'Sunday Showdown' women's basketball preview: No. 16 Oregon State at No. 10 Stanford

StanfordPhoto.com/Dave Nishitani (Oregon State Athletics)

Who: No. 16 Oregon State at No. 10 Stanford

When: Sunday, January 8 at 5 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Oregon.

On the call: Krista Blunk and Tammy Blackburn

On the home side: No. 10 Stanford (13-2, 3-0 Pac-12)

Stanford heads into Sunday’s matchup coming off an 81-60 win against Oregon. The Cardinal has begun Pac-12 play 3-0 in 21 of the 31 years of Pac-12 Basketball.  

The team is on a five game winning streak and is lead by head coach, Tara VanDerveer, who is just seven victories away (993) from 1,000 career wins.  Even more impressive, the Cardinal holds a record of 143-8 at home in the last 10 years - a .947 winning percentage.   

Cardinal to watch:

Erica McCall: Captain of the Cardinal, the senior forward leads the conference in offensive rebounds averaging 3.3 a game. She also leads the team in total rebounds and is sixth in the Pac-12 averaging 8.9 a game.  McCall has 25 double-doubles in her last 49 games and sits as Stanford’s 38th 1,000-point scorer. McCall currently averages 15.4 points a game on 50.6 percent shooting and put up 14 points and eight rebounds Friday night against Oregon.

Karlie Samuelson: Joining McCall as a team captain, the senior guard is second among active players in career three-pt. field goal percentage (.428) and 10th in school history with three-point makes (188). Samuelson recorded a season high 21 points against Yale and is curently averaging 11.7 points per game. 

On the visiting side: No. 16 Oregon State (14-1, 3-0 Pac-12)

A 2016 Final Four contender, Oregon State sits at 7-54 all time against Stanford and has never won at Maples Pavilion. The teams went 1-1 last season, each winning at their home court. The Beavers defeated No. 20 California Friday night, and if they pull off the win on Sunday, it will not only be their first ever win on the road against Stanford, but also their first-ever weekend road sweep of the Bay Area Schools.

The Beavers are on an 11-game winning streak, and won every single game in the month of December. They were picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 in both the league’s coaches and media poll. Oregon State is 11-7 against top-20 opponents over the last three seasons and 9-2 in their last 11 games against ranked opponents.

Beavers to watch:

Sydney Wiese: Senior guard Weise recently broke the Pac-12 three-pt. record and now has 307 made. The senior is second among active players in career three-pointers. Last Sunday, Wiese put up 26 points and six assists in Oregon State’s win over then-ninth ranked, Washington. Wiese is currently averaging 15.6 points per game with 5.2 rebounds. 

Gabrielle Hanson: Earning last season’s Pac-12 Defensive Honorable Mention, Hanson, a senior guard, is known as one of the best defenders in the conference. Last weekend, Hanson held Pac-12 leading scorer Kelsey Plum, to just 8-23 from the floor. Hanson averages 6.3 points per game along with 3.5 rebounds. 

Story to watch:

Sunday’s game, which features the Pac-12’s two-remaining unbeatens, is not one to miss. Whoever wins this improves to 4-0 in Pac-12 play and will take a seat at the top of the conference.

Both teams are ranked, and both teams hold strong and experienced senior classes. Oregon State’s senior class of Wiese, Hanson, Kolbie Orum and Breanna Brown (redshirt Junior) has an .815 winning percentage in their three plus seasons with the team. But these Beavers face a challenge against the Cardinal seniors in McCall, Samuelson and Briana Roberson, who as previously mentioned, contribute heavily to Stanford’s remarkable 94.7 winning percentage at home. 

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