Stanford’s Erica McCall finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Cardinal to a 77-55 win over the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday at McKale Center.
McCall helped the Cardinal win the rebounding battle 43-25.
Arizona coach Adia Barnes took note of Stanford’s size when she generated her game plan.
“The game plan was to not guard certain people as tight and to clog the paint,” she said.
However, the plan could not contain McCall and the rest of Stanford’s post players as the Cardinal grabbed 14 offensive rebounds.
“Stanford, they are so talented. We had to pick and choose (how to defend each player),” Barnes said.
Of her team’s offensive struggles, Barnes said: “It was a bad game shooting wise.”
Arizona’s LaBrittney Jones finished with eight points and they did not come easy.
“LaBrittney Jones was really working hard inside but they (Stanford) had so many bodies around her,” Barnes said. “When she kicked it out we were not able to nail shots consistently so, they just stayed packed (in) on her.”
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She already knows what she will tell her team to do for their games going forward.
“I want Lucia (Alonso), Taryn (Griffey) and Malena (Washington) to look for their shot,” she said. “It will loosen up LB (Jones) inside. I like the fact that she (Alonso) was more aggressive tonight… I told her (that) she needs to do that every night because she is one of our best shooters by far.”
Junior guard JaLea Bennett played three minutes in her return from injury.
“Jalea does so many things that you cannot teach,” Barnes said. “It is just her God-given talent. She is an incredible athlete that can change the game”
Barnes allowed freshman guard Bria Rice to play more than usual. Rice logged 11 minutes. Barnes thinks her defense is her best quality as a player.
“She is our best on the ball defender,” Barnes said. “She is so tenacious on defense. She has been practicing great. I knew she deserved a chance to play in the game.”
Despite the loss, Barnes values the small steps that she sees her team taking.
“What I am very proud of is playing hard all the way through,” Barnes said.
She knows what she needs to emphasize going forward.
“It’s getting more disciplined and learning what winning looks like that is the next step,” she said.
The Wildcats will look to make their improvements in time for their first conference road game against Colorado on Friday.