Stanford’s Smith raises awareness for human trafficking

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              Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, right, walks off the court after an NCAA college basketball game with Alanna Smith (11) after her 900th win at Stanford, defeating Washington State Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stanford’s Alanna Smith picked a great game to have a career day.

She scored a career-high 34 points on Sunday in a 21-point win over Washington. More importantly, she helped organize that contest to be the school’s first Human Trafficking Awareness Game.

“I didn’t plan to have it on this day, I was just hoping to do it at some point in this season,” she said of the awareness game. “But to have a big crowd and to win a huge game and to play well, it means a lot. I’m not just about basketball and that’s our whole team, too. Our whole team is really caring and we love to give back, and as athletes that’s something I think is really important to do. I’m really happy this day kind of came together.”

Smith took a class last quarter on human trafficking and Betty Ann Hagenau, Stanford’s public address announcer who works in the anti-trafficking field, spoke as a guest lecturer. They discussed doing more.

Smith has not only recruited campus officials, fellow students and others to attend but took part in an in-game video message .

“That’s kind of Alanna as a quintessential Stanford student,” said Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer, who won her 900th game at the school on Sunday. “She’s not just about basketball, she’s not just about academics, she’s into her studies and I think it’s a great statement that she cares about more than just dribbling and shooting. And all of our team does. I think the Stanford athletes as a whole are very caring and passionate people. I know Alanna liked to be able to bring human trafficking to this kind of platform to be able to say, ‘Hey, it’s not OK and we’ve got to do something about it.'”

There was a table on the concourse that provided information for further community engagement. The halftime dancers included human trafficking survivors ages 11-47 from the non-profit Love Never Fails, which works to restore, educate and protect those at risk of domestic human trafficking.

The dancers were invited to the Stanford locker room after the game to meet the players and coaches, with Williams calling it “incredible.”

“This is all by Alanna Smith’s leadership,” Hagenau said.

STAT SHEET STUFFER: Sacred Heart graduate student Katherine Haines had the first triple-double in school history on Saturday in a 68-66 win over St. Francis, Brooklyn. She had 25 points, 15 rebounds and a career-best 11 blocks. Her blocks tied the program-record all-time and set the mark for the most in school history since the Pioneers became a Division-I program in 1999. Kelley Gray had 11 blocks twice in 1986 and 1987 when the school was a DII institution.

“It’s cool, it represents more than just me,” Haines said after the game. “The fact it came in a win makes it even better.”

Sacred Heart is 5-0 and tied for the lead of the Northeast Conference.

STELLAR FRESHMAN: Texas Tech’s Chrislyn Carr is averaging 19.5 points per game, which is second in the conference. Carr would be just the fourth Big 12 freshman to ever rank in the top-5 in league scoring. The other three were Baylor’s Brittney Griner (2009-10, 18.4 ppg, 3rd), Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris (2005-06, 21.9, 2nd) and Missouri’s Julie Helm (1996-97, 17.0 ppg, 5th).

TIP-INS: Baylor has won a Big 12 record 29 consecutive league games on the road since Jan. 6, 2016. The Lady Bears’ streak is tied for fifth all-time in the nation since 1999-2000. The streak is the second-longest active streak behind UConn’s 46 games. The all-time record of 48 (since 1999-00) is held by Stanford (Jan. 22, 2009-Feb. 7, 2014). … Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki became the second-quickest Duke player in school history to reach 250 points, 100 rebounds, 50 assists and 50 steals in a season, accomplishing it in only 17 games. She missed the mark by one game as Blue Devil all-time leading scorer Alana Beard accomplished the mark in only 16 games back in 2001-02. … Rutgers is 7-0 in conference play for the first time since 2007-08 when the Scarlet Knights were still in the Big East.

TOP 25 CRASH: With conference play in full swing the AP Top 25 had a rough week. While the first eight teams didn’t lose a game, although No. 8 N.C. State needed OT to beat Virginia Tech Sunday, the rest of the poll went 18-16.

COME FLY WITH ME: Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team had a pleasant surprise waiting for them when they chartered a flight to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The plane at Atlantic Aviation was one used by musician Stevie Van Zandt on his recent tour . Most of the players were too young to know Van Zandt from his days on the hit TV show the Sopranos as Silvio Dante. Van Zandt saw the team’s tweet about using his plane and responded.

SLUMPING: Tennessee lost its fourth game in a row, falling to Alabama this week. The Lady Vols hadn’t lost four straight since 1970 — four years before Pat Summitt took over the program. The team will try and end the skid on Monday against Arkansas. No. 1 Notre Dame visits on Thursday.