Stanford women’s basketball is a team in a hurry.
The No. 2-ranked Cardinal, which played four games in seven days to open the season, is back to work Wednesday against Cal Poly. It’s an accelerated lead-up to the Sunday home showdown against No. 1 South Carolina in what will be a second rematch since Stanford’s 66-65 win in the 2021 Final Four.
South Carolina rallied to beat the Cardinal 65-61 last December and went on to win the 2022 national title while Stanford lost to Connecticut in the Final Four.
Stanford was 4-0 last week with an average victory margin of 49 points, becoming the first team nationally to reach four wins. Most importantly, Tara VanDerveer was able to spread minutes around and perhaps settle on freshman Talana Lepolo as a starting guard in place of departed Lexie Hull.
The Cardinal led by 18 points at halftime over South Carolina a year ago, only to lose primarily because it committed 20 turnovers. So far, Lepolo has 26 assists and just seven turnovers, albeit against vastly lesser competition than she will face Sunday. Senior Haley Jones also will be on the ball at times for Stanford in the 63rd meeting between Associated Press No. 1-2 teams.
Overall, Pac-12 teams are a combined 32-1 through Tuesday.
Here are the Hotline’s second 2022-23 women’s basketball power ratings.
1. Stanford (4-0)
Last week: 1
Results: beat Cal State Northridge 104-40, beat Pacific 98-44, beat Portland 87-47
Next up: vs. Cal Poly (Wednesday)
NET ranking: No. 3 (through Monday)
Comment: Eleven players averaged double-digit minutes (with two others just below 10) and none more than 22 in the Cardinal’s four lopsided opening-week wins. Haley Jones, Cameron Brink, Kiki Iriafen and Hannah Jump started all four with 6-foot-4 Brink already registering 17 blocks.
2. Oregon (3-0)
Last week: 2
Results: beat Seattle 90-47, beat Southern 83-46
Next up: vs. Southern Utah (Monday)
NET ranking: No. 13
Comment: The Ducks dropped one spot to No. 21 in the AP poll through no fault of their own, then won in a third blowout Monday. Grace VanSlooten, a 6-foot-3 forward, is Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, averaging 18 points in her first two games and leading all scorers in both.
3. Arizona (2-0)
Last week: 3
Results: beat Northern Arizona 113-56, beat Cal State Northridge 87-47
Next up: vs. Loyola Marymount (Thursday)
NET ranking: No. 22
Comment: The Wildcats made a one-spot gain to No. 18 in the AP rankings, led by West Virginia transfer Esmery Martinez averaging a double-double (17.5 points, …read more
Source:: The Mercury News