LAS VEGAS (AP) — As the nation’s top recruit in 2019, Haley Jones had high expectations for her freshman campaign with Stanford. But a right-knee injury 18 games in brought an abrupt end to her debut season.
Three games into this season, the sophomore is reminding everyone how good she can play.
Jones scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead No. 2 Stanford to an 83-50 victory over Washington on Sunday at the Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
“With my season being cut extra short last year, I’ve just been really excited to finally get back out there on the floor,” said Jones, who registered her third double-double of her career. “I guess a little chip on the shoulder. … I think I’m coming out with more of an aggressive mentality.”
The Pac 12 home opener for Stanford (3-0, 1-0 Pac 12) was shifted from Palo Alto, California due to Santa Clara County’s ban on sporting events and practices for three weeks.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer improved to 1,097-253 and is two victories shy of passing Pat Summitt (1,098) as the winningest coach in women’s college basketball history.
Francesca Belibi and Hannah Jump each chipped in with 12 points for the Cardinal. Jump also had a career-high tying four rebounds.
Quay Miller had 10 points to lead Washington (3-1, 1-1).
One day after notching career highs with 25 points and seven assists against UNLV, Jones carried her momentum over and opened the game by hitting her first eight attempts en route to a 14-for-15 performance from the floor, the best shooting percentage in a single-game by a Stanford player since 1981 (minimum 10 attempts).
The Huskies held it together in the first quarter, pulling within one point three times, and never let Stanford’s lead get bigger than five points. But the Cardinal turned up their defensive pressure in the second quarter, limiting the Huskies to just four points and only one field goal.
While Washington struggled to an abysmal 1-for-14 (7.1%) shooting display in the second quarter, the Cardinal were 11-for-20 (55%) from the field, making up for a bleak 1 of 13 display offering from 3-point range in the first half.
Jones sparked the surge, scoring 10 points during Stanford’s 14-0 run to start the second quarter. But it was more than her scoring, as she injected fuel with a key offensive rebound and a defensive tip off the glass to ignite a fast break to keep momentum flowing in the Cardinal’s direction.
“I feel like I have a different role on the team this year,” Jones said. “I’m just really trying to do what my team needs me to do. If that’s playmaking, if that’s taking my shots when (I’m) open, if it’s getting wherever I need to be.”
SCHEDULING: With uncertainties remaining in California, VanDerveer said she is unsure how the next two weeks will play out for her team. Tuesday’s game with Washington State was postponed due to COVID-19 conflicts, and the next two games vs. UC Davis and at Cal are now in limbo.
“As far as I know right now, we’re looking to figure out we go back to play Cal, whether we can play Davis, that didn’t look like a good option today,” she said. “I haven’t checked my phone since the game, and things happened so quickly. … We’re just gonna do what we’re allowed to do by the county, by the university and just try to keep playing.”
Washington: Freshman Tameiya Sadler has had quite a start to her collegiate career. She hit the game-winning bucket in the season-opener against San Diego State, she scored a team-high 23 points in a win over BYU, she earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and then became the first Husky freshman to score 20 points or more in back-to-back games since Kelsey Plum did it numerous times in 2013-14, with a 21-point showing at Cal following the BYU game. Things didn’t go as well in her first encounter with perennial power Stanford, as Sadler finished with 8 points on 2-for-10 shooting from the floor.
Stanford: The Cardinal went 2-0 this week, also beating UNLV 101-54 on Saturday. They’re now poised to supplant top-ranked South Carolina, which suffered its first loss of the season on Thursday, a 54-46 setback to No. 8 North Carolina State.