Freshmen fuel Stanford’s dominant victory over Ohio State; 1,100 wins for program

No. 1 Stanford remains undefeated

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STANFORD, Calif – Stanford (9-0) solidified its position as the top team in the country with a 71-52 victory over Ohio State (6-4) Sunday night at Maples Pavilion. With the triumph, the Cardinal became the fifth program in women’s basketball history to win 1,100 games. In addition, head coach Tara VanDerveer recorded her 1,076th career win and is now just 23 games shy of passing Pat Summitt (1,098) as the winningest coach in women’s college basketball history.

The youngest members of Stanford’s squad led the way against the Buckeyes with two freshmen scoring in double figures: guard Haley Jones (15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists), and forward Fran Belibi (13 points, 8 rebounds). However, at the outset, it appeared that the teams would have a back and forth contest as they traded baskets at a fast pace for the first few minutes.

Neither team shot very well, missing over half of their shots early on and committing turnovers before Stanford snapped out of their offensive chaos and went on a 6-0 run. By 4:15, the Cardinal had an 11-6 lead. OSU took a timeout to regroup. The Buckeyes went on a mini-run of their own to get within two points but Belibi halted their momentum with a jumper late in the quarter.

Belibi, senior forward Nadia Fingall and junior guard Kiana Williams scored all the points for the Cardinal in the first quarter. Heading into the second period, the Cardinal led 17-13.

The home team blasted OSU with a 9-0 run to start the second period commencing with a three-point shot from freshman guard Hannah Jump. After a timeout, the Buckeyes looked to play catchup with freshman guard Jacy Sheldon making a layup to get her team within 11. But that was as close as OSU would get for the rest of the game. Stanford outscored the visitors 20-10 in the second period with Jones and Jump contributing six points each plus contributions from four other players. At the half, Stanford led 37-23.

The Buckeyes fare better in the third period, going toe to toe with the Cardinal as the squads scored 19 points each but that did nothing to put a dent in OSU’s 14-point deficit. Stanford did not look back in the last ten minutes, leading by as much as 21 points with 56 seconds to go in the game.

Even without the services of senior guard DiJonai Carrington (7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game) and sophomore guard Lacie Hull (5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game), Stanford dominated a talented, albeit young, Big Ten opponent. Carrington missed her fourth straight game. She also sat out Stanford’s three games over the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada at the Victoria Invitational due to a sore knee. Hull sat on the bench next to Carrington and wore a boot on her right foot.

Still, the Cardinal finished with a balanced effort with eleven players seeing minutes and six scoring. Williams added 13 points and six rebounds while Lexie, twin sister of Lacie, chipped in 13 points and 7 steals.

When asked about having players missing and the team’s depth VanDerveer had an optimistic response.

“You know, that just gives other people an opportunity. And Haley’s taken advantage of her time out there.”

Jones, who scored in double digits for the sixth time this season, came to Stanford as the No. 1 prospect in the nation.

“She’s not just a good freshman, she’s a good player, period,” VanDerveer said. “She plays every position, she has stamina, she plays hard and she’s versatile. Her biggest advantage is her brain.”

Ohio State’s leaders included younger players as well. Sophomore guard Janai Crooms paced the Buckeyes with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Sophomore forward Dorka Juhász added 10 points.

Overall, Stanford shot 50% (30-60) from the floor compared to 38.6% (22-57) by OSU. The Cardinal also scored more points in the paint, 42-34. However, the home team committed 21 turnovers.

“I just had one kind of bone to pick with our team and that was we turned the ball over too much,” VanDerveer said. “And, you know, I think that we can do a lot better but I’m going to attribute that to a little rust and hopefully I’m right and we’re going to do a much better job against Tennessee.”

The ranked Lady Vols visit Maples Pavilion Wednesday night under their new head coach and alumna, Kellie Harper.

Ohio State remains on the road to face Sacramento State Tuesday night.


  • With seven steals, Lexie Hull is in a seven-way tie for fourth place for most steals in a single game in program history. The others who completed the feat and landed in fourth include her sister Lacie. San Francisco associate coach Katy Steding holds the all-time Stanford record at 10 set in Dec. 1988.
  • Last season the Buckeyes were scheduled to play Stanford and Sacramento in mid-November but the games were canceled due to dangerous air quality stemming from the deadliest wildfire in California history.
  • Tara VanDerveer’s overall career record now stands at 1,076-247 (.813).

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