Stanford rebounds from back-to-back losses with a new starting lineup to defeat USC, 79-60

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PALO ALTO, Calif. – No. 19 Stanford (18-7, 10-3 Pac-12) rebounded from a grim road trip, suffering losses to Arizona State and Arizona last week, to handily defeat Southern California 79-60 at Maples Pavilion Friday night. The Cardinal beat the Trojans for the 16th time in the last 17 meetings.

“I think this in some ways might have been our most important game of the season,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, “that we come back and kind of re-established to ourselves what kind of team we are, that we are aggressive, that we have great effort, that we really improved our communication on the floor and that we rebound.”

The Cardinal beat USC (13-11, 5-8) with a balanced offensive outing. Eleven players scored and four were in double figures led by Lili Thompson’s 14 points and four assists. Amber Orrange contributed 13 points plus five rebounds. Briana Roberson added 13 points and Bonnie Samuelson scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds.

USC began the game on a 10-5 run but their momentum began to dissipate when senior forward Samuelson nailed a three-point shot at 16:08. After jumpers from Briana Roberson and Erica McCall, the game was tied at 12 with 14:55 left in the half.

The teams traded baskets and stayed within two points of each other until Stanford began to pull away propelled by the offensive output of Roberson. The Cardinal went on a 22-10 run and went into the break leading the Trojans 38-27.

Roberson led her team with 11 points at the half while Courtney Jaco had 8 for USC.

Upperclassmen Leadership to the Rescue

VanDerveer inserted redshirt junior guard Jasmine Camp and senior forward Erica Payne into the starting lineup to help improve her team’s cohesiveness.

“I started Jasmine Camp and Erica Payne because I knew that I could totally depend on them to, number one, talk on the floor and I knew they would give an absolute A+ effort,” said VanDerveer.

Samuelson attributed her team’s success to “effort, communication and rebounding.”

“We didn’t want to be timid and play not to lose,” said Thompson. “We wanted to come out and play to win and just be aggressive.”

VanDerveer was pleased with her team’s defense as well. Friday’s effort was a turnaround from the defeats in Arizona.

“Our defense looked like we were sleepwalking,” said VanDerveer recalling the back-to-back losses. “It was embarrassing.”

USC tallied the first points of the second half with a layup from Alexyz Vaioletama and got within five at 17:01 making the score 42-37. The Trojans also had four players in double figures and even outrebounded Stanford. However, USC missed several easy shots and Stanford capitalized on the misfires, pulling away again on an 8-2 rally and scoring seven points off of turnovers in the second half to USC’s zero.

In addition, the Stanford bench contributed 22 points while USC reserves only scored nine. Overall, the Cardinal shot over 55.2 percent from the floor to the USC’s 37.5 percent.

Vaioletama led her team with 14 points. Kaneisha Horn had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jaco finished with 11 points and Brianna Barrett added 10.

Stanford returns to action hosting UCLA on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. PT. USC heads across the Bay to face California on the same day at 6:30 p.m. PT. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

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