Stanford Women's Basketball: Recap: #2 Stanford WBB defeats Oregon behind career night from Lexie Hull
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Recap: #2 Stanford WBB defeats Oregon behind career night from Lexie Hull

Stanford senior Lexie Hull had a career-high 33 points.
Stanford senior Lexie Hull had a career-high 33 points. (GoStanford.com)

On Friday, Stanford women’s basketball defeated Oregon 80-68 at Maples Pavilion. Stanford senior guard Lexie Hull led the way with a career-high 33 points on 13-22 shooting from the field and 7-10 shooting from 3-point range. Stanford junior guard Haley Jones (12 points & 7 rebounds) and junior guard Hannah Jump (11 points) also scored in double figures for the Cardinal. Junior guard Endyia Rogers (22 points & 4 rebounds) and redshirt junior forward Nyara Sabally (19 points & 8 rebounds) were the top performers for the Ducks. Stanford improves to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-12 while Oregon falls to 7-5 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-12.

“I guess this is our new normal,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said after the game. “We really missed our fans, I’ll say that. I would have loved to have had our fans here to see Lexie have such a great game in person and Anna [Wilson] such a great game in person. But I’m really proud of our team, how we battled. We’ve had some people coming out of protocol and we needed everybody. I thought we shot the ball really well. We shot it from the free throw line, from three, from two. I thought we could rebound a little better, o-board better, and I thought we could take care of the ball better. But they’re really an outstanding team and they’ve got their players back now and this is a great win for us.”

Oregon got off to a solid start in this game, leading 11-8 with 4:30 to go in the 1st quarter. Sabally (6 points) and Rogers (5 points) had all 11 of the Ducks’ points. Stanford was off to a similar start as Sunday’s game at Washington State and were hoping to finish the quarter in a similar manner. Stanford would finish the quarter strong and just like Sunday, they had a lead, this time leading 19-15. Lexie Hull was up to 6 points, starting to find a groove.

Stanford continued to expand their lead, going up 32-22 with 3:32 to go in the half. Stanford was on a 7-0 run over the last 2:53. Hull’s 8 points led Stanford while Sabally led Oregon with 12 points. Hull was getting a little more help from her friends, hence the 10 point lead.

At halftime, Stanford led 42-31. Hull was up to 16 points for Stanford on 6-11 shooting from the field and 4-7 shooting from 3-point range while Jones was up to 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, doing a little bit of everything. As for Oregon, Sabally and Rogers each had 12 points. Rogers actually hit a much needed 3-pointer to beat the buzzer before halftime.

With 4:53 to go in the 3rd quarter, Stanford led 56-38. Hull was now up to 20 points while Jump was up to 11 points. It was a 9-0 run for the Cardinal. They appeared to be on cruise control.

It continued to be the Lexie Hull show as Stanford led 66-50 at the end of the 3rd quarter. She was up to 25 points on 10-17 shooting from the field and 5-8 shooting from 3-point range. To say she had the hot hand would be an understatement. Oregon simply did not have an answer for her.

To Oregon’s credit, they did not give up, cutting the game to single digits with 4:10 to go (70-62). While other teams would have thrown in the towel, Oregon was not going to go down without a fight. They were outscoring Stanford 12-4 in the quarter, forcing the Cardinal to have to finish strong.

“They’re a really talented offensive team,” VanDerveer said. “They have a lot of weapons. You look at Rogers, basically the best player on the USC team last year. She can score, score, score. You got Paopao who’s coming back, she’s a great creator and scorer. They were knocking down some shots. They got a legitimate, two bigs in the middle, but especially Sabally inside. It’s a game of runs, it’s a game of spurts, so we went on a big run, they went on a run, and like they said, when they started running that’s where Anna and Lexie really stepped up for us.”

However, that would be the closest Oregon would get. On the next play after the timeout, Lexie Hull nailed a huge 3-pointer that made it a 73-62 lead for Stanford with 4:05 to go. That was Hull’s 30th point of the night. And then for good measure, she would make one more 3-pointer to get to 33 points. In the end, Stanford walked out with an 80-68 victory.

“It really came down to my teammates finding me in those open spots,” Hull said of her performance. “Pushing the ball up, me running my lane, and then hitting me when I was open. Definitely couldn’t have got 10 threes off without them finding me in those spots.”

For Stanford, this was a really nice win. They got off to a strong start in the first half, weathered the storm in the 4th quarter, and finished off the Ducks in the end. Lexie Hull was sensational and while fans weren’t there to witness her career night, her parents were. Something that meant a lot to her.

“We were pretty lucky to have some of our family out in the stands today,” Hull said. “So, super lucky to have my parents out there. But I think our team’s just really good about getting ourselves motivated in our pre-game talks and getting ourselves hyped for the game. I know we have a couple people that have some speeches before the game. That really gets us going. So, really say it’s our team and each other that get us going…It’s always Alyssa and Anna give one at different times. But yeah, we really look forward to those.”

“I was just encouraging our team to play as hard as possible,” Anna Wilson added. “And obviously this is a really big Pac-12 game and so I think for us we have a history of playing Oregon and just wanting to play our best. And so, just kind of encouraging that.”

Up next for Stanford is a home game on Sunday against WCC opponent Gonzaga at 3:00 PM PT. With Oregon State unable to play due to COVID protocols, Tara VanDerveer called up Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier and asked her if they’d be down to come to Palo Alto and Fortier said yes. In the event that Gonzaga was unable to go, VanDerveer said Long Beach State was ready as a backup. VanDerveer wants her team to stay sharp and not get out of the flow of playing against quality competition.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that Oregon State’s not here because we want to play our Pac-12 schedule,” VanDerveer said. “But, I give a lot of credit to Gonzaga. They want to play as we want to play. I’m sure our team, you could ask’em, but I’m sure our team would rather play a game than practice. So, they get a chance to play a really good team, a tournament team, and it'll be a really tough game, but I think it’ll be exciting…

"This is the world we live in. I just told our team, I just said hey last year your middle name has to be flexible, this year your first name has to be flexible. We’ve gotta just go with the flow, whatever we can do we’re gonna try to do. And these are players. This is their senior year and they wanna play games. So, they hear enough of me in practice and they wanna get out there and have games. So, I’m trying to schedule games for’em.

“And again, Lisa, Gonzaga coming down, I give them a lot of credit because a lot of people don’t want to play. But they want to play and it’ll be a very tough game for us…I called her up. Yeah, I texted her, I said would you be interested in playing? She said yes. I said hey, let’s try to make it happen and they did. Also another school, there’s another school that we had a backup that would have played us, too. We were going to get a game…

"Long Beach. Yep, Long Beach State was going to go up. So, if a team drops out, we’re willing to play, like we went up last year and played Washington State twice in a row. We’re willing to play people. Our team wants to play.”

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