Brittany McPhee and Alanna Smith helped the 11th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team defy all odds in the Pac-12 Conference opener Saturday in Tucson.
Normally, when the starters combine for all of 15 points on 27.7 shooting, the team would be in trouble. McPhee, who scored 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting and Smith, who added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, more than made up for it.
Stanford (1-0, 11-2 overall) takes its act to Tempe for a Monday extravaganza against No. 17 Arizona State, which topped California.
The Sun Devils beat the Cardinal twice during last year's conference season before Stanford returned the favor in the conference tournament.
Starters scored 12 of Stanford's first 15 points and the Cardinal opened a 15-3 advantage through the game's first 7:18.
McPhee, Smith and Marta Sniezek combined to score 21 of the next 22 points to give the Cardinal a 39-15 halftime edge. The trio combined to shoot 67 percent (14-of-21) from the field.
Kailee Johnson, who led the Cardinal with seven rebounds, was the only starter to score in the second half.
As one might expect, Stanford's bench outscored the Wildcats' bench by a 44-20 margin. Not even the presence of Eastside Prep grad Destiny Graham, who started for Arizona, was enough to make a difference.
Graham, making her second start, grabbed two rebounds and recorded a pair of assists in 20 minutes.
The Cardinal limited its fourth straight opponent to under 23 percent shooting, holding the Wildcats to 11-of-53 (.208).
Both Arizona's point total and field goal percentage were program lows for a Pac-12 game. The 34 points allowed also tied a Stanford record for fewest allowed in a Pac-12 game, matching the same total from a 60-34 win against Washington State on Feb. 8, 2007.
In its last five games, Stanford is allowing just 39.6 points on 23.1 percent shooting (70-of-303).
One game after holding Chattanooga to 30 points, the sixth-fewest for an opponent in program history, the Cardinal only surrendered 34 on Saturday, a total now tied for 10th in its record books.
Stanford had never before held back-to-back opponents to less than 35 points.
The Cardinal, which entered Saturday second in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.306), lowered that to 29.9 percent with its effort at Arizona.