PALO ALTO, Calif. — All Lexie Hall wanted to make sure of after her last home game in a Stanford uniform was to go home. Home, is Spokane, Washington, where she and her twin sister were born and raised. On Monday, Lexie did everything, and a whole lot more, to make sure Stanford’s run to a repeat national title makes a stop in the Hulls’ hometown.
Lexie Hull scored a career-high 36 points, including nailing six three-pointers, as the top-seeded Cardinal pulled away from No. 8 Kansas 91-65 in the second-round game in the Spokane Region of the NCAA Tournament. Center Cameron Brink added 13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks as the Cardinal will ride a 22-game win streak into their Sweet 16 game against Maryland on Friday evening in Spokane.
The final score was far from indicative of the tight nature of the game for most of the contest, as the Cardinal were up only two, 33-31, at halftime, which prompted a stern halftime speech from Hall-ofFame coach Tara VanDerveer. As motivating as that must have been to the Hull twins, knowing they were 20 minutes away from both losing their final home game and missing on the chance to play in Spokane as collegians one more time was the spark needed to make sure Stanford started the second half on the right foot.
“I think it’s just I really wanted it,” Lexie Hull said after the game in describing here career night. “In the back of my head I was like, ‘All right, I want to play in Spokane, my entire body wants to play in Spokane.’ Just our team, we really kept the ball moving, found the hot hand and ran with it the rest of the game.”
Hull was the hottest hand, but the Cardinal as a team barely missed in the game’s final 20 minutes, shooting 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the field in the third quarter before making 10-of-17 shots from the floor in the fourth quarter to turn the latter part of the game into a rout. Stanford outscored the Jayhawks 31-15 in the third quarter to break the game open.
Guard Zakiyah Franklin led the Jayhawks with 13 points, with forward Ioanna Chatzileonti the only other Kansas player to score in double figures with 11. The Jayhawks’ 6-foot-6 center Taiyanna Jackson ended the game with eight points, six rebounds and three blocks, but spent most of the game in foul trouble as the Stanford game plan was to attack Jackson inside to neutralize her presence on the interior.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday’s second-round game in Palo Alto, with all photos taken by Bay Area photographer Chris Tuite. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 46 pictures in total.