You can’t tell much from an exhibition game in which the home team scores 31 points in a row and leads 63-7 late in the first half.
That was the case for Stanford, which encountered little resistance from Corban, an NAIA Division II school from Salem, Ore., in the Cardinal’s first game action of the season on Thursday at Maples Pavilion.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the exhibition game, which Stanford won 117-33, was that one of the Cardinal’s key players, Toni Kokenis, did not play. Apparently she simply was not feeling well, so she was kept on the bench.
Whether she plays in Saturday’s second exhibition game against Vanguard will be worth watching.
Kokenis’ starting spot was occupied on Thursday by junior Sara James, who collected 24 points in 26 minutes of action. The other four starters were no surprise as Chiney Ogwumike, Joslyn Tinkle, Amber Orrange and Taylor Greenfield joined James in the starting lineup.
Ogwumike played only 15 minutes, while Tinkle and Orrange got only 17 minutes of playing time. All five starters scored in double figures despite their limited playing time.
The game’s high scorer was sophomore Bonnie Samuelson, who continued to demonstrate that she can hit three-pointers in bunches. She took 14 shots in just 17 minutes of action, and 12 of those shots were three-pointers. She made seven of those shots from beyond the arc and collected 27 points in her brief time on the court.
Certainly her outside threat will be important to the Cardinal, which last season had the worst three-point shooting percentage in Tara VanDerveer’s 26 seasons as head coach. But Samuelson needs to expand her game to get more playing time.
Otherwise the focus was on sophomore Erica Payne and freshman Tess Picknell. The Cardinal needs help in the frontcourt this season, and those two are the most likely to provide that needed depth up front.
The 6-2 Payne had five points, six rebounds and six assists in 20 minutes of action on Thursday, and the 6-5 Picknell had just one point, but had eight rebounds and two blocks in her 22 minutes of playing time. Shit-blocking is her forte, and it will interesting to see whether she can provide some defensive intimidation against Division I opponents.
Freshman forward Aly Beebe, one of the nation’s top recruits, would have been a big help this season, but she is out for the year after tearing her anterior-cruciate ligament during the summer.
Mikaela Ruef, who is back after having foot surgery last winter, played just 11 minutes and had seven points.
Stanford opens the regular season on Nov. 9 at home against Fresno State.