No. 1 Stanford races past Utah 82-54 to remain undefeated
Utah has no answers for Stanford
— Stanford Women’s Basketball (@StanfordWBB) January 15, 2021
No. 1 Stanford (11-0, 8-0 Pac-12) had no trouble putting away Utah (3-8, 2-8) Friday afternoon in Salt Lake City. The Cardinal did not have the services of sophomore guard Haley Jones who watched the game from the bench. Jones contributes 15.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Three players who missed Stanford’s last game, a win against Oregon, due to “COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing” came back with flying colors, adding to a balanced effort in the victory over the Utes. Junior guard Lexie Hull, sophomore guard Hannah Jump, and senior forward Alyssa Jerome all played at least 20 minutes in their return. Hull resumed her place as a starter, and Jerome started in place of Jones.
“I was really pleased with a great team effort that we had,” Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I thought [Kiana Williams] started us out really well, going 6-of-10 from three. She is just awesome. She is a tremendous team leader. She really got us going.”
While the Utes earned a lead in the first few minutes, the bulk of the quarter belonged to Stanford. After a tie game at 5:50 at eight points, the Cardinal finished the period on a 15-0 run for a 23-8 lead heading into the second period.
The second quarter saw a more evenly paced offensive output from both teams as the Utes managed to go toe-to-toe with the visitors. The teams scored 17 points each in the ten minutes before the break. However, it was not enough for the home team, and the Cardinal had a 40-25 lead heading into halftime. Three Stanford players were in double figures at the break: Senior guard Kiana Williams with 12 points while Hull and sophomore forward Ashten Prechtel had 10 points and three rebounds each.
Stanford executed a blowout in the third quarter, starting with a 13-0 run to give the team a 53-25 lead before the Utes could score with a free throw from sophomore guard Kemery Martín at 5:01. Entering the last ten minutes, Stanford had a 29-point lead, 61-32.
Williams led all scorers with 18 points. Jump added 15 plus five rebounds. Prechtel and Hull had 14 points each, with Prechtel pulling down seven rebounds and Hull five. Sophomore forward Fran Belibi was also in double figures with 13 points plus six rebounds.
VanDerveer praised everyone’s effort, including Prechtel, who she said had a breakout game.
Martín paced Utah with 11 points. Freshman guard Kennady McQueen contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
The Utes host California on Sunday. Stanford stays on the road for a matchup against Colorado on the same day. The status of Jones is unknown as VanDerveer declined to field any questions on the matter. Even with her, with such a deep roster, the Cardinal is in a good position heading to Boulder. No one who saw minutes played over 25 minutes against Utah.
“So that keeps us rested going into Colorado,” VanDerveer said after “a great team win. I’m very excited about how everyone did.”