Stanford welcomed the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation to the Farm this season. Top recruit Haley Jones received plenty of hype. Fran Belibi and her potential was well anticipated. Local product Hannah Jump was celebrated for her outside shooting. Often overlooked, however, despite her 6’5″ stature, is Ashten Prechtel, who was actually the second-highest rated recruit in the class.
With Jones out long-term due to an injury she sustained in the team’s previous game at Oregon State, the Cardinal were left thin in depth. Someone had to step up to replace the production. Prechtel filled that role.
The hole left by Jones was felt as early as pregame warm-ups. The team went through their usual routine. Prechtel continued with her doing her customary handshake under the basket, though she lacked her partner — Jones. Whether it was superstition or habit, it paid off.
In her second start of the season, Prechtel finished with 12 points, four rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. The numbers do not tell the whole story; her clutch-ness does.
With 65 seconds on the clock, Prechtel hit a big three, assisted by a friendly bounce, to chop Colorado’s lead to 1. On Colorado’s ensuing possession, Pretchel got a huge block that led to Lexie Hull laying it up to pull Stanford ahead for the first time since the beginning of the quarter.
Colorado responded with a three of its own to take a 64-62 lead with 1.6 seconds to go. Stanford needed a miracle, and Prechtel came through. Kiana Williams set an inch-perfect screen, Prechtel broke free, took Lacie Hull’s inbounds pass and put it off the glass to send the game to overtime.
“Lacie made a great pass, Ashten finished on it,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer. “We work on it pretty much every day.”
Down one point with two minutes to play in overtime, Prechtel got an offensive board on one end and scored the go-ahead bucket on the other. On Colorado’s return trip, Prechtel got the steal, which led to two more points by Lexie Hull. Her free throw sealed the game with 23 seconds to go.
In the final six minutes and change, Prechtel had nine points and three rebounds.
Contact Gerzain Gutierrez at gerzain ‘at’ stanford.edu.