The competitor in Karlie Samuelson thinks she can beat her older sister, Bonnie, in a game of H-O-R-S-E. Realistically? There's no way, at least for now.
Karlie Samuelson entered Sunday's 66-48 nonconference victory over visiting UC Davis early and played well enough to earn 33 minutes of playing time. Only Stanford point guard Amber Orrange played more.
The third-ranked Cardinal (3-1) travels to Texas for a nonconference game Saturday before heading off to Puerta Vallarta in Mexico for a tournament during Thanksgiving week.
Chiney Ogwumike took care of most the heavy lifting, with 28 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots, but the freshman Samuelson showed enough that Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer was encouraged.
"She did a nice job defensively," said VanDerveer, who won her 897th career game, three shy of becoming the fifth coach to win 900 games in women's basketball.
Samuelson was called upon to guard Aggies' top scorer Sydnee Fipps, was was 5 of 9 from the field for 13 points in the first half and 0 for 5 from the field in the second half.
Samuelson also scored eight points and recorded a game-high six assists.
"We can play her at the 2 or the 3," said VanDerveer, who continues to look for production outside of Ogwumike, who has 62 career double-doubles, and Orrange, who added 10 points.
VanDerveer inserted Erica McCall into the lineup, replacing Kailee Johnson, who started the first three games. McCall became the third different freshman, out of five, to find herself starting. Samuelson may become the fourth.
McCall scored five points and had six rebounds in 17 minutes. Johnson played 13 minutes, with a couple of assists and a blocked shot to show for it.
"We have a lot of young players who, frankly, don't know what they are doing," VanDerveer said. "We have the players who, in five months, will help us."
Samuelson said VanDerveer and the coaching staff has been patient with her and the other freshmen.
"We work on plays a lot as part of the scout team," Samuelson said. "I feel pretty comfortable and that I am helping on defense. I'm hoping the offense will come."
The Samuelson sisters combined to make all three of the team's 3-point attempts, though they were 3 of 11 together. Stanford was 3 of 17 overall from long range, contributing to the team's 38.5 field goal percentage.
"I missed playing with my sister," Samuelson said.
Stanford did take advantage of its height, outrebounding the Aggies by a 49-37 margin, including 21-10 on the offensive boards. That resulted in a 15-4 disparity in second chance points.
The Cardinal also outscored UC Davis in points off turnovers, 21-9.
Mikaela Ruef left the game briefly with an injured right ankle and was favoring it afterward. She had eight points and eight rebounds.