Offensive rebounds and 3-point shooting. Whenever Stanford has struggled this season, it has been due to issues in either of the two vital categories. On Sunday, it was both.
On the offensive boards, Texas edged the Cardinal 19-14. Beyond the arc, Stanford connected on just 28% despite taking 25 shots. Stellar free-throw shooting, 17-for-20 from the team, kept the Cardinal in the game, but the Longhorns executed down the stretch.
In each of the four games decided by single digits, Stanford has had worse 3-point shooting than its opponent. Texas was just the second opponent to outrebound the Cardinal, and the first to do so by more than one.
No. 1 Stanford (10-1, 0-0 Pac-12) suffered its first loss of the season in its first true road match of the season, dropping 69-64 to Texas (7-4, 0-0 Big 12).
The Cardinal had no answer for Texas’ Charli Collier or her 19 rebounds. The 6’5″ forward scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-16 from the field and 2-of-5 from distance.
Joyner Holmes, Sug Sutton and Celeste Taylor also scored in double digits for Texas. The Longhorns’ largest lead of the game came late in the second quarter by a score of 35-24.
Stanford didn’t let the Longhorns off easy, though. Sophomore guard Lexie Hull tallied a double-double between free throws and rebounds, sinking all 10 of her shots from the charity stripe and hauling in 12 rebounds. Hull added two assists, two blocks, three steals and seven points from the field to lead the Cardinal with 17.
After trailing 35-26 at the half, Stanford came storming out of the second half gates for the first seven points of the half. The Longhorns broke away again, but Stanford clawed its way back into the game and took the lead on a sophomore guard Lacie Hull layup.
Junior forward Nadia Fingall was an efficient 5-of-10 with 14 points and seven rebounds. She was 2-for-2 from the line and 2-for-4 from deep. Freshman forward Fran Belibi went for nine rebounds and seven points, including a layup with five seconds on the clock to bring the game within one.
In her return to her home state, junior guard Kiana Williams struggled mightily for much of the game. She scored 15 points in 39 minutes, making all four free throws but shooting just 4-of-16 from the field. Stanford’s 31.7% from the field goal was by far its worst of the season.
The Cardinal have a chance to right the ship before returning home for four straight in Maples Pavilion, beginning with UC Davis on Dec. 28.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.