc.
“Just being a basketball player and seeing your shot fall, is always great,” Wilson said. “I’m just happy we won.”
“[Romano and Wilson] are leaders with how hard they work and what great kids, and young women, they are,” VanDerveer added.
Freshmen Estella Moschkau scored her first career basket with a late fourth-quarter three-pointer. All of the Cardinal players saw action with nine different players scoring.
Senior captain Brittany McPhee did not suit up for the Cardinal for either game, suffering a foot injury.
Stanford will next travel to face Kent State at 5:30 p.m. PT on Thanksgiving Day in the first round of the Las Vegas Play4Kay Showcase, where the Cardinal could rematch Ohio State in the championship.
Contact Ellie Chen at ellie170 ‘at’ stanford.edu.