HullHull
Women's Basketball

Opening Statement

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- In May, Tara VanDerveer brought UC Davis coach Jennifer Gross and top assistant Joe Teramoto to campus for a third time to teach the Cardinal the Princeton offense. They spent seven hours instructing the Hall of Fame coach, who then treated them to a night in San Francisco for the big assist.

Six months later Stanford used all of that knowledge to beat the Aggies.

Kiana Williams had 14 points and three assists playing 18 minutes, leading No. 7 Stanford past cold-shooting UC Davis 71-43 on Wednesday night in both teams' season opener.

"I told Jen before the game, `If we play well it's a credit to you," VanDerveer said. "... I almost felt like I was playing my sister. We're learning from the best."

Williams, Stanford's sophomore point guard who averaged 10.4 points last season, drove for two early layins while leading an up-tempo Stanford offense that struggled to consistently make shots but overmatched the Aggies to pull away in the second half after building a 12-point halftime lead.

Alanna Smith added 16 points in 15 minutes of action for Stanford while Lexie Hull started and had 11 points and 11 rebounds in her collegiate debut, as the always-evolving VanDerveer began her 33rd season coaching the Cardinal.

"We don't want to depend on one player," Smith said of Stanford's depth.

UC Davis senior Morgan Bertsch scored 16 points with five rebounds but had six turnovers for the two-time defending Big West Conference champion Aggies, who reached the Elite Eight of the Women's NIT last season and will look to build on that momentum.

They shot just 14 for 62 -- 22.6 percent -- and 8 of 31 from 3-point range while being outrebounded by Stanford 50-25.

UC Davis began 5 for 15 from the floor, 3 for 9 from deep, while Stanford missed its initial seven 3-point tries before Williams connected at the 7:34 mark in the second period. The Cardinal wound up shooting 42.6 percent.

"We need to take care of the ball better, we need to shoot a better percentage," VanDerveer said. "I think we're a much better shooting team than that."

Wednesday's contest marked the earliest first game in program history. Stanford had played on Nov. 9 four different times. The Cardinal improved to 33-12 all-time in season openers and has won 20 straight home openers.

Stanford hosts Idaho on Sunday at 2 p.m. as VanDerveer faces a school where she previously coached for two seasons to begin her career from 1978-80.