What This Weekend Told Us
By Joe Lami
Follow me on twitter @joe_lami
Stanford opened up their season with two pre-season games against two formidable opponents in Corban and Vanguard. The two teams are part of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as they play in division two. Both teams are ranked in the top 15, Corban is 14th and Vanguard is 4th.
This year was Stanford’s first meeting ever with Corban, where they had no issues taking care of the Corban Warriors. The final score on Thursday was 117-33. Stanford held Corban to a 21% shooting percentage. Stanford forced Corban into taking bad shots. The defense was led by Sophomore guard Amber Orrange who had 8 steals out of the 12 total. Stanford also shot the lights out being 62% from the field going 44 for 71. All, but one player who saw time put up at least one point for the Cardinal. The Cardinal also destroyed the Warriors on the glass out rebounding Corban 53 to 26.
On Saturday the Cardinal saw their last pre-season game of the season before heading into Non-Conference play which will start off on Friday November 9th at home against Fresno State. The team took on the Vanguard Lions, a team that they have faced in pre-season the last five years. Vanguard was coming off a very impressive loss against Cal, from Thursday losing 98-57. They were led by Nicole Ballestero who had 21 points. On Saturday, Vanguard had another good showing. This time losing to the Cardinal by the final score of 82-47. Vanguard was struggling in the first portions of the game, going into the second media timeout, the time was shooting an awful 6.7%. If Vanguard had a better start, this game would have been a lot closer. Stanford didn’t shoot that well either however, only shooting a mere 42%.
This weekend was a very impressive weekend for Stanford, as I was impressed by a lot of players. Bonnie Samuelson led all scorers in both games, on Thursday she put up 27 points, 21 of them being from beyond the arc, and on Saturday she had 18 points, 15 coming from beyond the arc. However on Saturday her shooting percentage was a lot worse, only shooting 6 of 15, compared to 8 of 14. I was also extremely impressed by the by of Sara James who had a combined 38 points on the weekend. The team didn’t heavily rely upon pre-season All American Chiney Ogumieke, even though she did have 5 blocks on Saturday, all coming in the first half of play. Out of the total 80 minutes she only saw 36 on them. The experience of one year did a load of work for Amber Orrange as she is coming into a zone and will get to be a very good point guard for this team. It was also good to see Mikaela Ruef get some playing time as she saw 27 minutes for the weekend, 16 of them coming on Saturday.
The freshman did a tremendous job as well as all of them got to see playing time, minus Aly Beebe, who will be red-shirted coming off an ACL injury in May. New big girl Tess Picknell, Sarah Booth’s replacement had two very good games. Most importantly she came in and replaced the defensive player of the year in Chiney Ogumieke and there was no falling off. The freshman had 8 rebounds in both games. 12 of which were on the defensive side of the ball. It is going to be very hard to have teams go down low on Stanford when she is in the game. The freshman also had 5 combined blocks over a span of the 35 minutes she saw this weekend.
Long story short, it is a very strong team this year and should be exciting to watch, especially against Baylor, Tennessee, UConn, and Cal.