A stable victory: women’s basketball defeats Mustangs

Nov. 17, 2022, 3:15 p.m.

On Wednesday night on the Farm, No. 2 Stanford women’s basketball (5-0, 0-0 Pac-12) triumphed over Cal Poly (1-2, 0-0 Big West), 80-43.

A history of eight straight victories against the Mustangs, coupled with an undefeated season thus far, gave Stanford momentum entering this match.

Cal Poly won the jump ball to start the game. The score stayed tight for the first five minutes before Stanford flipped the switch. With four minutes left in the first quarter, senior guard Hannah Jump made her first of many triples during the contest. Jump and the Cardinal kept steady over the next five minutes — playing aggressively without committing team fouls or offensive turnovers — forcing a 23-8 lead over the Mustangs.

In the second quarter, Cal Poly kept rotating lineups in an effort to get its players more playing time and to attack the Cardinal. After putting up six points, the Mustangs benched their entire lineup to try and swing momentum in their favor. In response, head coach Tara VanDerveer also subbed out most of her starting five, leaving only Jump in the game. By halftime, Stanford was up 42-17.

“I was purposely looking at a lot of different combinations and trying to figure out who we can trust in the big game situations,” VanDerveer said in response to a query about various players seeing little playtime.

The Mustangs started the second half by scoring first. However, this was quickly followed by a Jump 3-pointer. The coordination of the Cardinal through assists and steals permitted a Jump-special: three scores from beyond the arc in less than one minute. After Jump’s stellar performance, the Cardinal ended the quarter on top 62-33. Cal Poly put up 16 points for their highest quarter total of the game, only falling four short of Stanford’s quarter total.

The final quarter began with another Mustang sub-out extravaganza. Freshman center Lauren Betts dominated the quarter, scoring nine of Stanford’s 18 points. Despite being triple-guarded every possession, she scored three lay-ups and earned herself three made free throws for the trouble. After some garbage time points, the game ended with Stanford on top 80-43.

Jump was a star in this game, leading the team with 24 points from beyond the arc. Betts followed her with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Looking forward to this weekend’s match against No. 1 South Carolina (2-0, 0-0 SEC),  Stanford will need to fine-tune all mistakes and bring its A-game to dish out another defeat.

“We played very well [against South Carolina], but we had a whole different team,” VanDerveer said. “I think it should give people confidence. We did very well there, but we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight.”

Next up, the Cardinal is at home seeking revenge against the Gamecocks — a battle between the top two teams in the country. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. PT.

Hawe is a contributing writer for the sports section.

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