Women’s basketball wins Gulf Coast Showcase behind strong performances from Thompson

Dec. 1, 2015, 4:15 a.m.

No. 13 Stanford women’s basketball (6-1) earned a trio of hard-fought wins over Missouri State (3-4), Dayton (5-1) and Purdue (5-1) this weekend when it participated in and won the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida.

Junior guard Lili Thompson (center) averaged just over 20 points during the three games of the Gulf Coast Showcase, leading the team with 19 (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)
Junior guard Lili Thompson (center) averaged just over 20 points during the three games of the Gulf Coast Showcase. Overall, she leads the team with 19.3 points per game through the season’s first seven games.
(RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

The tournament featured some more exceptional play from junior guard Lili Thompson, who averaged just over 20 points in the three games, earning her the honor of Pac-12 Player of the Week.

While Stanford earned a solid 17-point victory in its first game, Dayton and Purdue put up more of a fight: The team faced a 12-point deficit against the Flyers before coming back to win by eight, while it would take an overtime period for the Cardinal to beat the Boilermakers for the tournament title.

Against Missouri State, the Cardinal got out to a 22-16 lead in the first quarter and from there didn’t turn back, going on a 20-3 run to start the second period and going up by as much as 23 before the Lady Bears cut down the lead to 14 at halftime.

The Lady Bears would bring it within 13 in the fourth quarter, but a dry shooting spell helped Stanford extend its lead, keeping the game well out of reach.

Stanford’s strongest asset in the matchup was its 3-point shooting, as the team shot 45.5 percent, including five from junior guard Karlie Samuelson and four from junior guard Briana Roberson.

Saturday’s game was a completely different story, as Stanford had to battle back from being down the entire first quarter and by 12 in the second. Some layups from junior forward Erica McCall and baskets from freshman forward Alanna Smith, Thompson and sophomore guard Brittany McPhee reduced Dayton’s lead to 7, while that, coupled with a 18-5 run in the third quarter, helped Stanford get back on top. While Dayton would gain a 1-point lead going into the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer from Thompson early in the final period would give Stanford the lead for the rest of the game.

The win also featured a breakout performance from Smith, who went 6-of-8 from 3-point land — helping the team shoot 45.8 percent overall from that range — and notched a career-high 22 points.

Stepping up for Stanford in the next and final game of the tournament was Roberson, who set a new career-high with 26 points to help Stanford counteract a Purdue comeback.

Stanford led for the entirety of the first half — and by as much as 8 — but the Boilermakers gained the lead at the 8:05 mark in the third quarter. The rest of the period featured six lead changes as the teams battled for the lead, while the fourth quarter was similarly close, with Stanford maintaining a slight 15-14 edge in points.

The game, however, was forced into overtime, as Stanford’s 4-point lead with 2:49 to play turned into a 2-point Purdue advantage. Roberson was able to tie the game with two free throws with 33 seconds left, sending the game into a five-minute overtime.

Purdue shot 53.8 percent on its three-point shooting in the second half, and throughout the game turned 13 Stanford turnovers into 16 points. 

The Cardinal dominated overtime, scoring 12 of the 18 points. Seven free throws between McCall and Roberson, as well as a 3-pointer from junior point Kailee Johnson, accounted for the team’s points and earned Stanford the 71-65 win.

Roberson had another solid outting that night, going 7-of-12 field, including 5-of-6 behind arc, while Thompson added 17 points of her own, bringing her season average to 19.3 points per game.

Stanford will have a bit of a break to reflect upon its past seven games and get ready for the next leg of the season before next traveling to Austin, Texas, where it will face Texas on Dec. 13 at 10 a.m.

 

Contact Alexa Philippou at 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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