Sports

Thompson scores 30 in Stanford's victory over the Cougars

 

Lili Thompson took four shots in the first half and then she really got going in the second half.

Thompson scored a career-high 30 points to help the 16th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team beat stubborn Washington State, 69-52, in Maples Pavilion in a Pac-12 Conference game that was much closer than the final score indicates.

The Cardinal (17-5, 7-3 Pac-12) rallied from a first-half deficit and never led by more than 10 points until the final two minutes.

The Cougars were within 58-52 with 3:48 remaining to play following a pair of free throws but then missed their last eight shots.

Thompson hit three straight 3-pointers in the final three minutes to help extend the lead as Stanford improved to 60-0 all-time (30-0 at home) against Washington State.

"I just try to keep myself consistent mentally," Thompson said. "I know my teammates have confidence in me. I try to slow down and take good shots."

Thompson matched her career-high in made field goals, which she established in her last game against the Huskies. She went a combined 22-of-35 in the past two games. Thompson was 20-of-67 in the previous five games.

Kaylee Johnson, who recorded a game-high 19 rebounds, somehow managed to grab an offensive rebound, amid three Washington State players, with just over two minutes to go, and put it back up as the Cardinal scored the game's final 11 points.

"A missed shot is kind of like a pass to her," Thompson said. "She makes us more confident in taking shots."

Erica McCall recorded her 12th double-double of the season, collecting 14 rebounds to go with 11 points. Stanford out-boarded the Cougars, 46-26.

"Kaylee and Erica gives us a solid presence down low," Thompson said. "When defenders close on one of them, it opens the perimeter."

Thompson, who scored 17 of her 27 points against Washington (on Friday) in the first quarter, was 9-of-11, including 5-of-5 from long range, and netted 24 points in the second half against the Cougars. Washington State was 8-of-27, 2-of-8 from long range, and scored 25 points in the second half.

"We had people knock down shots and in the second half we did a better job of taking care of the ball," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "People worked hard defensively. Lili gave a great effort on both ends."

Karlie Samuelson added 10 points for Stanford, which hosts California on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

"We'll need different people to step up," VanDerveer said. "We don't worry about records. That's a big, athletic team. We still have a lot of work to do."

Thompson hit her first three shots of the third quarter, two of them long range, and the Cardinal reestablished itself, using an 11-0 run to open a 39-30 edge with 5:48 to go in the period.

Stanford missed its first eight shots from the field but stayed in the game thanks to a 9-of-10 effort from the foul line.

Brittany McPhee came off the bench to score Stanford's first points. McPhee, who made all four of her free throws, scored all nine of her points in the first half.

Thompson finally snapped the shooting drought with a short jumper at 28.3 of the first quarter. The Cougars, who led 18-9 at one point, shot 41.2 percent from the floor in the first 10 minutes while the Cardinal shot 11.1 percent.

Stanford clamped down on the Cougars in the second quarter, edging ahead 19-18 on a McPhee 3-pointer. Washington State missed six, allowing the Cardinal to erase the early deficit.

Mariah Cooks hit a 3-pointer in the final three seconds to give the Cougars a 27-25 halftime advantage.

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