In the first collegiate game to ever be played in the brand new Chase Center in San Francisco, women’s basketball (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) dominated the University of San Francisco (1-1, 0-0 WCC) 97-71, thanks to a career day from sophomore guard Lexie Hull.
The Dons started off stronger than expected, remaining within eight points of Stanford after the first quarter. Senior guard Dijonai Carrington had a strong first period, contributing eight of Stanford’s opening 22 points.
Hull began the second quarter with a three pointer, and what seemed to be the start of a Stanford breakaway. But USF didn’t back down. Dons forward Mikayla Williams responded with a two-point jumper. USF then rebounded a missed Cardinal attempt and then made a three pointer to bring the score to 18-25.
The first part of the second quarter persisted like this, and it took back-to-back three-pointers by junior forward Alyssa Jerome for the Cardinal to prevent the score from becoming a one-possession game. When a media timeout occurred with 4:05 left in the first half, the Cardinal led by eight again, narrower than expected given Stanford’s superiority in every aspect of the game. However, after the break, the Cardinal began showing more promising signs. Senior guard Anna Wilson and freshman forward Ashten Prechtel came off the bench to contribute five points and help bring Stanford to a 44-32 lead going into halftime.
At this point, Hull had accumulated a respectable 12 points. In the second half she went off, completing 4-of-5 three-pointers en route to a 15-point second half to bring her to a career-high 27 points. She also notched a season-high eight rebounds in the game.
“I was really excited about how Lexie played, not just her scoring but her defense, and how much she’s improved since last year,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer after the game.
Beyond Hull’s exceptional playing in the second half, the most exciting run was a stretch in the third quarter where Wilson and Lexie Hull each made a three. Then, sophomore guard Lacie Hull hit two in succession giving Stanford a 78-51 lead. The Cardinal maintained a large lead in the fourth quarter to pull ahead for the win. In particular, Jerome and freshman guard Haley Jones each contributed five points in the final period.
USF wasn’t anticipated to be a challenging opponent by any means for Stanford, but getting to play in the huge, brand new Warriors arena was an adjustment from playing at Maples.
“It’s a different experience,” said Lexie Hull. “Just having as many people there didn’t feel as close or as loud but in the moment it was really loud so that was something we had to adjust to.”
The Cardinal returns home to Maples on Thursday to take on Northern Colorado (0-2, 0-0 Big Sky) at 7 p.m.
Contact Sally Egan at egansj18 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Niles Egan at negan ‘at’ stanford.edu.