Cardinal women beat Cal, make a bold move in Pac-12 hoops


Erica McCall and Lili Thompson stepped up in the second half and rallied the 15th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team past host California, 60-55, in another hotly contested game between the Bay Area rivals on Friday night.

Thompson missed all eight of her shots in the first half but recovered to score 10 in the second half. McCall recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany McPhee added 12, Kaylee Johnson had 11 and Kailee Johnson finished with 10.

Stanford (19-5, 9-3 Pac-12) returns home to host Arizona next Friday and conference co-leader Arizona State next Sunday.

"We have a weekend off. They've earned this by working hard," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I hope they can catch up on their homework and watch a movie. We'll focus on Arizona State and Arizona on Monday."

The Cardinal moved into sole possession of third place in the Pac-12, as Oregon State (10-1) topped Washington (7-4) and Arizona State (10-1) got by UCLA (8-3).

Thompson hit a 3-pointer to open the third quarter, sparking a 13-0 run to put the Cardinal ahead for the first time in the contest at 40-34. The Bears went scoreless for six minutes before ending the drought.

"At the beginning of the second half we had our big run," VanDerveer said. "Once we got ahead, we did a better job of hanging onto the ball. We knew what we had to do. The big number that stands out to me is four points in the third quarter."

The four points Cal scored in the third was the fewest by a Stanford opponent.

McCall scored 10 of her points and grabbed eight of her rebounds in the second half.

"They went at us from the get-go and we had to match their intensity," McCall said. "Rebounding, boxing out, was the key."

Stanford shot 50 percent from the field during the first quarter and then dipped to 26.3 (5-of-19) in the second quarter and trailed, 34-27, at the half.

Kailee Johnson hit her first five shots, setting a career-high for field goals made, and scored 10 of 12 points for the Cardinal during one stretch.

"She was huge for us," McCall said. "She has a great basketball IQ. That was huge part of the game."

The Johnson's combined for 19 points and seven rebounds in the first half and were a big reason Stanford was as close as it was at halftime.

Kailee Johnson, who set a career-high with 14 points in the loss at Oregon State, hit from the perimeter, drove to the basket and converted offensive rebounds. Kaylee also drove to the hoop in addition to continuing her stellar work under the basket.

"I'm sad and kind of angry in some ways but also hopeful and also disappointed. All these things in one," Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "This is the roller-coaster this team is taking me on and taking each other on. But there's a reason Stanford is where they are and we are where we are. They're a little bit better at the little things. I don't think they have wildly more talent than us. I don't think there's huge gaps. But when it's crunch time, they know how it get it done and we don't yet. But we will get there. I want us to get there next week."

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