STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Haley Jones came to Stanford as the nation’s top prospect and she’s beginning to live up to expectations.
Jones had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists in helping the top-ranked Cardinal beat Ohio State 71-52 on Sunday.
“She’s not just a good freshman, she’s a good player, period,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “She plays every position, she has stamina, she plays hard and she’s versatile. Her biggest advantage is her brain.”
Kiana Williams, Lexi Hull and Fran Belibi each added 13 points for the Cardinal (9-0), which ended a modest two-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. Belibi recorded a game-high eight rebounds.
“I think it’s my teammates,” Jones said. “I’m still learning and I’m listening to all of them. All the freshmen are able to feel comfortable with this team. We know they have our back no matter what we do.”
Jones hit a layup to give the Cardinal a 45-25 lead early in the third but Ohio State kept chipping away and pulled to 50-38 after two Stanford turnovers led to baskets by Rebeka Mikulasikova and Jacy Sheldon.
Stanford led by as many as 17 points in the first half before settling for a 37-23 halftime lead.
Like Stanford, Ohio State brought in a group of talented freshmen who are still finding their way. The Buckeyes have two seniors and a junior on the roster, making them one of the youngest teams in the country. “We played a difficult schedule and we’re had growing pains,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “It will help prepare us for the Big 10. It’s disappointing we didn’t play better but there’s a long way to go.”
Ohio State: The Buckeyes may have started the season slower than expected but they’re revving it up as conference play looms. With a schedule ranked second in terms of strength, Ohio State faced its third top-five team in six games and beat then-No. 2 Louisville at home. The Buckeyes were within two of UConn at halftime. Stanford was the first ranked team they played on the road.
Stanford: As the freshmen continue to develop and mesh with the veterans, the Cardinal seems to gain confidence with every game. Haley Jones has started three games and is averaging in double figures. She also leads the team in turnovers, but the assist-to-turnover ratio is improving. Three freshmen have started at least once and the fourth, Hannah Jump, is 20 of 41 from 3-point range.
Ohio State travels to play Sacramento State on Tuesday.
Stanford hosts Tennessee on Wednesday night.
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