Sports

McCall, Stanford puts the Utes on blocks in Pac-12 hoops win

 

Erica McCall scored 18 points, had nine rebounds and added a career-high seven blocks to help the 15th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team down host Utah, 72-54, in a Pac-12 Conference contest Sunday.

Kaylee Johnson added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinal (22-6, 12-4 Pac-12), which moved into a third-place tie with UCLA with two games to play. The Bruins, who own the tie-breaker over Stanford for tournament seeding purposes, lost at co-leader Oregon State.


Erica McCall
The victory also clinched one of the top four seeds and a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, which gets underway Thursday, March 3, in Seattle.

Stanford hosts the seventh-ranked Beavers on Friday at 8 p.m.

McCall moved into second place on Stanford single-game blocked shots list with Joslyn Tinkle, who had seven in games at UC Davis and South Carolina early in the 2012-13 season. Kristen Newlin holds the top mark with eight at Washington State on Jan. 2, 2004.

Johnson reached double figures for the fifth time in the last six games and freshman Marta Sniezek matched her season high with six assists, against one turnover, to go along with her 4-of-9 effort from the floor.

Stanford was up, 48-40, late in the third when it went on a 17-1 run over an eight-minute span to break the game open. Lili Thompson, who scored 10, put the finishing touches on the run midway through the fourth. The Utes missed 13 straight shots during the run and turned the ball over four times, while Stanford was 6-of-15.

Second in the nation in field goal percentage defense, Stanford delivered another stout effort, limiting Utah to 26.1 percent from the field, the ninth opponent it has held under 30 percent this season.

McCall, who moved onto the top 10 list for a single-season, helped Stanford record at least 10 blocks for the fifth time, a school record. The Cardinal entered play seventh in the nation in blocks per game.

McCall has blocked 56 shots this season. Only Jayne Appel, Chiney Ogwumike and Joslyn Tinkle have ever blocked more than 60 in a season.

A game after making 50 percent from deep, Stanford converted just one of its 11 3-point attempts, but held a 36-26 edge in the paint and a 22-6 edge in points off turnovers.

The Cardinal's eight turnovers tied a season-low and Stanford has scored more than 20 points off opponent miscues in each of its last four games.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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