No. 16 Stanford women’s basketball (5-4) fell to a No. 9 Baylor (7-1) team that was better in every aspect of the game. The Bears outscored the Cardinal 81-57 behind 28 points from Kalani Brown and double-doubles from Lauren Cox and Kristy Wallace.
Baylor started the game with a 9-0 run en route to a 25-8 first quarter and Stanford was never able to cut into an always extending lead.
“Baylor has a very experienced, very well coached, big and very talented team,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “That was a very big test for us, but I think besides the first quarter where we really got buried we stayed with them.”
Shooting only 29 percent from the field on the night, the Cardinal still had three players — junior Shannon Coffee (14), Alanna Smith (11) and freshman Kiana Williams (13) — score in double digits. Most notably, 12 of Coffee’s 14 off the bench came from behind the arc, and Williams was the one that got the Cardinal going as she scored the team’s first 10 points.
“I thought Kiana [Williams] really gave us a spark early,” VanDerveer said. “I also thought Shannon Coffee did a really nice job for us. That kept us going a little bit.”
For the Bears, Brown dominated inside the arc as she buried 12 of her 16 shot attempts, leading her team to a 54-18 advantage in points in the paint. Meanwhile, Cox had 15 points and as many rebounds while Wallace added 15 points and 10 boards.
“We had no answer for Brown, she pretty much had her way there,” VanDerveer said. “We didn’t defend her the way we wanted and had talked about.”
After setting a school record in three-pointers in one half a few days ago, Stanford wasn’t too hot from downtown in Texas, going 10-for-26 in a 26 percent shooting performance.
Baylor outrebounded Stanford, which was playing without senior Brittany McPhee for the fifth straight game, 55-39.
“You’ve gotta rebound, you’ve gotta know game plans,” VanDerveer said. “It’s really hard and challenging, and it’s become more challenging without our leading scorer.”
“We have a really young team that’s just learning how to play, and this early season has been baptism by fire,” VanDerveer added. “We’ve been beaten by a clearly better team and we need to learn from this and have better shot selection.”
Stanford will have 13 days to regroup before returning home for a stretch of five games, the last two of which will be against Pac-12 teams. UNLV will be the first team to visit the farm on Dec. 16.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.