No. 5 Women's Basketball Edges Rutgers, 50-46

Jan 2, 2002

Freshman forward T'Nae Thiel (Weatherford, TX/Weatherford HS) recorded career-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead sixth-ranked Stanford University (13-1) to a 50-46 victory over host Rutgers University (4-7) on Wednesday night at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Stanford came out hot early, scoring nearly half of its points en route to jumping out to a 22-6 advantage just nine minutes into the contest. The Cardinal received a pair of 3-pointers apiece from senior Lindsey Yamasaki (Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) and freshman Kelley Suminski (Chester, NJ/Mendham HS) in the run, as well as three baskets inside from Thiel.

'We came out and played real well early,' Stanford head coach TaraVanDerveer said. 'We hit some good shots, and did what we needed to do.'

But the rest of the first half was a struggle for the visitors. Stanford scored just five points in the final 11:03 of the first half, including droughts of 5:18 and 5:03. The Scarlet Knights reeled off 12 unanswered points to cut it to 22-18, and eventually took the lead at 26-25 on a 3-pointer by sophomore Nikki Jett (Columbia, SC/Columbia HS) 3:26 before the half.Stanford, however, took a 27-26 lead into the locker room on a layup by senior Enjoli Izidor (Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) 42 seconds before the break.

Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half, as the Cardinal connected on 39.3 (11-of-28) percent of its shots to the Scarlet Knights' 30.3 (10-of-33). Rutgers, however, out-rebounded the Cardinal 24-16 in the first 20 minutes, including an 11-3 advantage on the offensive boards.

Points were also hard to come by in the second half, as the teams combined for just 18 points in the first 10 minutes (Rutgers 10, Stanford 8).

The Cardinal eventually took control midway though the period on the strength of a 10-1 run and the outside shooting of freshman guard Sebnem Kimyacioglu (Mountain View, CA/Pinewood School).

With Rutgers leading 36-35, the Bay Area native drained a 3-pointer with 8:08 to play that put the Cardinal on top for good. After a Scarlet Knight free throw, Kimyacioglu struck from behind the arc again - just 45 seconds later - to push the lead to 41-37.

After a Nicole Powell (Phoenix, AZ/Mountain Pointe HS) basket inside made it 43-37, Kimyacioglu assisted Bethany Donaphin (New York, NY/Horace Mann HS) on a breakway lay-up for a commanding eight-point advantage with 6:19 to play.

The Scarlet Knights could get no closer than four points the rest of the way.

'We needed a big run in the second half, and we got it,' VanDerveer said. 'We picked up a couple of key 3-pointers from Sebnem, and the big lay-up by Bethany. We also improved defensively down the stretch, and hit the boards better.'

The Cardinal picked up the victory despite getting just eight combined points from Yamasaki and Powell, who came into the game averaging over 36 points per game combined. Kimyacioglu added nine points and three rebounds in just nine minutes off the bench, while Suminski chipped in seven points, three assists and three rebounds. Powell, who had scored in double figures every game this season, finished with two points but did record nine rebounds and a team-high six assists.

Stanford shot a season-low 31.6 (18-of-57) percent from the field, but held Rutgers to just 28.8 (19-of-66) percent overall and 27.3 (9-of-33) percent in the second half.

'We had to gut it out tonight,' VanDerveer said. 'Our leading scorers didn't shoot well, but we had some other people step up for us.'

Stanford concludes its two-game East Coast swing on Saturday afternoon when it visits Fordham (2-8 overall, 0-0 Atlantic 10) on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (ET)/11:00 a.m. (PT) in the Bronx. The game can be heard on www.gostanford.com and KZSU 90.1 FM. The Cardinal's next home game is Thursday, January 10 when it takes on Oregon State at 7:00 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

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