Sports

Freshmen lead the way for Stanford women in hoops victory

 
Kiana Williams scored 14 points to lead Stanford past UNLV. Photo by Bob Drebin/isiphotos.com.

The rise of Stanford's freshmen women's basketball class continued Saturday as Kiana Williams and Maya Dodson combined to score 25 points and the 18th-ranked Cardinal downed visiting UNLV, 75-33, in a nonconference affair.

Williams made her first career start, as did Shannon Coffee and Anna Wilson, scoring 12 of her team-high 14 points in the first half. She was 5-of-7 from the floor, including a 3-of-4 performance from beyond the arc.

Dodson came off the bench to score 11 second-half points as Stanford played without two of their leading scorers in Brittany McPhee and DiJonai Carrington. McPhee has missed all but the first two games of the season while Carrington, who hurt an elbow during practice, missed her first game. Alanna Smith scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter.

The Cardinal (6-4) host Western Illinois (9-2) on Monday at 7 p.m. The Fighting Leathernecks bring a four-game winning streak into the contest.

"With two of our three leading scorers out I'm just trying to come in and help contribute until they get back," Williams said. "It's more about gaining more confidence."

Williams has earned more playing time as her confidence grows. She played 34 minutes in the loss to Baylor and 29 in the win over USF. She's also the second-leading healthy scorer (6.6) behind Smith (14.7).

"I think we played a little inspired," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "The scoring leaders were our freshmen and that's awesome."

Wilson and Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers as part of a 10-0 Stanford run to start the game which forced a Lady Rebels timeout. The stoppage worked for a spell before Smith reeled off the final seven points of the period for the Cardinal on a 15-foot jumper, two layups and a free throw.

Dodson took over in the third quarter. She took a feed from Alexa Romano and quickly spun to her left to lay it in. Late in the period she pulled down an offensive rebound between two UNLV defenders for another basket and flew in for another offensive board and finish as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.

Dodson beat her defender down the floor early in the fourth and Marta Sniezek found her, threading a bounce pass through a crowd for a streaking layup. Her fifth and final field goal came off another offensive rebound late in the game.

"When I first came in I didn't know a thing," Dodson said. "But we all kept working hard and every day it gets a little bit easier."

Added VanDerveer: "They're not here just to put in time. They're here to play."

VanDerveer said there's no timeline for McPhee or Carrington.

"Hopefully soon but we're not going to rush things," she said. "We just want them to get better."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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