The Stanford Cardinal have had a rocky start to the 2020-21 women’s basketball season — but not on the court itself. The rockiness has been due to scheduling conflicts that were sure to arise while playing during a global pandemic, but have reared their heads earlier than anticipated.
Stanford was supposed to enter Pac-12 play with the likelihood of head coach Tara VanDerveer tying Pat Summitt for most wins all-time, but now sit at just 1-0 entering their game against Washington State on Friday.
The Cardinal were originally scheduled to play Pacific on November 29, but that game was canceled due to a positive test from Pacific. Stanford added San Diego late last week as a potential fill-in game to also be played this week, on Monday, November 30.
However, after Santa Clara County’s new executive order essentially banned sports in general, and after meeting with the Pac-12, San Diego and the West Coast Conference, the game scheduled for Monday against San Diego has been canceled.
Stanford’s release stated that the ‘decision was made in accordance with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s emergency directive issued on Nov. 28.’
So, now we look ahead to the Washington State Cougars.
While we’re not sure if this game will even get played, let alone where it could be played due to Santa Clara County’s new order, we’ll still look at it as if it will happen.
The Cougars have yet to play a game this season and will open their schedule with the game against Stanford.
Odds are, this is a pretty easy win for the Cardinal if they can get the game played as the Cougars were picked to finish dead last in the conference, receiving only 27 points in the Pac-12 women’s basketball media poll and only 15 points in the preseason coaches poll.
Still, it marks an important milestone because VanDerveer is in need of victories to tie the legendary Summitt before UConn head coach Geno Auriemma does as the Huskies tip-off their season, tentatively, on December 15. UConn has had their first three games canceled as well. Auriemma is four wins behind VanDerveer at this point.
We’ll be hopeful at this point that the Cardinal can get this game in and next up on the schedule would be the Washington Huskies on Sunday, December 6.
Stanford was led by Lexie Hull in their first game, leading all points-scorers with 19 points, including shooting 7-of-10 from the field and 4-5 from three-point range. Haley Jones welcomed herself back to the show with a double-double, scoring 16 and grabbing 11 rebounds. In total, five Cardinal players hit double-digit points and every single player who played a minute grabbed at least one rebound and every player who played at least 10 minutes had an assist to go with it, impressively enough.
The Cardinal are absolutely in the conversation as the nation’s best overall basketball team, and it’d be a shame to not see them on the court for many, many reasons this year.
Here’s hoping we can get the game against Washington State played.