Stanford has big second half to top Washington 71-59, win No. 1,200 for Tara VanDerveer

Jan. 7, 2024 - Stanford, Calif. - Stanford's Kiki Iriafen and Washington's Hannah Stines under the basket. Photo © Baranduin Briggs, all rights reserved.
Jan. 7, 2024 – Stanford, Calif. – Stanford’s Kiki Iriafen and Washington’s Hannah Stines under the basket. Photo © Baranduin Briggs, all rights reserved.

STANFORD, Calif. — No. 8 Stanford (14-1, 3-0 Pac-12) used a second-half surge to top Washington (11-3, 1-2) Sunday afternoon at Maples Pavilion. The win also gave Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer win No. 1200 putting her just three victories away from passing Mike Krzyzewski (1,202) to become the winningest coach in college basketball history (women’s or men’s).

First quarter back and forth

Stanford got off to a fast start with a 6-0 run with junior forward Kiki Iriafen making two layups to score the game’s first four points. That advantage was short-lived as Washington quickly caught up. Led by Dalayah Daniels, the Huskies went on a 7-0 run to overcome a six-point deficit and take the lead, 8-6 at 6:00 in the first quarter.

Senior forward Cameron Brink was key in helping the Stanford team come out ahead after a back-and-forth contest in the first quarter. A second-chance layup from freshman forward Nunu Agara gave the home team the edge at the end of the period, 15-13.

Unfortunately for the Cardinal, Brink finished the first quarter with two fouls. She was subbed out at 1:33 in the first quarter and was the team’s leading scorer, leading rebounder, and career-leader in blocked shots. and didn’t play at all in the second period.

No Brink, no problem

Washington tied the game up at the outset of the second quarter with a pullup jumper from senior forward Lauren Schwartz. Stanford regained the lead with a free throw from Iriafen. Freshman forward Nunu Agara had a breakout quarter, leading her team even with the absence of Brink with eight points. Agara was effective on both ends of the court.

“I like how Nunu battled in there,” VanDerveer said when commenting on the freshman’s play in the second frame. “One time she got like two or three of her own rebounds….Nunu is not a freshman….That girl is so poised. She’s so dependable out there.”

It was a good sign for the Cardinal to hold off a talented and unrelenting Huskies squad without Brink.

“To get other people stepping up I think is really important and they did it tonight,” VanDerveer added.

Tight game at the break but a dominant finish

At the half, Stanford led Washington 35-30. Iriafen led all scorers with 12 points plus 4 rebounds. Agara was also in double figures with 10 points and along with four rebounds. Both teams shot 43% from the field overall in the first half (50% each in the second quarter).

Stanford took control of the game in the third quarter as Brink was back in the lineup. And along with Iriafen and graduate student guard Hannah Jump, they helped the Cardinal outscore the Huskies 25-14 in ten minutes. Jump, who didn’t score at all in the first half, had 13 in the third period. Her shots came from beyond the arc as she made 4-of-4 treys. Brink’s rebounding prowess was also a factor; she corralled five in the quarter.

Brink finished strong in the fourth quarter with seven points and five rebounds in the last ten minutes. She finished with a double-double of 16 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Iriafen led in scoring with 19 points along with nine rebounds. Jump contributed 13 points and three rebounds. Agara had 12 points and four rebounds.

“I’m really proud of our team,” VanDerveer commented about her squad. “Washington has a very talented team. They’re a very well-coached team. They have great shooters on their team. I think our team really stepped up defensively.”

Dalayah Daniels paced Washington with 15 points, above her season average of 11.5 points per game. Three other Huskies were in double figures. Elle Ladine (12 points, five rebounds); Sayvia Sellers (11 points); and Schwartz (10 points, four assists).

Washington leave the Bay Area with two losses after dropping a contest to California on Friday. They return home to face in-state rival on Monday, Jan. 14 for the second game of the

Huskies head coach Tina Langley congratulated VanDerveer on the 1,200th win postgame and complimented the Cardinal.

“I want to congratulate Tara on 1,200 wins,” Langley said. “Incredible, obviously being three away from Coach K. I just think they’re an incredibly coached team, very disciplined. They do what they do really well. And the things that they do that hurt us the most were the way they rebounded the ball, and the way they share it without over dribbling.”

Stanford goes on the road to face two ranked teams. The Cardinal play at Utah on Jan. 12 and Colorado on Jan. 14.

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