Led by Kiana Williams, Stanford obliterates Washington in second half for 77-56 win

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STANFORD, Calif. – It was a tale of two halves as top-ten team Stanford (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12) rolled past Washington 77-56 Sunday afternoon at Maples Pavilion. With a third-quarter offensive onslaught led by senior guard Kiana Williams plus tenacious defense, the Cardinal put the freeze on the Huskies after being in a tie game at halftime.

Stanford started off on a good note, earning a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes. Washington (10-4, 2-1) recovered quickly with a three-point shot from freshman center Quay Miller to get the Huskies on the scoreboard.

Washington sophomore forward Haley Van Dyke stole the ball from Stanford freshman forward Fran Belibi and made good on the hustle with a layup to begin a 6-0 run that enabled the Huskies to get within two of the Cardinal. The teams traded baskets in the last four minutes of the quarter with Stanford freshman guard Hannah Jump adding two three-pointers to help her team end the quarter with a 19-15 lead.

“The game started, and we got punched in the gut, down 9-0 in a blink of an eye,” Washington head coach Jody Wynn said about her team’s slow start. “And then we collected ourselves and we got defensive rebounds. I think that’s what helped us after their initial run.”

After a defensive rebound from senior forward Mai-Loni Henson followed by a three-pointer from freshman center Ali Bamberger, the Huskies trailed by just one point in the second quarter. Three minutes later, they took the lead from the home team, 23-21, with another trey from Van Dyke.

No team could gain a sizeable advantage before the break. Washington sophomore center Darcy Rees hit the last shot of the first half, a three-pointer that tied the game up 32 all. Overall, the Huskies outscored the Cardinal 17-13 in the second quarter and shot 41.4% (12-29) from the field compared to 42.9% (12-28) by Stanford.

Jump and Rees led their teams with 11 points each at halftime.

Stanford came out hot in the third quarter with Jump and freshman guard Haley Jones contributing to a 6-0 run. Van Dyke and Huskies leading scorer, senior guard Amber Melgoza, helped Washington narrow their deficit to four points with about four minutes left in the quarter. However, Stanford responded with a 14-8 run to finish the period with Williams leading the way. She scored 11 points the quarter after earning just five points in the first half.

The Cardinal led by as much as 13 and outscored the Huskies 25-15 in the period. Going into the final quarter, the Cardinal enjoyed a 57-47 advantage.

Stanford looked like an elite program ranked in the top five in those last ten minutes. With contributions from five players, the Cardinal dominated Washington in the final quarter, outscoring the Huskies 20-9, and punishing the visitors on defense. Stanford shot 56.3% (9-16) from the floor in the final quarter while Washington made only 33% of their 12 shots.

Williams led all scorers with 20 points plus nine assists. Wynn had high praise for Stanford’s floor general.

“Kiana Williams is so special,” Wynn said. She called the junior “one of the most underrated point guards in the country.”

“I don’t think she gets a lot of the glamour, but the kid has ice in her veins.”

Jump was also in double figures for Stanford with 17 points. Sophomore guard Lexie Hull nearly had a double-double with nine points plus 11 rebounds.

“I think this is a great team win for us,” Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “You know, Jody Wynn and her staff are doing a tremendous job in Washington, they’ve really improved a lot.”

Stanford, including VanDerveer, capped their win with a few minutes of dancing the Cupid Shuffle much to the delight of fans.

While Washington lost Sunday, they did earn a hard-fought matchup across the Bay at Cal on Friday, breaking a five-game losing streak against the Bears. Three players landed in double figures for the Huskies against Stanford: Melgoza (17 points, five rebounds), freshman center Quay Miller (12 points, five rebounds), and Rees (12 points).

The Huskies return home to face Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 11. Stanford hosts California Friday night in the first game of the Battle of the Bay.


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