No. 6 Stanford (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) defeated Cal Poly (1-4, 0-0 Large West) 86-32 in a routine win at Maples Pavilion Thursday night time. Head coach Tara VanDerveer entrusted her youthful stars with a large function within the sport, which was a foregone victory after just one quarter.
However Stanford’s dominance was not instantly obvious from tip-off. The Mustangs began brightly and proved unintimidated by Stanford’s imposing starters. Guard Annika Shah — simply five-foot-three — sunk a few early pictures amid a crowd of Cardinal fingers, as Cal Poly stored tempo with Stanford’s scoring within the opening minutes. The Cardinal’s first factors of the night time got here from a 3 by sophomore guard Talana Lepolo, who additionally chipped in with a team-high 4 assists.
The reigning NCAA defensive participant of the 12 months, senior ahead Cameron Brink secured her first block early to offset prior sensible ball motion by the Mustangs. Brink’s accomplice in crime underneath the basket, junior ahead Kiki Iriafen, was equally troublesome on protection, intercepting a cross towards midcourt and scoring untroubled on the quick break.
Junior guard Elena Bosgana — a brand new starter coming into the 2023-24 season — justified her starter designation early by draining an open three on one finish, earlier than profitable a leap ball for Stanford on the defensive finish.
“My confidence is nice proper now,” Bosgana stated. “I’m simply attempting to do my finest.”
After two missed pictures on consecutive possessions for Cal Poly, Lepolo delivered a ravishing help for graduate guard Hannah Leap, whose darting run and layup gave Stanford a 13-8 lead and evoked a rapturous spherical of applause from the Maples crowd.
Nothing appeared to be working for the Mustangs after their early flurry of factors: a mixture of missed pictures and staunch Cardinal protection left them scoreless for the rest of the quarter. Freshman ahead Courtney Ogden scored from deep because the quarter ended 22-8 in Stanford’s favor.
Within the second quarter, Stanford grew much more dominant because the Mustangs’ scoreless streak continued. Leap’s first three level try rimmed out, on what was a quiet night time for the sharp shooter, who has made solely three of her signature three-pointers to open the season. Final season, the Cardinal struggled in video games the place Leap’s deep shot wasn’t in sync, however tonight, others have been wanting to step up. Harriel, Ogden and freshman guard Chloe Clardy shared 16 three-point makes an attempt, with Harriel changing 4 of six to amass a career-high of 14 factors.
“My function has undoubtedly modified [from] earlier years,” Harriel famous. “It’s all about trusting the method, doing regardless of the crew wants me to do.”
Bosgana was then fouled taking a deep shot, and she or he transformed all three free throws to take Stanford’s level tally above 50.
Regardless of the lopsided rating, Stanford continued to entertain its dwelling crowd. Within the closing play of the half, Clardy stole the ball, drove up the courtroom, drew within the defender and assisted Harriel. At halftime, Stanford led 53-15.
Stanford’s massive lead allowed VanDerveer to unfold minutes throughout the crew. The freshmen appeared on the courtroom collectively usually — ahead Nunu Agara rebounding, Ogden capturing from deep and Clardy pulling the strings whereas Lepolo rested.
Cal Poly, in the meantime, opened the second half hoping to duplicate the swift ball motion which had paid dividends on the sport’s outset. Poor perimeter capturing was their downfall, although, as they adopted up a 1-8 report from deep within the first half with consecutive misses early within the second.
The Mustangs have been aggressive initially, and pissed off all through, a risky combine which gifted the Cardinal frequent journeys to the free throw line. Against this, Stanford didn’t concede a single free throw, a testomony to their defensive maturity. On the finish of the third quarter, Stanford led 73-24.
Though the season is younger, VanDerveer has been capable of make the most of completely different mixtures of gamers whereas retaining her starters contemporary, getting your entire roster minutes in each sport. Harriel embraced a bigger function as she drained a pair of three-pointers and calmly led a much less skilled group on the ground within the sport’s closing minutes.
“Jzaniya [Harriel] did a terrific job on the ground… three steals too,” VanDerveer stated. “[She was] knocking her threes down.”
The Mustangs failed to attain on their closing possession, permitting Harriel to dribble out the clock. The Cardinal gained 86-32. Bosgana led the crew with 15 factors, whereas three others amassed double digits: Harriel with 14, Iriafen with 13 and Ogden with 10.
More durable checks are but to come back, however VanDerveer was happy with her crew’s defensive show: “We’ve labored actually exhausting on our protection. We’re not nearly Cam [Brink] blocking pictures.”
Subsequent up, Stanford will get a sneak preview of life within the ACC, internet hosting soon-to-be convention rivals Duke (3-1, 0-0 ACC), in what needs to be a sterner check than tonight’s contest. Tip off is scheduled for 12 p.m. PT on Sunday at Maples Pavilion.