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Michelle Smith: 'No bad days' with Lacie and Lexie Hull of Stanford women's basketball

Feb 25, 2022
Stanford Athletics

Senior Day can be emotional and for years, Stanford women’s basketball has done that ceremony after the team's final regular-season home contest to keep that emotion away from the court heading into gameday.

Tara VanDerveer isn’t exempt from that emotion, and she admits that when Lexie and Lacie Hull walk across the court with the family on their arms, “I am going to cry crocodile tears.”

“Nobody I’ve coached has ever played harder than Lexie and Lacie,” VanDerveer said, as the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Cardinal prepares for its regular-season finale on Saturday against Washington. “They are athletic. They work hard. They are brilliant students. They’ve both dealt with adversity and battled through things.”

The Hull twins, from Spokane, are two of the most successful student-athletes in the conference, named to multiple all-academic teams during the course of their playing careers.

Lexie Hull, who is averaging 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds a game, sat out Thursday’s game against Washington State. Her status for Saturday’s game is still up in the air.

Lacie has started a career-high 26 games this season in a new role, filling the point guard spot along with Haley Jones after they spent the early part of the transitioning from the leadership of four-year point guard Kiana Williams. Lacie has collected 31 assists in her last nine games and is shooting 46 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, playing a critical “glue” role on the floor.

“I’ve had four different roles on this team, something different every season,” Lacie Hull said. “Freshman year, I came in because of my defense and then Lexie got hurt. My sophomore year, I was coming off the bench, but then Haley got hurt and I played more. Last year, I had more of a bench role, coming in and filling gaps when they needed to be filled. This year, I’ve taken on more of a leadership role and it’s definitely been a learning experience.”

Lexie, by contrast, has been a consistent starter for the Cardinal through most of her career, becoming a two-time All-Pac-12 performer and likely adding a third all-conference award to that total when teams are announced next week.

Lexie put up a career-high 33 points earlier this season against Oregon and has scored in double figures in four of her last five games.

The Hull twins are the third set of sisters to come through the Stanford program in the last decade and they are in pretty good company with Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike and Bonnie and Karlie Samuelson. 

“I’ve joked to their parents that I’m mad they didn’t have triplets,” VanDerveer said. “There are no bad days with the Hull twins on your team.”

Lacie said she has been lucky to have this experience with her twin sister, particularly through last year’s difficult COVID season.

“Having family with you every day is a blessing and I know that there are people who have struggled without their family close by, so it’s definitely been something I don’t take for granted,” Lacie said.

VanDerveer jokes that she is still trying to convince them both to stay for another year, though they will both graduate with master's degrees in the spring, hopefully after they have defended their national title in Minnesota. Their legacy, however, is already cemented.

“They are quintessential Stanford players, absolute winners,” VanDerveer said. “There are a lot of classes they can take here at Stanford. Everybody would want them.”