Cameron Brink leads No. 9 Stanford’s bounce back to top Portland 81-51

Dec. 15, 2023 (Stanford, CA) - Stanford's Cameron Brink in a game vs. Portland.
Dec. 15, 2023 (Stanford, CA) – Stanford’s Cameron Brink in a game vs. Portland.

STANFORD, Calif.  — No. 9 Stanford (9-1) topped a hard-working Portland (6-6) Friday night at Maples Pavilion 81-51. The Cardinal bounced back from a loss on the road at Gonzaga last week, costing them six places in the Associated Press poll.

“I thought our team responded to the challenge really well,” head coach Tara VanDerveer said about the fight to down the feisty Pilots who outperformed the home team in the second period. “Our second quarter was a little bit bad but otherwise, I thought we were running our offense well.”

With a 9-0 run to start the first quarter, Stanford seemed destined for a lopsided victory. Senior forward Cameron Brink who missed most of the game against Gonzaga due to illness, scored the first four points of the game. With five players making shots in the first quarter, the Cardinal finished the first ten minutes with a commanding 28-9 lead.

Portland fights back

Undaunted by the 19-point deficit heading into the second period, Portland stepped up their defense and offense, outscoring Stanford 16-8 in the quarter.

For the first eight and a half minutes of the frame, the Cardinal only scored six points and the Pilots scored the last four points before the half.

Portland increased its field goal percentage to 52.6% (6-11) in the second quarter up from 27.3% (3-11) in the first. Meanwhile, Stanford’s shooting percentage plummeted to 14.3% (2-14), down from 52.6% (10-19). The home team was also 0-of-5 from the three-point line in the second quarter.

Heading into halftime, Stanford had a 36-25 lead. There were no players in double digits at the break.

Hannah Jump for threeeee!

While the Pilots scored the first points of the second half with a driving layup from grad transfer guard Kennedy Dickie, Stanford responded quickly with a quick four points from junior guard Elena Bosgana.

Brink also contributed six straight points to give her team a 15-point advantage. Nevertheless, Portland kept fighting. However, a three-pointer from Hannah Jump at 4:09 shifted the momentum. The trey was monumental for Jump who tied Stanford alumna Kiana Williams for the school record for three-pointers at 311. While it took Williams 4,336 minutes of career play to reach the mark, it only took Jump 3,042 minutes.

VanDerveer was effusive in her praise of Jump’s overall game.

“We’re really, really glad Hannah’s back for her Covid year. She’s really improved. She’s worked so hard. She’s in great shape. You know, she hardly comes out of the game. She’s really improved her defense, her passing. Everyone knows she can shoot. But it’s great to have her out there.”

Portland’s late-game woes

A technical call on Portland coach Michael Meek at 2:43 in the third period did not help matters for the Pilots. Stanford’s offense improved to 7-0f-14 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the third quarter. With one period left, the Cardinal led 61-38.

Things didn’t get much better for Portland in the last ten minutes. With the second quarter firmly in the rearview, Stanford closed out the game with a dominant fourth period outscoring the visitors 20-13 to end the game with a 30-point win margin. Brink and junior forward Kiki Iriafen went to work for the Cardinal in that time and finished as the game’s top two scorers.

“People just don’t have an answer with Cam and Kiki in there,” VanDerveer said of her two standouts.

Top performers

Brink led all scorers with 23 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. Iriafen contributed 13 points and seven rebounds. Freshman forward Nunu Agara scored in double figures with 10 points and corralled four rebounds while junior forward Brooke Demetre also had 10 points.
For Portland, senior guard Emme Shearer led her team with 12 points.

Up next

Stanford has three more games before the end of the year and is out of classes for over three weeks. Next up for the Cardinal is a home contest against UC Davis on Dec. 20. The team heads across the Bay to take on Pac-12 rival California on Dec. 31. New Year’s Eve at Maples Pavilion has the home team hosting the MEAC’s Morgan State. The HBUC institution will make a cross-country trip from Baltimore to play Stanford.

Portland heads home to play Willamette on Dec. 17 and take on in-town rival Portland State on Dec. 20. The Pilots begin West Coast Conference play against No. 21 Gonzaga on Jan. 4.

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