No. 10 women’s basketball loses first season-opener since 2000

Nov. 13, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

No. 10 Stanford women’s basketball (0-2) dropped both its season-opening games this weekend in Columbus. The Cardinal first fell to the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1) before losing to the top-ranked UConn Huskies (1-0) 78-53 on Sunday.

Both the Buckeyes and the Huskies used a strong quarter to jump ahead. Ohio State outscored Stanford 24-14 in the third quarter, while UConn put up 23 points to Stanford’s four in the second period.

“This was a really tough start, but I hope our team will learn from it and get better,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer.

Despite two losses to start the season, the weekend saw two Stanford players score above 20 points. While senior Brittany McPhee put up 24 points in the loss to Ohio State, sophomore Dijonai Carrington scored a career-high 21 points against UConn. Junior Alanna Smith was two points shy of a double-double against the Huskies, as she grabbed 10 boards during the game.

“We got some great effort from Brit [McPhee],” said VanDerveer after the game on Friday.

“[Carrington] stepped up, and it was really exciting to see her play like this,” VanDerveer later added on Sunday.

On Friday, the Cardinal were outmatched on the glass, as the Buckeyes grabbed 61 rebounds to Stanford’s 41. In particular, Stephanie Mavunga tallied a career-high 26 rebounds for the Buckeyes. Throughout the night, Mavunga had 14 of her team’s 28 offensive boards, topping on her own the Cardinal’s nine offensive rebounds. In addition, Kelsey Mitchell scored 30 points for the Buckeyes.

“Obviously we have to rebound better,” said VanDerveer.

On offense, the Cardinal committed 15 turnovers, while attempting 19 fewer shots than their counterparts. That, combined with 37% shooting from the field, was nowhere near enough to climb back from a hole that got as big as 23 points.

On Sunday, UConn showed why it was the top contender in the nation, as the Huskies dominated the game from start to finish. The Huskies used a 14-0 run in the first quarter and a strong second period to build a lead that climaxed at 42 points near halftime.

Defensively, Stanford allowed a 51% shooting performance from UConn, and Huskie sophomore Crystal Dangerfield knocked down six of her seven attempts from distance.

The Cardinal also struggled offensively, shooting 5-for-31 in the first half while committing 15 turnovers. The Huskies capitalized on those errors to score 23 points to four in the second quarter.

Stanford needs to bounce back at home this Friday when it hosts UC Riverside.


Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’

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