Stanford bounces back with 76-65 win over No. 11 UCLA to begin Pac-12 play
Stanford bounces back with win over UCLA to begin conference play
Friday night feels on the Farm.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) December 30, 2017
STANFORD, Calif. – The unranked Stanford Cardinal (7-6, 1-0) opened up Pac-12 Conference play with a wire-to-wire gritty 76-65 victory over No. 11 UCLA (9-3, 0-1) at Maples Pavilion, subduing the fighting spirit of the top 20 opponent.
Stanford head coach Tara Vanderveer had a simple explanation for the upset result: “We’re used to playing against this type of team, and I think the schedule we played got us ready for it”
The win avenges a home loss in February 2017 against their Southern California foe, lifting the Cardinal over .500 overall and undefeated in conference play.
The Cardinal had to stave off several runs by the Bruins, as their lead dipped as low as one point a few times in the third quarter. However, senior guard, Brittany McPhee took over in the fourth quarter tallying 13 of her game-high 27 points on 5-5 shooting, including a heavily contested miraculous circus basket to beat the shot clock buzzer, and a huge 3-pointer less than a minute later.
“I knew there was 10 minutes left in the game, and we needed to win.” stated McPhee about her performance.
Stanford junior forward Alanna Smith contributed another double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds), including six caroms alone in the first quarter, while sophomore forward, Nadia Fingall added 10 points (six in the fourth quarter) plus six rebounds to the winning equation.
Bruins’ senior guard, Jordin Canada, led her squad with 20 points and 6 assists, although that was attained on a tough shooting night of 7-28 (25 percent). Canada felt her shot was off and Stanford played good defense:
“They played a great game plan…sag in the paint; they knew I could drive and I had to prove my shot, and it was obvious I was off tonight, but I think it was a bit of both.”
Senior forward Monique Billings offered UCLA her own double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds), and two other teammates (Kennedy Burke and Japreece Dean) provided 14 points each.
UCLA head coach Cori Close gave praise to her counterpart for the unfavorable outcome:
“Tara [VanDerveer] deserves the credit, and Stanford deserves the credit. They played with more focus. They executed their game plan better than we executed ours. They were the tougher team tonight, and they played with more focus and passion.”
Although Stanford never relinquished the lead during the 40-minute conference battle, they more than doubled UCLA in turnovers (20), but out rebounded them by 15, which kept the game in reach for the visitors from Westwood.
The Cardinal undoubtedly received an additional boost from a boisterous alumnae fan in attendance, former player and WNBA (Indiana Fever) player, Erica “Bird” McCall.
The Bruins will try to rebound from the setback New Year’s Eve on Sunday as they cross the Bay and take on the California Golden Bears, while the Cardinal will host Southern California also on the same day.
By the Numbers