DiJonai Carrington rose to the occasion, scoring 13 points and grabbing 22 rebounds, to help the 14th-ranked Stanford women's basketball team earn its first victory of the season, a 53-43 win over visiting UC Riverside in a nonconference match Friday.
The Cardinal (1-2) played without leading scorer Brittany McPhee, out with a right foot injury.
The Cardinal jumped to a quick lead and were never headed, though the Highlanders never went away either. After the first quarter, UC Riverside actually outscored Stanford.
"We have a young team who did some nice things but we have a lot of work to do," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "They're learning and adjusting to new positions. It was important for us to find a way to win."
Carrington made her first career start memorable. No one from either side shot the ball particularly well, though Carrington was ahead of the curve on 6 of 17 shooting (0-of-8 from 3-point range) for just over 35 percent. The rest of the team combined to shoot just over 27 percent.
Riverside was equally ineffective, shooting just over 24 percent as a whole, under five percent from 3-point range.
Stanford led by as many as 20 points early in the third quarter and then did just enough to hold off the Highlanders.
Carrington recorded the third-most rebounds in a game, matching Mickaela Ruef and Kaylee Johnson on the list behind Chiney Ogwumike's 24-rebounds game and Nneka Ogwumike's 23-rebound game.
"I think its just grit," Carrington said. "I'm a tough person and I don't like it when the other team is getting second and third chances. We always want to win the rebounding effort."
(She means it when she says she's tough. Carrington has a brother who plays football at Utah, a father who appeared in the NFL and she played two years of tackle football in middle school).
The Cardinal hosts Cal State Bakersfield at 2 p.m. Sunday before hitting the road again.
McPhee originally injured the foot during Stanford's exhibition game, landing on it awkwardly.
Kaylee Johnson added 10 rebounds, eight points and three blocked shots. Alanna Smith scored 11 points.