Stanford Drops 97-62 Exhibition Contest To USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team
Nov. 15, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - Thursday night, for the third time in program history, the No. 5/5 Stanford women's basketball team welcomed the USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team to Maples Pavilion for an exhibition contest, and for the third time, the U.S. walked away with the victory. Behind five players scoring in double-figures, the U.S. broke open a close game late in the first half and cruised to a 97-62 win.
Stanford held its own for much of the first half, but eventually the hot hands and experience of the top-ranked women's basketball team in the world proved too much. The Cardinal, behind Kayla Pedersen's 11 points and 10 apiece from Jayne Appel and Jillian Harmon, shot just 35.5% from the floor in the first half and 40.4% for the game, compared to Team USA's 59.1% mark from the field in the contest.
The Cardinal, behind the inside presence of Appel, Pedersen, and Harmon, did out-rebound the U.S. by a 36-32 margin in the contest. Pedersen led the way with nine while Harmon grabbed eight boards and Appel six to pace Stanford.
A 26-6 run by the U.S. to start the second half essentially put the game on ice, extending its lead to 70-36.
The shooting of the U.S. prevented the Cardinal from getting back into the contest. Sue Bird led the U.S. Thursday night with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Seimone Augustus shot 7-for-10 with 16 points, Kara Braxton had a 7-for-9, 14-point night, and Kara Lawson scored 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
The Cardinal had started out strong, trailing by two at various points early in the first half before the U.S. put together an 11-2 run that gave it a 25-14 lead. Yet Stanford fought back with an impressive 10-2 run of its own, getting four of those points from Harmon, and cutting the deficit to three at 27-24 with 5:06 left in the first half.
But that was as close as Stanford would get. Two free throws and a pair of fast-break layups from Diana Taurasi, who finished the night with 13 points, and consecutive three-pointers from Bird fueled an 18-6 run that gave the U.S. a 45-30 lead at the break.
The teams had previous met twice, in the 1995-96 season, when Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer helmed the U.S. squad to an eventual gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and again during the 1999-2000 season in preparation for the Sydney Games.