On the road in Oregon this weekend, No. 24 Stanford women’s basketball (16-8, 10-2 Pac-12) scored two huge upsets and is now tied for first in Pac-12 standings. The Cardinal got started with a 60-57 win at No. 16 Oregon State (17-6, 8-4) before handing No. 6 Oregon (21-4, 10-2) its first home loss of the season by a score of 78-65 on Sunday.
On Friday night, sophomore DiJonai Carrington was one of the game heroes as she stole a Beaver inbound pass with only a few seconds left in regulation to seal the team’s three-point upset. Then against Oregon, senior Brittany McPhee dropped a career-high 33 points on the Ducks en route to the team’s biggest upset of the season.
“The basket got really big for Brit [McPhee],” head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “Credit to how hard she played, her resilience, her determination. A lot of our success is because she really put the team on her back.”
Carrington’s defensive save mirrored the team’s overall defensive performance in the game. Stanford held the Beavers to six-of-22 shooting from long distance while allowing Oregon State to shoot only 40 percent from the field. Before Friday’s showdown, the Beavers were first in the nation in three-point percentage and led the Pac-12 in shooting from the field.
Despite Carrington holding the story of the night, McPhee had 18 points and 12 boards for the double-double, and Kiana Williams was money in the mid-range off screens from senior Kaylee Johnson. The freshman finished with 14 points, and junior Alanna Smith added 11 points and two very important offensive boards down the stretch.
Late in the fourth, with the Cardinal up by two, Smith grabbed the rebound off a missed free-throw by fellow junior Marta Sniezek and forced the Beavers to foul McPhee. The senior made one of two from the stripe, and then Carrington came up with her game-sealing steal.
Stanford had started the game on an 11-0 run before Oregon State answered with an 8-0 run of its own. The Beavers were able to hold the Cardinal to a mere seven points in the second frame to cut their deficit by only one point at halftime. Stanford had a 17-2 offensive spurt in the third quarter and was able to prevent Oregon State from coming back.
After their win in Corvallis, the Cardinal traveled to Eugene for the second part of what promised to be a tough test for the team. McPhee’s career-high led the team, but Williams and Smith each contributed 14 points in the upset.
The senior’s career night was even more impressive as she scored 31 of her 33 in the second half and scored the Cardinal’s last 19 points of the game as Stanford snapped Oregon’s 14-home-game winning streak.
While the two teams traded baskets in the first quarter, the Ducks started to pull away in the second. Oregon outscored Stanford 26-16 throughout the second quarter, earning its largest lead of the game, 11 points, right out of the locker room. McPhee’s first outburst spurred a 20-7 Cardinal run as the team claimed the lead of this contest. The senior scored 12 of the team’s 20 during that span.
Leading by three heading into the final quarter, the Cardinal continued to pressure the Ducks on defense. Oregon claimed 13 second chance points, all of which in the first half, and was held to a mere 25 percent shooting in the last period of the game.
Stanford turned defense into offense as it outscored Oregon 21-11 in the fourth quarter while holding the Ducks scoreless for the last five minutes of the game. During that span, the Cardinal scored 11 points — all of which came from McPhee — to seal the upset.
“We want to win the Pac-12,” VanDerveer said. “We knew we had to come through Oregon and win it. I am extremely proud of our team for coming out on the road and winning this.”
The team now heads home for games against Utah on Friday and Colorado on Sunday. The games will be broadcasted on Stanford Live Stream and Pac-12 Networks, respectively.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.