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Oregon State Women’s Basketball: Opponent Preview - Stanford

BEAVERS EAT TREES!

NCAA Womens Basketball: Women’s Final Four-Stanford vs South Carolina Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The 7th ranked Oregon State Beavers Women’s Basketball team heads to the Bay Area to take on the 11th ranked Stanford Cardinal in game 24 of the season. Tip-off is slated for 6 PM PST on Friday, February 8th. Watch it on the PAC-12 Network or check out the team’s Twitter page for other ways to follow along live. Let’s take a closer look at the Cardinal.


Stanford (#11 AP, 18-3 overall, 8-2 conference)

Last season: 24-11 overall, 14-3 in PAC-12 (2nd), lost in Sweet Sixteen of NCAA Tournament

The Cardinal may have lost two of their last three games, but don’t let that get your guard down. This team is still ranked 11th in the nation, and for good reason. They own impressive wins over Baylor (currently the #1 ranked team in the nation), Arizona State (#19), California (receiving votes), Tennesse (formerly ranked), and Florida Gulf Coast (sitting at 18-4 overall). Their three losses came at Gonzaga (#13), at Utah (#17), and at California.

Last year, these teams played once in what was a close game at Gill Coliseum where the Cardinal snuck away with a three point victory. The now departed Brittany McPhee led Stanford with 18 points and 12 rebounds to keep the Beavers out of the top two spots in the conference standings.

Stanford leads the league in blocks at 5.1 per game and are second in defensive field goal percentage (behind Oregon State). They are still coached by Tara Vanderveer, of course, who has been the head coach for as long as yours truly has been alive.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Women’s Final Four-Stanford vs South Carolina
“You’ll have to cut my head off before I’m going to retire!” Tara Vanderveer, probably.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Who to watch

#11 - Alanna Smith, Senior Forward

The senior from Australia is doing it all for the Cardinal this year as she leads the team in points (20.9 per game), rebounds (8.1), blocks (2.4), and three-point percentage (45%). Her scoring average is third in the conference and her shooting percentage from downtown is fourth. The All-PAC-12 team member has won PAC-12 Player of the week three times in her career so far and had an all-around game against the Beavers last year with 11 points, six rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. Expect her to improve upon that performance on her way to another All-Pac-12 season.

#23 - Kiana Williams, Sophomore Guard

Williams leads Stanford as the main facilitator with 4.9 assists per game. She can score as well, averaging 14.6 points per game, second on the team. She logs the most minutes at 33.6 per game, including three complete games. As a freshman last year, she chipped in 14 points on the road against the Beavers.

#21 - DiJonai Carrington, Junior Guard

The team’s second leading rebounder is the junior guard, Carrington, at 7.6 per game. She is also the team’s third leading scorer, just behind Williams at 13.9. While she did not start against the Beavers last year, she still managed to score nine points, grab three rebounds, and make three assists.


Prediction

While it seems the Beavers have caught the Stanford Cardinal at a good time with having lost two of their last three, the team based on a shade of red has not yet lost at home. I believe the Beavers will hang tough in their attempt to gnaw the trees and bring them further down in the standings, but it may be too tall of an order. Beavers lose on the road.