After opening the 2019-20 season with a 92-27 victory over Eastern Washington (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) on Tuesday, No. 3 Stanford women’s basketball (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) will take the court at the brand new Chase Center in San Francisco on Saturday for a battle against USF.
The Cardinal currently boasts an 18-game win streak and an overall 24-9 record against the Dons, with the most recent Stanford victory on Nov. 15, 2018. The Cardinal defeated the Dons in an easy 96-62 decision, and saw double-digit offensive performances from three players: then-sophomores guard Kiana Williams and forward Maya Dodson and then-senior Alanna Smith ’19.
Williams led Stanford with 21 points, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that the 5-8 guard sat out the final quarter with a sore ankle. Despite missing the major contributions of Williams in the fourth, Stanford’s offense did everything but slow down, largely due to Smith scoring nine of her total 18 points in the first three minutes of the quarter. Smith also snagged a team-high seven rebounds for the Cardinal.
Though Smith’s successful Stanford career came to a close this past spring when she was drafted to the Phoenix Mercury, the four fresh faces acquired by the Cardinal this season were quick to fill the shoes left by the Aussie standout.
Against Eastern Washington, 41 of the team’s 92 points were posted by freshmen, with 6-5 forward Ashten Prectel leading both the class and the team with 15, and forward Fran Belibi adding 12 of her own. The 6-1 forward also walked away with 15 rebounds.
“I guess we’ll get that every game,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer of Belibi’s double-double collegiate debut.
Belibi is just the second freshman in school history to record a double-double in her debut. Sophomore guard Lexie Hull made history in last year’s season opener against UC Davis with an 11-point, 11-rebound performance.
Four consecutive threes from freshman guard Hannah Jump were icing on the cake in the game against the Eagles, which was Stanford’s 21st consecutive home-opener victory. With hopes to pick up the season’s second win — and stretch their dominance over the Dons to 19 straight — Stanford vs. USF tips off at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday from the Chase Center.
Contact Savanna Stewart at [email protected]