Sports

Orrange, Thompson give VanDerveer some hoops comfort

 

Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer learned the hard way that her playing days are all but over. The 61-year-old Hall of Fame coach sustained a broken bone in her left forearm by taking a charge from 6-foot-5 center Tess Picknell during a practice on New Year's Eve.

"I'm so mad at myself," VanDerveer told The Associated Press. "I'm too old to be doing this."

The 15th-ranked Cardinal has helped cheer her up, winning its fourth straight game by beating visiting Utah, 55-44, in Pac-12 Conference action on Monday night.

Stanford (2-0, 10-4) travels to Seattle for an early season showdown with Washington on Friday. The 7 p.m. contest will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

Washington was one of three teams to beat the Cardinal last year, earning an 87-82 win in Seattle in front of 2,797 fans. The Huskies expect a larger turnout for this weekend's contest. Stanford has won 14 of the past 15 played against Washington.

Amber Orrange scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Cardinal past Utah. She has scored 43 points on 16-of-33 shooting in her past two games after producing 38 points on 14-of-43 shooting her previous five games combined.

"I don't think I've ever taken this many shots before," Orrange said. "I'm just looking to shoot more. When I missed before, I'd shy away from shooting. Now I will still shoot if I have an open look."

Lili Thompson added 14 points and survived a scary moment after trying to take a charge with 5:40 remaining to play in the game. She was slow to get up and never returned to the game.

"I didn't get the call," Thompson said. "She just knocked the air out of me."

Stanford was up by 10 at the time and extended its lead to 55-40 with 1:38 left before the Utes scored the game's final four points.

"It was a very physical game and it was hard for us to get into a flow," VanDerveer said. "In the second half, things opened up a little more and Amber and Lili did a good job of getting into the paint and getting to the foul line."

Neither team seemed to be going anywhere in the first half. Utah was 6 of 29 for 20.7 percent and did not attempt a free throw. Stanford wasn't much better at 8 of 30 for 26.7 percent and four-free throw attempts.

The Cardinal, which led 20-14 at halftime, was 10 of 20 from the field in the second half. Stanford attempted a season-low eight 3-pointers.

Bonnie Samuelson recorded a career-high seven rebounds, matching Orrange and freshman Kaylee Johnson for team best.

The two teams combined for 14 blocked shots, with Johnson blocking four and freshman Brittany McPhee adding three.

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