By Asia Zhang
Riled by the Thursday upset across the Bay in which Stanford women’s basketball (18-3, 8-2 PAC-12) lost to UC Berkeley (14-7, 5-5 PAC-12) by a single measly point, 81-80, the Cardinal brought their A-game this Saturday at Maples Pavilion, slaughtering the Golden Bears 75-50 after holding the lead for the entirety of the game.
Starting the few minutes of the first quarter off a little slow, sharp-shooter freshman Lacie Hull missed two triples before swinging back into her usual rhythm, slamming five of the first points of the afternoon and leading Stanford to a 10-0 run. From 8:02 of the first quarter and onward, the Cardinal held onto their lead, culminating in a massive 29 point advantage at 7:21 of the fourth quarter. The fiery Cardinal spirit shone through early in the game, most notably in a powerful defensive block by sophomore Maya Dodson that sent the ball flying into the crowd. This was quickly followed by an almost telepathic fast break from sophomore Kiana Williams, who had a phenomenal game, cooking up 19 points with a side of three triples and five rebounds.
Feeling antagonized, the Golden Bears made multiple attempts to challenge the Cardinal in the second quarter, starting off strong with a smooth layup from sophomore Kiana Smith after an aggressive steal from senior Kristine Anigwe. Cal played better defensively this quarter, only having let a single point into the basket with 7:06 remaining in the half. This short dry spell for the Cardinal was quickly ended by a swift layup from Dodson. Inspired by this majestic maneuver, Lacie Hull laced between players to create a silky smooth turnover, sending the Cardinal into a series of slamming baskets. Playing the Bears with an animal-like tenacity, the Cardinal fouled extensively, giving the Bears 25 free throws. This was partly due to the efforts of senior Shannon Coffee, who really hit the grind with her 6’5” eagle-like wingspan and unparalleled blocks and picks.
Hitting their first triple halfway through the third quarter, and going 3-17 for the game, Cal’s lost efforts were mostly due not to the lack of opportunities for shots, but to the lack of accuracy as they only hit 16-60 from the field and 15-25 from free throws. Ultimately, despite pushing harder in the last quarter with 19 points, matching Stanford, Cal was unable to lead another upset due to the sheer tenacity of the fiery Cardinal spirit.
Catch the Stanford women’s basketball team restart a spectacular winning streak this Friday at 6 p.m. against Oregon State at Maples Pavilion as they keep the Beavers away from these trees.
Contact Asia Zhang at asiaz ‘at’ stanford.edu.