Stanford Women's Basketball: Recap: #2 Stanford WBB powers past Cal on The Farm
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Recap: #2 Stanford WBB powers past Cal on The Farm

Haley Jones had a double-double for Stanford with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Haley Jones had a double-double for Stanford with 26 points and 10 rebounds. (

On Friday, #2 Stanford women’s basketball defeated Cal 97-74 on The Farm at Maples Pavilion. Stanford junior guard Haley Jones led the way for the Cardinal with 26 points & 10 rebounds while junior guard Hannah Jump (21 points on 5-9 shooting from 3-point range) and Francesca Belibi (20 points & 6 rebounds) also scored 20+ points. Belibi did so coming off the bench, giving the Cardinal a great spark.

Cal freshman guard Jayda Curry was the top performer for Cal, scoring 30 points on 12-14 shooting from the foul line and 4-8 shooting from 3-point range. Curry became the first Cal player to score 30+ points in a game since Jaelyn Brown against Arkansas in November of 2019. Stanford improves to 14-3 overall and 5-0 in the Pac-12 while Cal falls to 9-5 overall and 0-3 in the Pac-12.

“I was really excited about our third quarter and our second half in general, but especially our third quarter,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said after the game. “We got out. I thought we were moving the ball well. We did a good job on the free throw line. I think overall, we had a lot of people contribute. Obviously Haley and Fran, real high percentage scoring there. Haley going 9-for-13; Fran going 8-for-11 is awesome and I thought Hannah Jump really helped us and I thought Jordan Hamilton really helped us. This was our best game for Jordan. So we were without Anna Wilson.

"I think Charmin is doing a great job with her team and they’re much much improved. We know we’ll have our hands full on Sunday. We’ll have to work really hard.”

Stanford got off to a strong start in this game, leading 10-4 with 4:51 to go in the 1st quarter. Haley Jones was up to 4 points for Stanford while Hannah Jump and Kiki Iriafen each had 3 points. Fatou Samb had a bucket inside for Cal, while two of Cal’s other points came at the foul line.

At the end of the 1st quarter, Stanford led 20-10. Jones was up to 9 points for the Cardinal on 3-4 shooting from the field and 3-3 shooting from the foul line while Jump had 6 points. Curry was up to 3 points for Cal. The Cardinal dominated the quarter.

To Cal’s credit, they battled really hard and made it a game in the 2nd quarter. With 4:31 to go in the half, Stanford led by just 4 points (33-29) as Curry was starting to catch fire with 11 points, hitting some real highlight reel worthy shots. Mia Mastrov was up to 6 points for Cal. As for Stanford, Jones’ 12 points and 4 rebounds was keeping them in front while Jump was up to 9 points.

“We talked about showing the fight,” Cal head coach Charmin Smith said of the key to their strong first half. “That the score didn’t really matter as long we came out and we fought and played extremely hard.”

At halftime, the game was tied 42-42 after Cal briefly took a 41-40 lead with 1:39 to go in the half. Francesca Belibi and Haley Jones each had 12 points for Stanford while Jayda Curry (16 points) and Leilani McIntosh (10 points) were leading Cal. Cal’s quick backcourt was giving Stanford a lot of trouble as Curry and McIntosh were attacking the rim and beating Stanford off the dribble.

“I think that playing against her the first time will help us and see what she likes to do,” VanDerveer said when asked about Curry. “We just have to work harder against her. This is like a little bit of a halftime talk because we’re going to turn around and play Cal again on Sunday. She’s a real talented player and we just have to work harder against her. I don’t that think there’s any magic wand. There’s not like a magic potion that we can take between now and then. But we also will count on Anna Wilson and Anna is one of our top defenders. But I just wanna give again a shout out to Jordan Hamilton. Her game for us was really huge. Her 7 assists, her defense, for her to step in it really was really exciting for our team.”

The 3rd quarter would not be kind to Cal as Stanford came out motivated to quickly build up their lead again. With 4:46 to go in the quarter, Stanford led 59-46. Jones was up to 18 points as Stanford was outscoring Cal 17-4 in the quarter. Tara VanDerveer’s halftime message certainly woke up her team.

“We just talked about how we had to have more effort defensively,” VanDerveer said of her halftime message. “They’re a very quick team, their perimeter attacks really well from the perimeter. Their bigs, I know they were without one of their bigs, but their bigs are very physical and really strong inside and we had to make a better effort and I think our team did.”

At the end of the 3rd quarter, Stanford led 75-55. Stanford outscored Cal 33-13 in the quarter. It was an epic beatdown performance by the Cardinal. Jones (20 points) and Jump (19 points) were the top scorers for the Cardinal while Curry’s 22 points was leading the Bears. She needed more help from her teammates.

“They started off with the iso for Cam,” Charmin Smith said when asked about the 3rd quarter. “Which we knew that they like to run to start halves to start the game. And then we got a technical and I think momentum shifted coming right out of the locker room, which is unfortunate. And it’s tough against a team like that when they get a little bit ahead. But, we’ll learn from it and we get to run it back again on Sunday.”

With 4:36 to go, Stanford led 87-64. Jones was now up to 26 points and 9 rebounds, almost at the double-double that she would finish with. As for Curry, she was up to 30 points, but was done for the night, appearing to go down with an ankle injury. She would later say it was actually cramps that she experienced and not an ankle sprain.

“At the end of the day, I think it’s a team sport like you said,” Curry said. “Of course it’s personal. You drop 30, it’s something exciting. But at the end of the day my teammates are the ones getting me open, setting great screens, and just getting me open and getting these open looks for me that I don’t get often. So honestly, kudos to my teammates and I think just back to what Charmin was saying. Just want to say I think we played together and stayed together throughout the whole thing. Obviously waivered a little bit, but I think we got back on track and were able to just stay together throughout the whole game.”

In the end, Stanford walked out with a 97-74 victory. Cal battled hard for much of the night and overall should feel proud of how they competed, but Stanford in the end proved to be the better team as expected. After letting Cal have some life in the first half, Stanford sucked the life out of them in the third quarter. It was quite a dominant display.

Up next for Stanford will be a game at Cal on Sunday. That game will tipoff at 4:00 PM PT on Pac-12 Networks and Varsity Network radio.

Note: Tara VanDerveer addressed Anna Wilson’s absence after the game saying that she just wasn’t feeling well. Not COVID related. It sounds like they’re expecting to have her back for Sunday.

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