Women’s basketball earns home sweep of USC, UCLA

Feb. 17, 2015, 12:58 a.m.

After dropping two conference games against the Arizona schools, No. 19 Stanford women’s basketball (19-7, 11-3 Pac-12) got back on track with a decisive 79-60 win against the USC Trojans on Friday and a 68-50 win over UCLA on Sunday.

“I think this in some ways might have been our most important game of the season,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer of Friday’s matchup, “in that we come back and kind of reestablish to ourselves what kind of team we are.”

#41 Bonnie Samuelson
Senior Bonnie Samuelson was huge for Stanford last weekend, putting up 12 points against USC and 24 against UCLA. (LAUREN DYER/The Stanford Daily)

Against both the Trojans and Bruins, VanDerveer started redshirt junior guard Jasmine Camp and senior forward Erica Payne, marking the team’s sixth different starting lineup of the season. Camp and Payne, who had seen limited minutes this season, each notched a basket early in the game in their combined 14 minutes.

“I started Jasmine and Erica because I knew that I could totally depend on them to, number one, talk on the floor and I knew they would give an absolute A+ effort,” VanDerveer said.

“[I’m] happy for the girls that did get to start. They work hard every day in practice and they talk and they give effort and energy,” said sophomore guard Lili Thompson, who despite usually starting for the Card, did not start in Friday’s matchup.

The Trojans got off to a quick 10-5 lead off of five points by Brianna Barrett before senior point guard Amber Orrange put the Card up 17-16 with 12:09 left in the half, a lead that the team would not relinquish for the rest of the game.

While sophomore guard Briana Roberson and senior forward Bonnie Samuelson combined for half of the Card’s first-half points, seven other Stanford players managed to get on the scoreboard before the intermission.

After closing out the first half on a 7-2 run, the Card allowed the Trojans to crawl back within five right after halftime before six consecutive points by Thompson and a jumper from Orrange brought Stanford’s lead back into the double digits.

“We didn’t want to be timid and play not to lose,” Thompson said. “We wanted to come out and play to win and just be aggressive.”

Stanford’s success can be attributed to its impressive shooting (55.2 percent on the night, including 58.6 percent in the second half) as well as its shutdown defense, which limited USC to 24-of-64 on shooting (38 percent) and forced 12 turnovers.

Four Cardinal players in Thompson (14), Orrange (13), Roberson (13) and Bonnie Samuelson (12) scored double-digit points, bringing Stanford’s record when four or more players score 10-plus points to 10-0.

Against the Bruins on Sunday, the Samuelson sisters made it rain at Maples, helping the Cardinal turn an early seven-point deficit into a lead that peaked at 21 for the Card. Bonnie Samuelson scored a career-high eight 3-pointers, which accounted for all of her 24 points, while sophomore guard Karlie Samuelson had 14 points off of four makes from downtown.

The elder Samuelson’s eight threes ties for the third most in single-game history for the program.

“There was something in the Samuelson water tonight,” VanDerveer said. “Bonnie and Karlie really came out to play.”

At the start of both halves, UCLA came out as the aggressors, out-rebounding the Card, pushing the pace of the game and guarding the perimeter tightly.

Bonnie Samuelson, however, turned the game around for the Card when she drained three triples on three straight Cardinal possessions in the span of 90 seconds to give her team a 26-19 lead with 5:34 left in the opening half.

From that point on, the Bruins would trail the Card throughout despite forcing several turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half. Contributions from Thompson in scoring (12 points) and freshman forward Kaylee Johnson in rebounding (11) solidified the win for the Cardinal.

With a weekend sweep of the LA schools under their belt, the Cardinal now look towards Bay Area rival Cal on Wednesday at Haas Pavilion. Tipoff against the Golden Bears is at 7 p.m.

Contact Ashley Westhem and Alexa Philippou at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu and aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Alexa Philippou '18 is a political science major and a former Managing Editor of The Daily's sports section. She switched from the sports section to news her junior year, where she has worked on the university/local beat since. Being from Baltimore, she is a die-hard Ravens and Orioles fan who cried when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. To contact Alexa, please email her at aphil723 'at' stanford.edu.

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