Not that she has anything to prove, but Lexie Hull just did.
In Stanford’s season opener last Saturday against San Francisco, the former high school All-American at Central Valley was so focused on playing defense that she didn’t give her offense much thought – until she saw the stat sheet.
“I had no idea,” said Hull, who scored 27 points as third-ranked Stanford beat USF 97-71.
It was the first college game at the Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors’ new arena in San Francisco, and also a new beginning for Hull, her twin sister Lacie, and a Cardinal team that could be among the best in school history.
By Stanford standards, that would mean a trip the Final Four at the very least.
“Our goal is to get to national championship game and hopefully win that game,” Lexie said Thursday before the Cardinal beat Northern Colorado 90-36, running their record to 3-0.
Wouldn’t that be something: twins from Spokane winning national titles in high school and college?
Of course, there are challenges ahead – nonconference games against Tennessee and Texas, plus a brutal Pac-12 schedule – but that road begins with a big home game against the Hulls’ hometown team.
“We’re definitely looking forward to playing Gonzaga,” Lexie said, recalling that the twins’ return to Spokane last season ended in 79-73 loss.
“We don’t want that to happen again, but now we have them on our court,” said Lexie, who didn’t play against GU because of injury.
“I’d never missed games because of an injury,” said Lexie, who missed nine last year. “That was a real struggle, but I learned a lot from watching the other players and I appreciated how hard they worked.”
Lexie took it from there, and it showed against USF. Those 27 points came on 10-for-12 shooting from the field, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
“She played like a woman possessed,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
“I’m feeling more confident and it’s easier to play without as much pressure,” said Lexie, who recorded a double-double in her first career game last year, got hurt and never fully recovered.
“I’m playing in the moment.”
She also added eight rebounds and three assists, filling the stat sheet as usual.
“For sure, I want to be able to count on my defense,” Lexie said. “And if the offense comes, that will be great too.”
That’s true of both players. Last year, Lacie played in all 36 games, starting all but six. Playing mostly on the wing, she averaged 4.8 points and almost two steals a game.
“They’re both really active on defense,” said GU coach Lisa Fortier, who recruited the twins “until the end” before they committed to Stanford.
“They’re always in the passing lane, and they have a really high basketball IQ.”
Asked to compare the twins, Fortier called Lexie “sort of frantic, but like a composed version of a player who says, ‘I want to score every time I have the ball.’
“Lacie’s more well-rounded, and she’s proven she can do something in every area.”
Sure enough, it was Lacie who came off the bench Thursday night to score a game-high 19 points in a 90-39 win over Northern Colorado. She also had five boards and three assists.
“Lacie is a big part of our defense,” VanDerveer said. “It was fun to see her get going. She had a great game.”
For both twin twins, life at Stanford extends beyond the basketball court as they begin their sophomore year. Both are set to declare majors in product design engineering even as they soak in the challenging academic atmosphere.
“It’s amazing,” Lexie said. “Everywhere you walk, every student is incredible in their own way. I’ve met people who started their own companies, and the many different cultures.”
Then there’s the culture of winning at Stanford, on and off the court.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lacie said. “Overall, Stanford has been everything I could have asked for.”
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