The USF women’s basketball team made history on Nov. 9 when they squared off against the No. 3 Stanford University Cardinal at the Chase Center, San Francisco’s newly-christened arena. As well as being the first game of a USF basketball doubleheader, the afternoon’s matchup also carried the distinction of being the first-ever women’s collegiate basketball game played at the Chase Center.
Heading into the match, the Dons were riding the momentum of a 90-83 win in their season opener over the University of Northern Colorado Bears.
The first four minutes of play saw the Dons keep things close with their opponents, but a 7-0 Cardinal run pushed Stanford to a 14-8 lead. The Dons’ offense mustered five more points, and they went into the second quarter trailing 22-13.
Though the Cardinal led the entirety of the second quarter, the Dons kept their deficit in the single digits. Freshman Ioanna Krimili churned out eight consecutive points to keep the Dons on the Cardinal’s heels. With two minutes to go in the second quarter, junior Lucie Hoskova drained a 3-pointer that brought the Cardinal lead back down to nine points. However, these efforts were not enough, and the Dons went into halftime facing a 12-point deficit.
Fresh out of the locker room, the Cardinal grew their lead with a 10-0 run. The Dons ended the third quarter shooting 41% from the field, and they were outscored by 11 points. These efforts, coupled with the Cardinal’s offensive prowess, allowed Stanford to jump out to a 75-52 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Dons tried to muster a comeback and upset the Cardinal. They fell short, largely due to going 0-5 in their three point attempts in the quarter, and the Cardinal spoiled the Dons’ Chase Center debut with a 95-72 win.
Despite the loss, the Dons showed a marked improvement from their defeat by the Cardinal last November (96-62). The Dons’ 72 points were also the most the team has scored against the Cardinal since their 2001-02 meetup.
Four Dons ended the game with their scoring in double digits, and Krimili led the pack with 17 points. Hoskova and graduate student Mikayla Williams led the team in rebounds with seven apiece.
Looking ahead, the Dons return to the Hilltop for a two-game homestand against the California State University, Northridge Matadors on Nov. 16 and the University of Idaho Vandals on Nov. 18.