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Women’s hoops blows by Utah

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There was some Mamba Mentality in Hannah Jump on Sunday. The freshman 3-point specialist started 0-for-5 from beyond the arc, including three misses across two possessions in the third quarter. The next time down the court, however, she launched another 3-pointer, and it fell. So did the next three, and she finished 4-of-9 for the game. 

“We know what she can do,” said senior forward Nadia Fingall. “We see her every day in practice, she comes in, she’s always one of the first three people on the court and one of the last to leave. We know that she’s capable of hitting those shots.”

As Jump caught fire, so did No. 6 Stanford (18-2, 7-1 Pac-12), and the 16-0 run across the end of the third and into the fourth effectively put the game out of reach. A season ago, a hot-shooting Utah (10-9, 3-5 Pac-12) defeated Stanford at home, but the Cardinal enacted its revenge with a 82-49 triumph. 

While just two of Jump’s 14 points came in the paint, 16 of fellow freshman forward Fran Belibi’s career-high 20 points came from inside the key. Belibi shot 9-of-11 with a game-high eight rebounds in 18 minutes. 

“I just was out there setting screens and off the screen I was open and my teammates were getting it to me,” Belibi said. 

Turnovers were an issue all afternoon for Utah, which began the game with four turnovers in the first three minutes. For the game, the Utes turned the ball over a total of 16 times, which the Cardinal converted into 18 points. Stanford, meanwhile, committed five turnovers and just one in the second half, setting a season low for the second time in three games. 

“Oh my god, five turnovers!” VanDerveer said. 

Before the 3-pointers started to fall in the second half, Stanford went 1-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. With three of the five starters on two fouls at halftime, 13 of the 31 points came from the bench. 

Sophomore guard Lexie Hull and junior guard Kiana Williams, the team’s two highest scorers, were a combined 4-of-15 at the break. For the second time in as many games, Williams did not reach double digits. After playing 44 minutes last game, she did not play at all in the fourth quarter, while Lexie, sister Lacie Hull and Fingall were on the court for just three minutes.

Stanford scored its most points since the Cal Baptist game. On the other side, Utah was one point above its season low. Just two Utes scored at least their season average, and their top scorer, Brynna Maxwell, was just 3-of-10. The Cardinal also won on the boards 42-29. 

“We knew they were going to come out aggressive, we knew they are a great three point shooting team,” Fingall said. “Lexie, Lacie and Anna [Wilson] did a great job on their point guard [Dru Gylten] and number 11 [Maxwell], and keeping them not necessarily locked down, but just making them uncomfortable and I think that threw their offense out of whack.”

Wilson, a senior guard, also contributed six rebounds and a team-high five assists. For her part, Fingall had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists and was 2-for-3 from range. Freshman forward Ashten Prechtel also had 11 points, on 5-of-8 with five rebounds and two assists. 

Stanford honored the 1990 national championship team pregame, the first of two women’s basketball titles under VanDerveer. After the game, the alumni on hand spoke to the team. 

“For me it is amazing to hear from people that, like Tara said, have done what we want to do,” Fingall said. “They all have their own unique advice and I think those are things that we’re going to be able to carry forward. Hopefully in 2050 we’ll be back celebrating the 30th anniversary of our national championship.”

Senior guard Mikaela Brewer made her season debut coming off of an injury. 

Stanford will travel to Washington, first taking on the Huskies on Friday.

Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Daniel Martinez-Krams '22 is a staff writer in the sports section covering football, women's soccer, women's basketball and baseball. He is originally from Berkeley, California. Contact him at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.