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Haley Jones scores career-high 29, Cardinal handle Huskies

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The win moved Coach VanDerveer closer to the record

Mississippi State v Stanford: Greater Victoria Invitational Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

There were obviously very high expectations for Haley Jones coming into the 2019 season — and to start the season, she looked the part — it was all taken away with a season-ending injury just 18 games into her career. On Sunday night, however, Jones reminded everyone of just how dominant she can be on the court.

She led all scorers in the game with 29 points, but that doesn’t really tell the half of it. She was miraculous from the court, hitting 14-of-15 shots from the field, with the miss coming from behind the arc. She modestly chipped in with 13 rebounds for the double-double but her shooting from the field was nothing short of lights out.

Behind Jones 29, the Stanford Cardinal easily cruised past the Washington Huskies, 83-50, in Stanford’s Pac-12 season opener.

“With my season being cut extra short last year, I’ve just been really excited to finally get back out there on the floor,” Jones said. “I guess a little chip on the shoulder ... I think I’m coming out with more of an aggressive mentality.”

Hannah Jump came off the bench and scored 12 points while Francesca Belibi joined the double-digit part with 12 points herself. Overall, the Cardinal shot 34-78 from the field and out-rebounded Washington 58-34.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer’s crew held Washington to just 18-of-62 from the field as VanDerveer moved to within two wins of the legendary Pat Summitt as the winningest coach in women’s college basketball history.

Jones continued her tremendous start to the season a day after scoring what was a new career-high 25 points against UNLV. Her 14-of-15 shots from the field were the highest field goal percentage from a Stanford player since 1981.

“I feel like I have a different role on the team this year,” Jones said. “I’m just really trying to do what my team needs me to do. If that’s playmaking, if that’s taking my shots when (I’m) open, if it’s getting wherever I need to be.”

With a healthy Jones, there is no telling how high this team can fly in 2020-21 — but it’s certainly pretty high.

As far as the scheduling goes right now and when VanDerveer will get a chance to break the all-time wins record, that remains in the air.

Tuesday’s game against Washington State has been postponed and that also means the next two scheduled games between UC Davis and at Cal are also in limbo. VanDerveer spoke to the scheduling conflicts.

“As far as I know right now, we’re looking to figure out we go back to play Cal, whether we can play Davis, that didn’t look like a good option today,” VanDerveer said. “I haven’t checked my phone since the game, and things happened so quickly. … We’re just gonna do what we’re allowed to do by the county, by the university and just try to keep playing.”

Here’s hoping they can keep playing and keep playing soon because this team has the chance to be special.

Very special.