No. 11 Stanford recovers to take down No. 3 Baylor 68-63

Notes  || Postgame Video || Team Statistical Comparison || Social Media Recap

STANFORD – No. 11 Stanford (7-1) handed Baylor (8-1) its first loss of the season in Maples Pavilion with a 68-63 victory in a battle between two celebrated Hall of Fame coaches. The game was the only matchup between two ranked programs this week.

After a slow start with both teams under 10 points at 3:45 in the first quarter, Stanford took over and never looked back. Sophomore guard Kiana Williams nailed a trey for the Cardinal at 3:27 to give her team a 10-9 lead late in the quarter. Stanford led 17-13 after the first period.

“This was a great win for our team,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer on the triumph. “Baylor has an outstanding team. Kim [Mulkey] does a great job with her team.

“We had to make plays down the stretch,” she continued. “I thought our team worked really hard, especially defensively guarding their leading scorers [Kalani] Brown and [Lauren] Cox.”

The statement victory is the first game for the Cardinal after losing at Gonzaga on Dec. 2, a point that VanDerveer addressed.

“It gives us a good bounce back from two weeks ago,” she said about Saturday’s win, “and we’re real excited to keep it going.”

After the sluggish first ten minutes, the second quarter saw the Cardinal dominate their opponent, outscoring Baylor 24-11 led by Williams and Alanna Smith. At halftime, the Stanford lead had swelled to 41-24.

Baylor guards, junior Juicy Landrum and graduate student Chloe Jackson, helped their team begin to close the gap in the third quarter. In the last period, the Bears had help from freshman forward NaLyssa Smith to get within seven points with about four minutes left. However, key shots, including a three-point dagger from Stanford senior center Shannon Coffee kept the Bears at arm’s length.

Smith led Stanford with 21 points plus eight rebounds while Williams added 13 points plus five assists. Junior guard DiJonai Carrington scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds.

Coffee’s season-high nine points came at crucial moments in the game to help Stanford stymy Baylor’s attempts at gaining momentum. Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey joked that Stanford should whisper “Baylor” into Coffee’s ear when she’s on the court to motivate her to hit big shots.

“You know Shannon made some really big plays,” VanDerveer said. “This has probably been the best game of her career and she couldn’t have picked a better time. There was plenty of time on that shot clock for that three.”

VanDerveer’s reference to a three-pointer and the clock was due to an official review of Coffee’s late-game trey that put Stanford back into a double-digit lead after Baylor’s run.

The freshman forward Smith paced Baylor with 15 points plus nine rebounds. Jackson added 15 points. Stanford held Baylor senior center Kalani Brown to just five points. Coming into the game, she averaged 16.4 points per contest. The game against Baylor broke her two-game streak of scoring at least 20 points.

In addition, Baylor junior forward Lauren Cox, who previously averaged 12.3 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per contest was held to just two points and one rebound.

“We were not very good today…we had a lot of players that didn’t show up,” Mulkey remarked about her team’s performance. “Unfortunately it was too deep a hole to overcome.”

She cited a lack of energy and effort as contributors to the team’s dismal outing. “We didn’t have a lot of energy and communication,” Mulkey added. “It was uncharacteristic of several of our players to play the way they did today.”

Stanford hits the road to face another ranked team, No. 9 Tennessee on Tues. Dec. 18. Baylor has a long holiday break before facing Texas-Rio Grande Valley on New Year’s Eve at noon.


  • Stanford shot 38.3 percent from the floor compared to 34.9 percent by Baylor
  • Baylor outrebounded Stanford 43-30, making it 78 out of the last 81 games that the bears have outrebounded their opponents.
  • Baylor still leads the all-time series between the two teams 4-3. The teams first met at Stanford in 1983 and the Bears won 63-59.

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