No. 7 Stanford women cruise to easy win over Santa Clara 

click to enlarge Stanford's Amber Orrange, left, defends against Santa Clara's Raquel Avila during Sunday's game. - BEN MARGOT/AP
  • Ben Margot/AP
  • Stanford's Amber Orrange, left, defends against Santa Clara's Raquel Avila during Sunday's game.

STANFORD -- Amber Orrange scored 20 points, Kaylee Johnson matched her career high with 22 rebounds, and No. 7 Stanford returned from its annual two-week break for final exams to beat Santa Clara 82-43 on Sunday night.

Orrange shot 7 for 12 with two 3-pointers as the Cardinal (6-2) played their West Coast Conference neighbor at Maples Pavilion in the first of two warmups before Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer takes her team to Knoxville to face Tennessee next Saturday.

Nici Gilday scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting for Santa Clara (5-3), which lost its seventh straight in the series with Stanford.

The young Broncos are rebuilding under first-year coach JR Payne after losing six players who accounted for more than half of the team's scoring production.

Bonnie Samuelson scored all of her 11 points off the bench in the first half to help Stanford pull away en route to its third straight victory since losing to then-No. 11 North Carolina 70-54 in the opener at the Rainbow Wahine Classic on Nov. 28.

Reigning WCC Player of the Week Gilday, Santa Clara's leading scorer who averaged 18.1 points per game coming in, was the only Broncos player with more than four points.

Stanford played without forward Taylor Greenfield, who sat out with a left foot injury as a precaution. She is expected to return Wednesday at Chattanooga and then play at No. 11 Tennessee next Saturday.

Stanford freshman Brittany McPhee scored a season-best 11 points. The Cardinal improved to 29-4 against the Broncos and 14-2 at home.

When Santa Clara went cold in the first half, Stanford capitalized. The Broncos missed five straight shots and 8 of 9 late in the first half as the Cardinal hit 7 of 9 and got a three-point play by Karlie Samuelson that made it 27-17. Stanford used a 17-2 run during one stretch for a 40-21 lead at halftime.

TIP-INS

Since starting the break for final exams during the 1999-2000 season, Stanford is 13-3 in its first game back from tests and has won 13 in a row. ... The Cardinal, who led the nation in 3-point percentage at 43.4, went just 4 for 19 from behind the arc (21 percent). ... Stanford is 111-3 on its home floor since the 2007-08 season. ... Santa Clara played at Stanford for the first time since Nov. 29, 2006.

UP NEXT

Santa Clara: The Broncos get another nonconference test from a Pac-12 opponent Thursday at Oregon, facing a familiar face in former Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves in his first year leading the Ducks. Payne played for Graves at Saint Mary's and coached under him at Gonzaga.

Stanford: The Cardinal had an early wakeup call for a 5:45 a.m. bus to the airport Monday to travel to Tennessee. They will play at Chattanooga on Wednesday before visiting the 11th-ranked Lady Vols three days later.

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