Sports

Thompson finds her groove in Stanford's hoops win over Utah

 

Lili Thompson broke out of a scoring slump and, in the process, helped the ninth-ranked Stanford women's basketball team snap out of its mini-scoring slump.

Thompson scored 16 points and three others reached double figures as the Cardinal rebounded from its lowest-scoring game in history to beat visiting Utah, 72-52, on Friday night in a Pac-12 Conference game.


Bri Roberson
Thompson, the team's leading scorer, made 7 of her previous 32 shots (21.9 percent) before hitting 7-of-16 against the Utes. She missed 16 consecutive 3-pointers, dating to the first quarter of the Cal State Bakersfield game, before hitting two in a row in the fourth quarter Friday night.

Thompson, who averages 15.5 points a game, was limited to 42 points (8.4) over her past five games combined.

She wasn't the only player in a slump over the past few games. Cardinal starters were a combined 12-of-50 (24 percent) from the floor in last weekend's games at Arizona and Arizona State.

Erica McCall scored 11 points and grabbed nine of her 11 rebounds in the second half, recording her ninth double-double of the season and her first since the game against the Roadrunners.

Brittany McPhee added 16 points and Karlie Samuelson had 13 for the Cardinal (2-1 in the Pac-12, 12-3 overall), which hosts Colorado at noon Sunday.

Bri Roberson, who started the previous 14 games, came off the bench to deliver a career-high eight assists against one turnover.

"People were focused. We got great contributions off the bench," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Bri and Brit play so much I don't think of them as substitutes."

Freshman guard Marta Sniezek replaced Roberson in the starting lineup. Sniezek started Stanford's first two games.

"It's just sticking to it," Roberson said. "We wanted to keep showing relentlessness on the court."

Utah's Emily Potter, who averages 17.3 points and 12.3 rebounds, was held to nine points and four rebounds.

"We did a good job on her," VanDerveer said. "One-on-one, she'll score. We were sending a double on her immediately."

Kailee Johnson, who played a career-high 37 minutes, proved valuable to keeping Potter in check.

"It doesn't show in her line but she was so smart in doubling on defense we couldn't take her out," VanDerveer said. "She knew when she should double and when she shouldn't."

Potter scored the opening basket of the third quarter to tie the game for the Utes before Stanford went on a 14-2 run to take control of the contest. McPhee scored six points during the run, with Thompson and McCall each adding four.

"The third quarter was a gut punch," Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. "Credit Stanford; they did a really good job of executing on both ends of the court."

Samuelson had a steal and layup at the buzzer to give the Cardinal a 55-40 lead going into the final quarter.

The Cardinal, looking more like the team that struggled Monday in the loss to Arizona State, missed six of their first eight shots and turned the ball over three times as Utah built a 10-4 edge.

Stanford, sparked by McPhee off the bench, responded with a 9-2 run to finish the first quarter. McPhee scored the final five points of the period.

The Cardinal eventually held a 30-28 advantage at halftime, just one point less than they scored the entire game against the Sun Devils.

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