Spurred once again by senior forward Kaylee Johnson, Stanford women’s basketball (11-7, 5-1 Pac-12) handled Washington (6-11, 0-6) 71-45 this Sunday in Maples Pavilion to complete a weekend sweep.
Johnson, who scored the first three buckets for the Cardinal finished with eight points and 12 rebounds. The senior performed highly on offense and on defense, as she recorded a game-high five blocks.
“I think this was a weekend for Kaylee,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer. “She gets my vote for Stanford player of the week for her leadership, for her rebounding, her aggressiveness. We need everyone to get onto that train and do those things for us.”
Junior Alanna Smith and senior Brittany McPhee led the team in scoring, with 19 and 15 points respectively. Smith flirted with a double-double as she also collected nine boards, and McPhee still managed to score in double digits despite going 4-for-12 from the field.
Throughout the game, Stanford was able to solve Washington’s zone defense by using its forwards at the top of the key and playing its size inside to finish with 28 points in the paint. Nevertheless, the team committed 20 turnovers, most of them caused by the Huskies’ full court guard pressure.
“We knew that they were gonna play us a lot on the high side on the wing, and we knew we had a height advantage,” said Smith about the Huskies’ zone defense. “Our goal was to get inside and also to look outside as we have great shooters on the perimeter.”
The game started out really close, as the two team were trading baskets, until two pairs of free throws by McPhee and sophomore DiJonai Carrington put the Cardinal up by four before the end of the first frame.
“I thought [Carrington] really came out and helped us a lot,” said VanDerveer. “I was really excited by the way she played.”
Stanford continued to pull away in the second quarter, going on a 16-5 run in the opening nine minutes of the period. The run included consecutive threes by freshmen Alyssa Jerome and Kiana Williams, and closed out by a McPhee jumper with 1:02 left to play in the half.
On the following play, freshman Nadia Fingall was called for a foul just as Washington’s Hannah Johnson released a shot from behind the arc that would go in. While the referee initially ruled that the basket happened after the foul, the call was reviewed and reversed, and Jenna Moser drained the two free throws awarded for the foul to complete a surprising five point play.
“[The refs] said that she was going up for the shot as the whistle was being blown,” said VanDerveer. “That was a big momentum turn for them, and I disagree with the call.”
With the momentum shifted, Washington had time to add two more on the board before halftime, coming back with eight points after being down 15 only 30 seconds earlier.
Coming out of the locker room, it was Smith’s turn to lead the charge. The junior opened the period with four points, scoring both baskets with the same move. Getting the ball on the right side of the paint, the Aussie used a shot fake to beat her defender and finished with a step-through left-handed layup.
Despite shooting only 33.3 percent from the field in the third period, Stanford stretched its lead to 47-31 by holding Washington to a mere eight points during the quarter. The Cardinal closed out the period on six straight points to secure the 16-point lead.
In the early minutes of the final frame, baskets from distance by Smith and Carrington sandwiched a three by Washington’s Jenna Moser and stretched the lead to 18 points. Stanford would lead by as much as 26, when McPhee made her only three pointer of the game with 3:37 left in the game.
“I thought this was a great weekend for us,” said VanDerveer.
Sophomore Ana Wilson and freshman Maya Dodson did not suit up for the Cardinal, both out with an ankle sprain.
“I don’t think they’re major ankle sprains,” said VanDerveer. “They’re both trying to get back, working as hard as they can. We’ll wait to see how they’re doing at the end of this week.”
The Cardinal are now second in the Pac-12, behind an undefeated Oregon team. The team will try to keep its momentum next weekend as it travels to Southern California for a rematch against USC and UCLA.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.