Brink scores career-high 25, Stanford no.4 defeats Pacific
Of course, Cameron Brink had a little extra motivation to want to shine with former Stanford star Nneka Ogwumike watching from the court.
“Cam is just like, ‘I’ll show you what I’ve got,” said Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer.
Brink scored a career-high 25 points to go with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, and the fourth Cardinal fled the Pacific in the third quarter for a 91-62 victory on Sunday.
Lexie Hull added 16 points and three blocks for the Cardinal (6-2). She scored nine in Stanford’s 25-point third quarter.
Dynamic first-year guard Anaya James scored 18 points and Sam Ashby added 11 points for Pacific (2-7). The Young Tigers lost their sixth straight game after dropping the previous two by seven points combined – 80-77 in overtime to Nevada last Saturday and 76-72 at Oregon State on Dec. 1.
Brink, a sophomore who is a close friend of Warriors star Stephen Curry, shot 12 of 16.
“Without my teammates who made such good entry passes, I wouldn’t have scored as much as I did,” she said. “The rebounds I can continue to be a force on the boards, I think that’s something Tara really wants me to do, and the blocking shots but not the fouls.
Coach Bradley Davis lost two players after being injured, so it proved even more difficult to keep up with Brink.
“They all have to play different roles throughout this young season which has given us a good experience,” said Davis. “I hope it’s an experience we can cash in on later.”
The Cardinal, pushing the tempo and working to make the extra pass, landed 9 of his first 12 shots and used a 19-2 run to build himself a 24-7 lead.
After a James 2:27 basket before half-time, Pacific did not score again until the intermission and was down 45-34 at the break. Ashby made his three 3-point tries in the first half to help keep the Tigers close.
Stanford only shot 7 for 26 on a 3-point range, Hannah Jump shot 3 for 10 to finish with 12 points. VanDerveer was able to mix and match his rotations and capitalize on the depth of the Cardinal, sending Brink off the ground throughout the stretch.
“Cam was unstoppable on the inside,” VanDerveer said. “She’s had a good two weeks of training, just playing great basketball for our team.”
Pacific center Elizabeth Elliott, another talented rookie, scored 12 points before committing a foul.
She knows playing against stars like Brink will benefit her right across the board.
“We’re very young now, but in a few years it will all pay off because we’ll be in every situation,” said Elliott. “We’ve been in overtime, we’ve been in close games, we’ve had breakouts. It is important that we use it not only now but in the future and that we continue to learn and grow from it.
Pacific: Tigers miss out on injured posts Cassidy Johnson and Emily Jarrell. … James is his third game in the last four scoring 18 or more points. … Pacific scored five 3-pointers in the first half against Stanford’s 4 of 10 in depth. … The Tigers made 19 turnovers leading to 23 Stanford points and were passed 50-27, including 12-2 in the first quarter, falling 30-18. … Pacific fell to 0-5 on the road.
Stanford: Hull’s twin sister Lacie had three of her team’s 11 interceptions. … Stanford blocked 10 shots in all, tying a season-high after also hitting 10 in a 61-56 home loss to Texas on Nov. 14. … The Cardinal briefly trailed off in the game, but then led up to 17 shots. in the first trimester. … Ogwumike, sitting on the baseline near the Stanford bench, waved his hand during a timeout in the first quarter when it was announced and shown on the big screen.
Pacific: At UNLV on Saturday.
Stanford: hosts UC Davis Wednesday night.