Defense propels women’s basketball over Colorado

Feb. 13, 2022, 7:17 p.m.

No. 2 Stanford women’s basketball (21-3, 12-0 Pac-12) overcame a first-half deficit to defeat Colorado (16-7, 5-7 Pac-12) 63-46 on Sunday at Maples Pavilion. With this victory over the Buffaloes, the Cardinal extended their winning streak to 13 games.

Offensive miscues hurt both teams early in the contest, and the score sat at just 6-5 about five minutes into the game. The two teams combined for 12 turnovers in the quarter.

However, both sides found their footing to close the period. A pair of 3-pointers from Colorado forward Mya Hollingshed and two buckets from junior guard Hannah Jump kickstarted both offenses.

The Cardinal ended the first with a 20-14 lead.

Despite the second quarter opening with a 3-pointer from Jump, the period belonged to Colorado. The Buffaloes put together a 9-0 run, largely thanks to four Cardinal turnovers during that span.

Sophomore forward Cameron Brink responded with a layup to stop the run, but Colorado went on to take its first lead of the contest at 30-29. The Buffaloes ended the half with a 1-point advantage.

To start the second half, defensive grit from both teams prevented any scoring for the first two and a half minutes.

The two teams exchanged buckets to break the stalemate before a pair of free throws from Brink knotted the score at 33. Then, a 3-pointer from senior guard Lexie Hull gave the Cardinal a 36-33 lead.

Stanford did not look back, holding on to the lead for the rest of the game.

“Colorado came in with probably the number one defense in the league,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer. “But we really played great defense today.”

The fourth quarter’s story was more of the same, as the Cardinal forced Colorado to shoot just 3-of-16 from the field. Their performance on one end of the court propelled their play on the other end.

Stanford’s defense allowed only 5 points in the third quarter, holding the Buffaloes to a mere 2-for-15 shooting from the field. The Cardinal closed the period on a 12-2 run, giving them a 43-35 edge entering the final frame.

“We got out in transition,” VanDerveer said. “I thought our defense led to offense.”

Stanford closed on an 18-5 run to seal the deal, which included a showtime-esque 3-pointer in transition from Hull. 

Sunday’s contest concluded Stanford’s three-game homestand. Up next, the Cardinal will head north to face off against Oregon State and Oregon.

Tipoff against the Beavers is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT in Corvallis, Ore.

Zach Zafran is the managing editor of the sports section. He is a sophomore from the Bay Area, who is majoring in Mathematical and Computational Science. Zach has previous experience reporting and writing with SFGATE, and you can find him around campus wearing swim trunks no matter the weather. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachZafran and contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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