Cardinal women head into hoops break with a solid victory


The toughest thing Erica McCall has in front of her over the next two weeks is a final for her 'History of South Africa' class.

“There's a lot of writing,” she said. “It's going to take a long time.”

McCall enters the break after recording her third consecutive double-double in Stanford's 68-42 nonconference women's basketball victory over visiting UC Davis on Sunday.

The 11th-ranked Cardinal (8-1) will get back on the court Sunday, Dec. 18 at Tennessee. Stanford returns to Maples Pavilion on Dec. 28 for its final nonconference game against visiting Yale.

The Lady Vols (4-3) just lost at home to Baylor and travels to Texas next Sunday before opening a five-game homestand that includes Stanford. Yale (7-2) has won six straight and plays visiting Boston College on Tuesday night.

Yale sophomore guard Paige Vermeer graduated from Castilleja and has played sparingly for the Bulldogs, appearing in five games.

One aspect of the game Stanford will likely be working on before visiting Knoxville is its free throw shooting. The Cardinal managed to make nine of 24 attempts against the Aggies.

“I'm guessing that's one of the worst free-throw shooting games in the history since I've been here,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.

The 3-point shooting wasn't much better at 3-of-19, including an 0-for-4 effort from Karlie Samuelson, who entered the game as the active NCAA leader in career 3-point field goal percentage.

A quick start by the Cardinal, which included a 10-of-15 performance from the field, masked some of the other areas of concern. Stanford led by as many as 15 late in the first quarter before a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining drew UC Davis within 20-8 at the end of the period.

The Aggies managed to whittle the lead to eight at 22-14 three minutes into the second quarter until Alanna Smith hit a jumper that sparked a 12-0 run and the Cardinal was never seriously threatened again.

Bri Roberson scored five of her seven points during the run and added an assist, a rebound and a steal.

“We're getting steady play from a lot of people,” said VanDerveer. “They're working hard to improve.”

McCall scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, giving her 51 points and 37 rebounds combined over her last three games.

Brittany McPhee added 11 points, the seventh time she's reach double figures in scoring this year. Nadia Fingall continues to contribute every time she's on the court and produced a season-high with eight rebounds. Smith added seven boards.

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