Sports

Victory number 1,000 special in many ways for Stanford women

 

Up was down, water was wine, Erica McCall hit 3-pointers and Karlie Samuelson recorded a double-double.

Things were different Friday night and the 13th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team showed a whole lot of gumption in beating visiting No. 7 Oregon State, 76-54, in a Pac-12 Conference contest that knocked the Beavers out of a tie for first place.


Brittany McPhee
The victory, the program's 1,000th, certainly helps the Cardinal (23-6, 13-4 Pac-12) in several ways. There's positioning for one of the top seeds at next week's Pac-12 tournament and there's seeding for the NCAA tournament.

"It's historical," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said of the milestone victory. "It's not just an ordinary win. There was a lot of excitement. I'm glad it could come in a game like this."

Stanford hosts Oregon at 11 a.m. Sunday in the regular season finale with an opportunity to finish third in the conference. UCLA, currently tied with Stanford for third, holds the tie-breaker in the match-up, though the Bruins host conference leader Arizona State.

A combination of a Stanford win and a UCLA loss gives the Cardinal the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament.

Friday night, though, belonged to Stanford, which improved to 29-0 against the Beavers in Maples Pavilion.

"This was a really big game for us," VanDerveer said. "We needed to prove to ourselves how much we've improved."

Stanford played without junior guard Lili Thompson, who left the team earlier in the week to be with her family following the passing of her grandfather, a Michigan Hall of Fame high school coach.

"We're sad for her but we told her we had her back," McCall said. "This game was for Lili and her family."

McCall, who scored a career-high 25 points, must have channeled Thompson when she let loose with her first career made 3-pointer. She was 3 of 5 from long range on the night after attempting one 3-pointer in her previous 99 games.

"She was playing with tremendous confidence," VanDerveer said.

McCall had a difficult time keeping a straight face when she talked about her long range ability.

"I shot quite a few of them in high school," she said. "My sisters are both guards and they can shoot from out there. I had to show I could do it."

Just as McCall starting shooting 3-pointers, Samuelson turned into McCall for a night, scoring 13 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds for her first double-double. Samuelson's previous best was six boards.

Oregon State, which won its first ever conference title last year, had not allowed more than 54 points in a game during its 14-game win streak that just ended. Stanford scored its 54th point with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Stanford's offensive output was the highest of the season against the Beavers and was just the second time Oregon State gave up more than 70 points in a game.

The Cardinal effectively ended Oregon State's hopes for a win in Maples after a 20-8 run in the second quarter led to a 41-25 edge.

McCall scored 10 points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers. She had attempted one 3-pointer -- a miss -- in her career before unleashing a barrage against the Beavers, making 3 of 5.

"She definitely hit another level," Oregon State's Ruth Hamblin said. "But she's been playing well lately and she did what she needed to do to help her team."

Oregon State entered the game as the national leader in field-goal percentage and the Cardinal were ranked second. Stanford shot 57.7 percent from the field after shooting 31.8 percent in its loss to the Beavers in Corvallis.

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