Alanna Smith buoys Stanford in Battle of the Bay sweep vs. Cal, Cardinal seniors play their last game at Maples Pavilion

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 10 Stanford (24-4, 14-2 Pac-12) defeated California (17-11, 5-11) Sunday evening to sweep the “Battle of the Bay” series for second consecutive season. The 72-54 victory was the last home game for Stanford seniors Erica McCall, Briana Roberson and Karlie Samuelson.

“This was great team win for us,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer. “I’m really happy for our three seniors. I felt that the rest of the team would have the seniors’ back and they did.”

Stanford will not host the first and second round of the NCAA tournament this season as the Pac-12 gymnastics championship will take place at Maples Pavilion during the early rounds of the women’s basketball postseason tournament.

During the game, after the first couple of minutes, Stanford earned the lead and never looked back. However, for the first two quarters, Cal was never far behind keeping the Cardinal from pulling away for more than seven points in the first two quarters. At halftime, Stanford led the Bears 37-32.

Sophomore forward Alanna Smith dominated the beginning of the fourth quarter with six straight points for Stanford, increasing her team’s lead to 16 points. The Cardinal sealed the deal in the last ten minutes outscoring the Bears 18-10. Cal was unable to gain any defensive stops to weaken Stanford’s offense.

“They went on a couple of runs that we couldn’t answer,” said Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb about her team’s inability to gain any momentum.

Smith led the Cardinal with 17 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Brittany McPhee added 16 points and four assists. Departing senior guard Samuelson contributed 11 points plus five rebounds.

Smith also led her team in the first game of the series with a career-high 27 points off the bench, plus six rebounds. VanDerveer called her the “difference-maker” in the first game. Gottlieb called Smith “a key to the series.”

“She hurt us more on the block and around the basket today,” continued Gottlieb.

While senior forward McCall only finished with seven points and five rebounds, below her season averages of 15.4 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per contest, she will finish her senior season as a program leader in all-time points, rebounds and blocked shots. Coming into the game she was No. 29 in Stanford history in points, ninth in rebounds and fourth all-time in blocks.

Samuelson, a sharp-shooter from three-point land, is fourth in Stanford history in made treys. In her last 49 games, she was 119-of-245 on three-pointers (.485).

Sophomore center Kristine Anigwe paced Cal with 12 points and 4 rebounds, well below her averages of 21.3 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Mikayla Cowling was also in double figures with 10 points.

For the Bears, the game marked the fourth consecutive defeat, the longest losing streak of the season for the team. Cal falls to 0-3 on the year against top-10 opponents.

Both Cal and Stanford head north across the state border for their last two games of the season. Cal plays at Oregon on Friday while Stanford visits Oregon State.


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