By Asia Zhang
Coming off two stellar wins last week, the No. 7 ranked Stanford women’s basketball team looks to extend their two-game win streak against University of San Francisco tonight at 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.
Landing in the top 25 preseason rankings for the 19th season in a row, the Cardinal (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) are excited for their new season after a “subpar” season – by Stanford standards – last year in which the team dropped out of the national rankings for the first time in 17 years. The team, nevertheless still finished with a 24-11 record and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, having gone at least that far in every tournament since 2008.
Annihilating the Idaho Vandals (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) this past Sunday with an impressive score of 115-71, (the most points totaled since 1994 and the first time the team broke 100 points since 2016) the Cardinal exploded on offense with a school record tying 16 three-pointers and six players scoring in the double figures.
Senior Alana Smith led the first quarter with nine smooth points, totaling 19 points and nine rebounds at the end of the game. Those hot hands were then passed to sophomore Kiana Williams, who also scored 19 points with nine assists, keeping pace with the basket-invading Vandals. Responding to the Vandals’ threats, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer commented, “they are an excellent 3-point shooting team… it only took 24 shots for them to make 15 threes.”
Freshman Lexie Hull contributed to the Cardinal’s remarkable offensive force with 17 points, with Kiana Willams praising that, “she plays with so much confidence. That’s impressive from a freshman. She fits in real well.”
With Sunday’s win over the Vandals, Stanford has won 13 straight games at Maples Pavilion, dating back to a Dec. 21, 2017 loss to Tennessee. Looking to extend the streak, the Cardinal welcome the Dons to the Farm.
Cruising to a 22-point victory over the San Jose State Spartans (0-3, 0-0 Mountain West) in their season debut on Friday night at War Memorial at the Sobrato Center, San Francisco Dons (1-0, 0-0 West Coast Conference) had an incredible offensive night with five of their own players scoring in double figures. With senior Shannon Powell leading the team with a game-high 17 points, the Dons went into halftime with an advantage. Although the Dons dropped 29 points in the third quarter with the Spartans chipping in their share of buckets, a trio of three pointers and field goals drove the Dons into victory.
This Thursday night, Stanford needs to maintain their flurry of sharp shooting 3-pointers, their height advantage and their fiery spirit to fuel their aggressive offensive plays in order to match the ferocious advances of the USF Dons. Catch these sensational plays at Maples Pavilion at 7 p.m.
Contact Asia Zhang at asiaz ‘at’ stanford.edu