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The Pac-12 should fear Karlie Samuelson

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The Stanford women’s basketball star is lighting it up from downtown

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 18 Women's - Stanford at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I can now confirm Stanford senior Karlie Samuelson was born to be a shooter.

Her father played college basketball at Cal State-Fullerton and professionally in Europe. Her mother was a member of England’s national netball team. Karlie’s older sister Bonnie, who graduated in 2015, was one of the deadliest markswomen from downtown in Stanford program history.

And don’t forget about youngest sister Katie Lou, a sophomore shooting sensation for top-ranked UConn, is leading the Huskies in scoring (20.5 ppg) with a staggering 47.9% field goal percentage.

Despite not starting the season’s opening three games, Samuelson’s 11-of-18 performance from three-point range in her last three has opened up the Cardinal’s offensive game-plan early in Pac-12 play.

It took a while for the Huntington Beach native to find her stroke with any kind of consistency, But Karlie finally flipped the switch at the end of November against Purdue, pouring in 20 points, including six buckets from beyond the arc. It was this 78-69 victory which jump-started Samuelson’s confidence.

As the calendar moved over to December, Karlie became a double-digit scorer with nightly regularity, with anomalies only in victories over UC Davis (two points on in 26 minutes) and George Washington (five points in 31 minutes). If that wasn’t blatantly uncharacteristic enough for you, consider this: Samuelson shot 1-for-6 in both games.

With only the Yale Bulldogs standing between the Cardinal women and the start of Pac-12 play, the senior guard put together her most complete effort this season.

Karlie shot the lights out at Maples Pavilion in the non-conference finale, scoring 21 points on 7-of-9 field goal attempts, only missing one three-pointer in five tries. In addition, her four makes moved her past Katie Starbird into tenth place all-time in career triples. As of this post, she needs four more to pass Jennifer Azzi (191).

When the Cardinal road-tripped this past weekend to Arizona and Arizona State to tip-off conference play, Karlie camped in the corner and canned 7-of-13 shots from downtown. The clip below exhibits her ability as a spot-up shooter on the perimeter.

Preventing another barrage from beyond the arc like that will prove continuously difficult. However, If she continues to be a force on the outside and her shots splashing through the net, the rest of the Pac-12 will begin to fear the name Karlie Samuelson.

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