With the 2021-22 season officially underway, No. 3 Stanford women’s basketball (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) is set to host No. 25 Texas (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) for its second game of the season. With the two ranked teams coming off dominant performances in their respective openers, Sunday’s matchup at Maples Pavilion promises to be a showdown.
As the 2021 NCAA champions, Stanford has faced high expectations coming into the new season. Thus far, the Cardinal have defended their title with style.
Morgan State saw tough competition at Maples Pavilion on Thursday, as the Cardinal dominated the Bears 91-36. Stanford boasted a well-balanced offense with five players in double digits, but no player scoring more than 12 points. Junior forward Francesca Belibi led the team with 12 points and three assists, while senior guard Lexie Hull and junior guard Hannah Jump scored 11 apiece. On defense, sophomore forward Cameron Brink posted the strongest performance, with three rebounds, three blocks and a steal.
For the game, the Cardinal shot 58.2% from the floor and held Morgan State under 40 points. Stanford’s quick start against the Bears allowed head coach Tara VanDerveer to play 14 of the roster’s 17 players. The bench came up big, tallying 47 points for the game. Against Texas, the Cardinal will look to the bench for an offensive boost versus the Longhorns’ defense.
In its first game of the season, Texas trounced New Orleans 131-36 and came within four points of the program record for most points in a game. The victory came as a result of strength on both sides of the court.
On offense, five Texas players cracked double digits — the most notable of which was freshman guard Kyndall Hunter. In her collegiate debut, Hunter scored a game-high 27 points on 7-for-8 three-point shooting. Sophomore forward DeYona Gaston had eight rebounds, and freshman guard Rori Harmon led with eight assists. The team overall played tough defense, holding New Orleans to just 13 points at the half and fewer than 40 points for the game.
Come Sunday, spectators should expect to see a tense matchup play out. With both teams overmatching their opponents in their openers, Sunday’s contest will be their first real test.
Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. PT, and ESPN will stream the game nationwide. Following the game, Stanford will celebrate its 2021 NCAA Championship.