Shooting slumps. Hustle does not.
On Friday night, two massive hustle plays defined No. 6 Stanford’s (17-2, 6-1 Pac-12) 76-68 overtime win.
Sophomore guard Lexie Hull tightroped the endline to knock a ball off an opponent and gift her team another possession early in the second quarter. Colorado (13-5, 2-5 Pac-12) failed to connect on a field goal throughout the 10 minute period, and Stanford clawed its way back into the game to lead 27-25 at the break.
Near the end of regulation, sophomore guard Jenna Brown saved the ball from sneaking out of play, allowing freshman forward Ashten Prechtel to drain a three and cut the deficit to one. Hull followed with a layup, and Colorado’s Mya Hollingshed answered on the other end for her team’s final field goal of regulation and the five-minute overtime.
“We’re not in it if she [Brown] doesn’t make that hustle play,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer. “The play of the game was Jenna’s hustle and making that little pass out to Ashten.”
Stanford hustled, Colorado slumped, and the home side won their second overtime game of the season.
“Our team did a really good job of sticking together down the stretch, when things got tough, we were on the same page, and it was really nice to see,” Brown said. “I think this is a really good identity win for us as far as being able to execute under pressure.”
Hull recorded a career-high 29 points, while shooting 10-of-17 from the field, 3-of-7 from downtown, and 6-of-7 from the line. Is she one of the best guards in the conference?
“She sure looked like that tonight,” VanDerveer said.
Stanford was plus-14 while Prechtel and Brown were in the game. Prechtel excelled for 12 points, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in just her second career start. In overtime, she hauled in three of her four rebounds.
Brown ran the point at times and tallied four assists.
“I just felt this was a great opportunity for her [Brown], and I think she’s just going to have to play more,” VanDerveer said. “This is a tough game, and she was in the game down the stretch. I really liked how she attacked the basket her assists, four assists, one turnover, and her hustle.”
Junior guard Kiana Williams had five points down the stretch in the fourth quarter on 2-of-3, but was 0-for-9 otherwise. She had five assists and four steals.
“I wouldn’t say she had a bad game,” VanDerveer said. “She didn’t shoot as well as she usually does, but she kept playing hard defensively. She had five assists. She runs our offense out there.”
For the third consecutive game, a Stanford opponent topped 20 points. This time, Jaylyn Sherrod accounted for 21, and went 8-of-16 from the field with seven assists. Hollingshed was 4-of-8 for 15 points in a team-high 38 minutes, and was perfect on five shots at the charity stripe. Colorado matched a season-high with 10 made 3-pointers.
“Colorado was extremely aggressive,” VanDerveer said. “We had our hands full the whole game.”
At the end of the first quarter, Colorado held a 13-5 advantage in rebounds, 8-0 second chance points and 21-13 on the scoreboard.
“We just need to start better,” Hull said.
After suffering a right leg injury in the win at Oregon State, freshman guard Haley Jones was not available. Junior forward Alyssa Jerome injured her back in that same game, leading her to join junior forward Maya Dodson and senior guard DiJonai Carrington on the bench.
Stanford will host Utah on Sunday at noon PT.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.