By Lilia Chang
No. 7 Stanford women’s basketball opened their unofficial season in a 87-36 blowout against the Vanguard Lions Thursday evening in Maples Pavilion for their preseason exhibition. Having lost only two seniors from last season, the team’s depth combined with fresh talent, including twin freshmen Lacie and Lexi Hull, will make for a tenacious season. Lexi led the team in total points, scoring 11 in her first game with Stanford.
“First college game is definitely an exciting and nerve-wracking experience,” said Hull, but her first-game performance made it clear that she’s prepared for the rest.
Junior Nadia Fingall opened the game strong, shooting a layup in the opening minute and sophomore Kianna Williams quickly followed suit with a three. Lexie Hull didn’t have to wait long for her first shot with Stanford: After several jumper attempts and assists, she cleared two free throws smoothly. Sophomore Maya Dodson started her scoring streak early, blocking a play for Vanguard and cleanly taking the rebound. Stanford continued to put heavy offensive pressure on Vanguard: It wasn’t until the last three minutes of the quarter that Vanessa Murphy broke through for Vanguard. The first quarter ended at 20-4 thanks to a buzzer by senior Alanna Smith, who is fresh from a summer season with the Australian national team.
In the second quarter, Vanguard inched their way forward with 13 more points, several of them three pointers and many still contributed by Murphy. Unfortunately their efforts could not be matched to Stanford’s, who ended the quarter at 42-17. Sophomore Alyssa Jerome, coming from a summer with the Canadian national team ended the game in a layup in the last three seconds.
In the third quarter, Stanford and Vanguard met each other with personal fouls from each end, and Stanford at one point went four full minutes of play without a point.
Dodson eventually broke the ice and Stanford continued to extend their lead, with sophomore Estella Moschkau putting in several assists and free throws and ending the third quarter with a three from the far corner.
With their lead secure in the second half of the game, Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer felt free to switch up the lineup. Senior Shannon Coffee put in a total of six points, all in the last quarter, with two assists. In the end, VanDerveer put forth 13 total players, 12 of whom scored points. In contrast, just six out of Vanguard’s 12 played players successfully scored. Dodson attributed this to the depth of Stanford’s team: “We don’t have just five starters, we can put in anyone and it’ll work.”
Stanford ended the game with 47 percent made shots compared to Vanguard’s 18 percent. Notably, Fingall ended with nine points, one three and one assist; Smith with seven total points, one three and one assist; Lexi Hull led the way with 11 total points, one three and five assists; Junior Anna Wilson with eight points, two threes and one assist; and Dodson with 10 points and four assists.
Contact Lilia Chang at lchang19 ‘at’ stanford.edu.