Cardinal brought their hard hat and shut down Beavers with defense
One down, and one more to go. No. 11 Stanford routed No. 7 Oregon State 61-44 Friday night behind a lockdown defensive effort that limited the Beavers to 28.6% FG.
Stanford hosts No. 3 Oregon Sunday.
Kiana Williams made four three-pointers in the second quarter and the Cardinal raced away from the Beavers for a 16-point halftime lead. Stanford held Oregon State to 4-of-21 3FG and contested almost every shot.
"We were hanging our hat on defense today and it was a big hat on," said head coach Tara VanDerveer. "It was really exciting the defense that people played -- the concentration, the focus, and just being locked in. This is a terrific team (Oregon State).
"We don't just roll the ball out and say we're going to play everyone the same. We were definitely focused on not giving them three-point shots. That was the No. 1 thing we worked on. That was pretty clear to everybody."
Oregon State made the first three baskets of the game but that was one of the rare stretches of success for the Beavers on offense. Stanford's length on the perimeter with the Hull twins, Lexie and Lacie, and Williams' like-glue defense on Aleah Goodman (0-of-7 FG) led to only Destiny Slocum scoring in double digits for Scott Rueck's club. She finished with 23 but had to work hard for every point against first Lacie Hull and then Lexie.
Williams scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half to launch the Cardinal to a decisive second quarter. She played all 20 minutes and her energy lifted Stanford with Alanna Smith and DiJonai Carrington on the bench with foul trouble.
Carrington and Smith each only played 12 minutes in the first half and weren't on the court when Stanford broke the game open.
Stanford led by by as much as 17 in the first half and just before halftime Lacie took any hope Oregon State had mustered with a late 7-0 run in the quarter with a three just before the buzzer. She scored nine, all on three-pointers.
Smith took the baton from Williams in the second half, scoring 13 points on 6-of-9 FG. She also had three blocks and has 200 for her career, putting her in the top five in Stanford history.
"Alanna really likes to play well against a team that has another Australian," VanDerveer said. That's good that Oregon does, too. She likes to let them know, 'I'm the top dog.'"
Tara VanDerveer Opening Statement
"This is a great win for our team. Oregon State is an outstanding team. We've seen how well they've played all year. Scott (Rueck) does a great job, but I think our team stepped up to the challenge of playing defense. We knew what we had to do and I thought Kiana's (Williams) defense on Goodman was outstanding. Lacie (Hull) I thought played great defense on Destiny Slocum. She's a next level player. She's going to play in the pros. I thought Lacie did a good job. Ki got her offense going. Lacie hit some big shots. We had a lot of contributions from different people. Alyssa Jerome came in and played some great minutes with seven boards, no turnovers. A lot of different people. We have to look at the good things we did, learn from our mistakes and get ready for Oregon.
What led you to be so successful on defense?
VanDerveer: "I think people were locked in. That's how I would describe it. It starts with Lacie on the ball and she did a tremendous job on Destiny Slocum getting the charge, not going for fakes. I thought Ki, she followed the game plan on Goodman, who is a tremendous three-point shooter. You know their numbers coming in. We had to really focus on getting out on shooters. Sometimes we were a little extended and they went inside to No. 11 (Joanna Grymek) and she did a good job for them. Our defense was outstanding and I'm proud of how hard we played."
Lacie Hull on guarding Slocum: "She's a great player. The biggest thing was keeping her in front and being focused. As soon as you lose focus on her she can start going off. That was important."
Kiana Williams on making four 3FG in the second quarter: "I was being patient. A few times we were running drag and they went under screens. I practice that shot all the time. When they go in Tara is happy. I make sure they're in the flow. My first few fell in and I got into a rhythm."
Tara VanDerveer on the impact of Maya Dodson's rebounding: "Maya got O-boards for us. Six o-boards, those are huge. Those are six O-boards that we have not been getting in the games she has been out. Alyssa got on the glass and got a couple O-boards. It's great having Maya. I think Maya is finding her rhythm and what we need to do offensively. Finish around the basket. I thought she had really good looks."
Tara, what did you see in the second quarter and Alanna went to the bench and yet you built the lead then?
VanDerveer: "That was awesome. Alyssa Jerome, Lexie came in and made some big plays for us -- Both Di (DiJonai Carrington) and Alanna were out when we made our big run in the first half. That gives the coaches confidence to put people in. And if you want to play you can't be in foul trouble and you have to take good shots. It shows great depth. We want more people to contribute. Kiana led the way."
Kiana, how would you describe how the team approached this weekend during the week of practices?
Williams: "We were focused. We locked in on defense. They have great shooters so we all had different assignments. As a collective unt we did our job defensively."