No. 6 Stanford sweeps two in return home to Maples Pavilion

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford completed a triumphant return to its home court in Maples Pavilion after more than two months away from campus — and everybody on the roster contributed.

Kiana Williams found her shooting stroke early on the way to 13 points making all three of her 3-point tries, leading the sixth-ranked Cardinal to their sixth straight win since a rare two-game skid with an 83-41 victory against Utah on Sunday.

Haley Jones bounced back from a tough 2-of-10 shooting performance two days earlier to score 12 points on 6-for-10 from the floor and freshman Cameron Brink also added 12 points as Stanford (17-2, 14-2 Pac-12) finished 52% on field goals. It was the largest margin of victory in 28 meetings between the schools.

All 11 Stanford players scored.

“Yes Kiana got it going early, Haley got it going early, Cam did some really nice things early for us, but I really think this was about our team depth, and I’m really proud of how they played,” coach Tara VanDerveer said. “There’s a lot of times where when you sub things drop off really quickly and you’ve got to sub people back in. I never felt like that was going to happen today.”

Lola Pendande scored 11 points for Utah (5-11, 4-11) with seven of those coming at the free throw line. The Utes, coming off a 62-51 road win against California on Friday in Berkeley, dropped its fourth straight to Pac-12 power Stanford.

Holding on for a 62-54 win over Colorado on Friday night, Stanford went without a field goal over the final 8:53 of the game during which the Cardinal were 0 for 6. The Buffaloes outscored the Cardinal 28-13 in the fourth.

“I was very happy how they responded,” VanDerveer said.

Stanford played at home for the first time since its Nov. 25 opener because of COVID-19 restrictions from Santa Clara County on sporting events and practices during a surge in the pandemic.

VanDerveer stressed the importance of sustaining energy and effort for 40 minutes, taking better care of the ball and improving shooting — and the Cardinal committed only seven turnovers on a day everyone got significant playing time.

“If we want to get far into the tournament or just winning games we have to be intense all four quarters,” said freshman Jana Van Gytenbeek, who scored 12 points off the bench. “I think everybody does a really good job of trying to get people hyped up and continuing to do the little things to keep us intense.”

Stanford hit 7 of its initial 9 shots for a quick 17-4 lead as Utah began 2 for 8.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

At 1,628 career points, Williams is six shy of tying Jennifer Azzi for 12th place in program history.

Williams is second in career 3-pointers with 272, trailing only Candice Wiggins’ 295 from 2005-08.

BIG PICTURE

Utah: Utah was 0 for 7 on 3s in the first quarter and 3 of 14 overall to fall behind 24-7, making just 1 of 14 3s in the first half to trail 47-14 and finished 1 for 22 from deep. The team was shooting 35% on the road — including 50% at Arizona State on Jan. 22 and 45.5% at Cal on Friday. … The Utes were held without a field goal over the final 3:55 of the first half (0-4). … They have been held to 64 points or fewer in every meeting with Stanford since 2007.

Stanford: No team has shot better than 41.5% against the Cardinal over the first 19 games of a season for the first time since 2013-14, including seven opponents shooting 29 percent or below — Utah at 24% on Sunday. … The Cardinal lead the overall series with Utah 27-1 and have won the last four by 28 or more points, and the last 15 have been by at least 11. … Stanford has reached 68 points in every game vs. Utah dating to 2015.

UP NEXT

Utah: Hosts UCLA on Friday.

Stanford: At Oregon State on Friday night.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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