Women's Basketball

New Year, Still Winning

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — When the shots weren't falling, coach Tara VanDerveer's Stanford team turned it up on the defensive end to stymie high-scoring Arizona.

Haley Jones had 18 points, a season-high 16 rebounds and five assists, and second-ranked Stanford picked up the intensity on both ends after the first quarter and rolled past No. 15 Arizona 73-57 in a Monday showdown of the 2021 national champion Cardinal and NCAA runner-up Wildcats.

"I recruited every player for their offense not their defense but our defense was what was really great," VanDerveer said. "Our team locked in on the scouting report."

Francesca Belibi contributed season-bests of 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Stanford (15-1, 3-0 Pac-12), which held Arizona to seven second-quarter points on the way to winning its 10th straight game since the team's lone defeat in a 76-71 overtime loss to No. 1 South Carolina on Nov. 20.

Jade Loville scored 12 for a Wildcats team (12-2, 2-1) that came in averaging 81.2 points per game and was beating teams by an average of 22.2 points — but no team has scored more than 77 points against the Cardinal since the start of the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.

Both power programs struggled to find their 3-point grooves — Arizona going 1 for 6 in the first half and Stanford 3 of 13. Hannah Jump made four for Stanford on the way to 13 points.

Cameron Brink overcame a cold shooting day to finish with 12 points, six rebounds and three more blocks. She shot 3 of 15, missing all six of her 3-point tries and with four turnovers but was picked up by Stanford's deep supporting cast.

"Cam didn't have her best game of the year but thankfully other people stepped up," VanDeveer said.

Stanford committed five quick turnovers and missed its initial three shots before Jump hit a 3-pointer at the 6:14 mark of the first. That helped the Cardinal warm up and use a 6-0 burst to get going as Arizona had a short drought.

During a timeout, VanDerveer told the Cardinal to settle into the game.

"Whenever Hannah hits a 3 it gets us going. We expect it to go in every time," Jones said. "Once you see the ball go in the basket no matter who it's from it just kind of gets you going."

The Cardinal made five straight shots during a 7-0 run to go ahead 17-11 and led 19-15 after the first — when Jones already had six points, five rebounds and four assists.

"Just our lack of execution was disappointing," Arizona coach Adia Barnes said, emphasizing the 23 offensive rebounds Stanford corralled. "The second quarter, third quarter, then we fought a little bit got within 13 late in the game but we looked like we were down 40. Not a lot of fight. I think we were really fatigued, third game in five days after Christmas is rough, not ideal. Tough situation."

Belibi went down hard late in the third when she was hit in the head and on an intentional foul call against Loville. Belibi was checked for a concussion in the locker room and returned.

"I'm good," she said. "It's always kind of a little bit of a shock to get hit."

Stanford won its 37th straight game against Pac-12 teams including the past two conference titles and postseason.


Stanford went just 20 of 34 from the free-throw line. Jones went 8 for 12 and Belibi 4 of 8.

"We need to do a better job in a close game like this or in a tournament-type game," VanDerveer said.


Arizona: The Wildcats, who were outrebounded 53-33, had only beaten one ranked opponent prior to facing Stanford — No. 18 Baylor on Dec. 18. ... Arizona scored 19 points off Stanford's 16 turnovers. ... The Wildcats were averaging a Pac-12 best 12.9 steals per game and had just seven. ... Arizona is the only conference team with four players averaging at least 11.8 points.

Stanford: Brink — who celebrated her 21st birthday with a big game on New Year's Eve in a 101-69 win against Arizona State — has blocked at least one shot in every game and now has 48. She was cheered on Monday by Sonya Curry, mother of Warriors star Stephen Curry, and the reigning NBA Finals MVP's two daughters, Riley and Ryan, and toddler son, Canon. Sonya Curry and Brink's mom, Michelle, are friends dating to their days at Virginia Tech. ... Junior G Agnes Emma-Nnopu missed her second straight game after being poked in the eye at practice by Indya Nivar. ... Stanford improved to 61-4 in games when Jump makes at least one 3-pointer.


Arizona: Hosts Oregon State on Friday.

Stanford: Visits California on Sunday in Berkeley for the second matchup between the Bay Area rivals after the Cardinal captured the first meeting 90-69 on Dec. 23 in the conference opener.