STANFORD, Calif. – In this game, there is no rearview mirror. But there is film.
Gonzaga’s 68-63 nonconference win here 16 months ago has no more relevance than Stanford’s Elite Eight triumph seven years ago.
Saturday’s game isn’t the first, last or most consequential meeting, but it’s the next one – which is all that matters.
“Different years, different teams,” GU’s Jill Barta said Friday as both teams they prepared for Saturday’s first-round NCAA Tournament game at Maples Pavilion.
This time, it’s Stanford that has the incentive of earning some payback in a series it leads 7-1.
“It wasn’t a big shock, but we definitely think about it,” Stanford senior Brittany McPhee said Friday. “We watch clips from last year where they burned us.
But we just know that we’re a completely different team, they’re a completely different team and that we both have to show up and be ready to play.”
While the players’ eyes are fixed straight ahead, it’s always fun to take a look back at previous GU-Stanford meetings.
Here they are:
Nov. 29, 2009 – Going into his 10th season and coming off a second-round NCAA appearance, coach Kelly Graves was ready to ratchet up the nonconference schedule. Stanford, a Final Four participant was more than ready for the challenge, taking a 104-75 home win.
Nov. 21, 2010 – The rematch at sold-out McCarthey Athletic Center saw Courtey Vandersloot score a game-high 24 points, but Jeanette Pohlen hit several late shots to help the third-ranked Cardinal pull out an 84-78 win. The third-ranked Cardinal, who went on to another Final Four, are the highest-ranking team to visit the Kennel.
March 28, 2011 – Four months later they met again in the biggest game in GU history. With a Final Four Berth on the line, Vandersloot scored 25 points, Kayla Standish 17 and Katelan Redmon 13, but Stanford’s strength inside was too much for the Zags as the Cardinal won 83-60 before 11,000 fans at the Spokane Arena. Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike dominated the inside with 23 points and 11 rebounds, and sister Chiney chipped in with 18 points and 15 boards.
Nov. 13, 2011 – Hayden Palmer sored 13 points and Taelor Karr and Kelly Bowen had 10 apiece, but preseason All-American Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 33 in a rerun of the Elite Eight matchup. “They just wore us down,” Graves said after a 76-61 defeat at Stanford.
Dec. 2, 2012 – It was a special day for the Tinkle sisters in Spokane, as Elle and GU hosted Joslyn and the Cardinal. In front of a packed house that included their parents, Joslyn scored 18 points and the Cardinal got hot from outside to take an easy 69-41 win.
Nov. 15, 2015 – Three years later, in Fortier’s second season, GU led by one point with 6 1/2 minutes left, but Stanford scored 19 of the game’s final 20 points to win 65-48. Freshman Jill Barta showed her potential with a team-high 11 points and Elle Tinkle had 10.
Nov. 18, 2016 – The Cardinal were coming off an upset of No. 7 Texas when GU game to town, and Barta was at her best, scoring a game-high 26 points in a 68-63 win. It was only the Cardinal’s eighth home loss since 2007. With GU holding a one-point lead with 27 seconds left, Tinkle made a block on Brittany McPhee to seal the game.
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