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Rick Nixon | | January 5, 2021

Women's college basketball: Stanford is named's Team of the Week

Tara VanDerveer builds her ultimate Stanford women's basketball dream player

The No. 1 Stanford Cardinal have been on a five-week road trip, playing and winning games in Las Vegas; Berkeley, California; Los Angeles and most recently last week in Arizona, winning impressively over Arizona and Arizona State while earning Team of the Week honors.

Stanford, 9-0 overall and 6-0 in Pac-12 Conference play, has been forced out of its home because of Santa Clara County's ban on contact sports to address the rise of COVID-19 cases. Despite not having a played a home game since its season-opener on Nov. 25, the Cardinal have continued to roll, with most recent victories over Arizona, 81-54 on Friday night and then Arizona State, 68-60 on Sunday.

In the win over No. 6 Arizona, Stanford won its second straight game over a top-10 ranked opponent as sophomore guard Haley Jones led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Lexie Hull added 13 points. The Cardinal had defeated 10th-ranked UCLA on Dec. 21 before the holiday break.

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Stanford raced past the Wildcats with a 15-2 run in the first quarter and had a 24-point lead by halftime. The Cardinal kept up the pressure and finished with a 51-32 rebounding advantage to avenge an overtime loss at the hands of Arizona last season.

The Cardinal then held on to defeat a stubborn Arizona State team as sophomore forward Francesca Belibi scored a career-high 23 points and added a season-high 12 rebounds, while senior guard Kiana Williams backed her up with 16 points.  Stanford, which has now held all nine opponents to fewer than 61 points this season, had not won by fewer than 12 points this season before the Arizona State game.  The win was the 1,103rd recorded by Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer, who continues to add to her total as the all-time winningest coach in women’s basketball history.

Stanford is next scheduled to play No. 11 Oregon on Friday, Jan. 8 at a site to be determined.

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