STANFORD, Calif. (AP) With a Stephen Curry-like heave, Karlie Samuelson let it fly from half-court right before the morning shootaround and made it – and someone captured video evidence. The Stanford star is not usually shooting from quite that distance.
”I don’t shoot half-court, that’s too far,” she said, smiling.
”Karlie’s just got that kind of range,” coach Tara VanDerveer said.
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Later, Samuelson found her touch again and hit four 3-pointers to score 15 points and Hall of Famer VanDerveer moved within four victories of No. 1,000 for her career as the 10th-ranked Cardinal beat Arizona 73-46 on Friday night.
”The reason that she makes them is she practices them a lot,” VanDerveer said. ”Karlie this year is more than 3-point shooting. She has a complete game. She’s working hard on the defensive end.”
VanDerveeer is closing in on joining the late Pat Summitt as the only NCAA women’s coaches with 1,000 career wins.
Brittany McPhee contributed 13 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots and Erica McCall also scored 13 in Stanford’s 15th straight win against Arizona at Maples Pavilion.
Wildcats leading scorer LaBrittney Jones, averaging 15.7 coming into the weekend, had 11 points on 5-for-12 shooting but her team was overmatched by VanDerveer’s deep team from the opening tip.
Stanford beat Arizona for the 29th time in the last 30 meetings having outscored the Wildcats by an average of more than 22 points.
It gets tougher Sunday afternoon at Maples when No. 18 Arizona State visits after Stanford won a tight one the first time. And VanDerveer might have her players take a few extra free throws before then after they went 3 for 10 from the line.
”The best thing I think was we got a lot of people some major minutes. That’s what we need in this situation,” VanDerveer said. ”They should be rested and ready to go on Sunday. Getting people game time is real important.”
The Cardinal made 10 of their first 12 shots with three 3-pointers and jumped to a 24-6 advantage in a hurry against the cold-shooting Wildcats, who began 5 of 19 and missed their initial five tries from long range before JaLea Bennett connected 1:38 before halftime. Malena Washington made a 3 to beat the buzzer ending the second quarter as Arizona trailed 45-23 at the break.
Arizona coach Adia Barnes said a six-point first quarter was too much to overcome.
”That’s what Stanford does. They come out, they’re confident at home,” she said. ”We really got punched in the face the first quarter.”
This lopsided win was expected, so Sunday’s matchup with Arizona State will better determine whether the Cardinal and Sun Devils move in next week’s AP Top-25 poll.
Arizona: Jones scored in double figures for the eighth time in 10 games and fifth straight. Arizona’s six-point first quarter matched its second-lowest period of the season behind a five-point second quarter against the Cardinal on Jan. 1 in Tucson.
The Wildcats, who haven’t won on Stanford’s home floor since Jan. 6, 2001, stayed even in the second period with their 17 points matching Stanford’s total. They are playing with new energy under first-year coach and former player Barnes.
Stanford: Samuelson’s three first-half 3s made her the eighth player in program history with 200 career 3-pointers. She and the balanced Cardinal attack are showing that determined Stanford might be hosting some NCAA Tournament games on its home floor in March if this strong play continues. The Cardinal are 144-9 at home over the past 10 years.
Freshman guard Anna Wilson, sister of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, didn’t feel well and sat out.
Arizona: At California on Sunday after losing the first meeting Dec. 29 74-64.
Stanford: Hosts Arizona State on Sunday. The Cardinal won 64-57 in their Pac-12 opener at Tempe on Dec. 30.