Cal State Long Beach was playing its second consecutive game against a top-10 opponent, the defending NCAA champion--one that had already lost its opener, badly.
So it was no surprise that probability caught up with the 49ers at Long Beach. Stanford came back from a 10-point first-half deficit to win its first game of the season, 79-72.
The Cardinal had lost by 15 points last week to No. 6 Tennessee and the 49ers had upset No. 7 Texas, 80-74.
“Personally, I think this game was won in practice this week,” Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We were embarrassed last week in Tennessee. I saw a different commitment from everybody.”
Said Long Beach Coach Joan Bonvicini: “I was disappointed in our turnovers, which I think doubled in the second half (the 49ers had 13 in each half). We outrebounded them, 67-35--that’s crazy.”
So thought the screaming crowd of 1,749, who watched as the Cardinal, sparked by the inside play of forward Julie Zeilstra, tied the game, 43-43, with 16:33 remaining after trailing, 41-36, at halftime.
Stanford came back by applying more pressure in the second half, thus effectively shutting down the 49er fast break, which VanDerveer calls “the best in the game.”
Sophomore guard Molly Goodenbour--who scored a career-high 14 points--made the first of three key three-point baskets with 13:46 to go, and the Cardinal led the rest of the game.
Zeilstra led all scorers with 22 points. Center Val Whiting had 17 points and nine rebounds.
Long Beach was led by guard Trise Jackson with 19 points.
Penny Moore had 16 rebounds and Kari Parriott had 14.