There are plenty of talented freshmen in the Pac-12 Conference this season and Stanford's Kaylee Johnson has risen to the top of the list. Need a couple of free throws in overtime? No problem. Rebounds? She's one of the best in the nation.
Amber Orrange scored 19 points and Bonnie Samuelson added 18, including a clutch 3-pointer late in regulation, and the 15th-ranked Cardinal women's basketball survived a scare in Pullman on Sunday, beating host Washington State, 86-76, to remain undefeated in conference play.
Lili Thompson scored all 13 of her points after halftime as six players reached double figures for Stanford, which won its sixth straight since a loss at Tennessee. Taylor Greenfield added 11 points and Briana Roberson had 10, including an 8 of 8 effort from the foul line.
Johnson scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, her third double-double. It was also the eighth time this year she's reached double figures in rebounding.
She scored four points, including the two free throws that gave the Cardinal the lead for good, and had four rebounds in the overtime period.
Johnson has given Stanford an inside presence that many felt went missing with the graduation of Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef. She's responded with Ogwumike-like numbers as far as rebounding.
Ogwumike was the last freshman to lead the Cardinal in rebounding with 281. Johnson has 174 after 16 games, which is roughly half the season.
Johnson helped Stanford avoid losing to the Cougars for the first time ever. The Cardinal has won 58 straight against Washington State dating to 1983.
The Cougars led by as many as 11 points in the second half before Orrange, Thompson and Samuelson brought the Cardinal back from the brink.
Tia Presley gave the Cougars a 52-41 lead with 13:24 remaining to play. Stanford patiently chipped away at Washington State, taking a 66-65 edge on a pair of Samuelson free throws.
Samuelson hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation to put Stanford ahead by two but Lia Galdeira tied the game with two seconds remaining.
Johnson's two free throws put the Cardinal up, 73-71, and Orrange followed with a basket and Stanford took over in overtime.
Louise Brown did a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the first half to give the Cougars a 33-28 lead at halftime.