Pac-12 12 Things: UCLA wins in 3OT, Utah upsets Stanford

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 13: Utah Utes guard Erika Bean (11) dribbles the ball down court during a college basketball game between the Utah Utes against the Washington Huskies on January 13, 2019, at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 13: Utah Utes guard Erika Bean (11) dribbles the ball down court during a college basketball game between the Utah Utes against the Washington Huskies on January 13, 2019, at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

This week’s look at the past week in Pac-12 women’s basketball will lock in on three games of the week: UCLA’s 3OT win at Arizona, Stanford at Colorado and Utah’s upset win over the No. 6 Cardinal.

UCLA at Arizona

Corsaro cruisin’

The Bruins really have something in Corsaro. She was born to beat close outs by getting all the way to the basket. This nice hesitation set up the recovering defender without ceding the initial advantage.

She and Kennedy Burke are very comfortable driving and finishing with their off hand. The three ball just needs to go in a bit more often for both. Corsaro is at 31.9 percent on 72 attempts through 20 games, close enough to the point where it can keep defenses honest.

Wildcats hitting threes

Tee Tee Starks had a huge weekend for the Wildcats, filling a need as a willing spot up shooter. She played 35 minutes and connected on all four 3-point attempts against USC, then sat just four minutes in Sunday’s triple overtime loss. She knocked down her lone triple in that one off an inside-out feed from Cate Reese in the post.

Sam Thomas went 3-of-7 from deep against the Bruins. This sequence from the first quarter that ended with a Thomas trey illustrates how you can stretch a 2-3 zone by occupying the corners.

Reese in the post

Back-to-back Pac-12 freshman of the week Cate Reese has established a nice baseline for herself offensively. She’ll step into open midrange jumpers and is 6-of-18 from deep to date. She added a few key buckets in the post over an undersized defender in Lajahna Drummer.

Open floor Aari

Aari McDonald is must see television in the open floor. Anyone back other than a shot blocker is going to be about as effective as a traffic cone. Though Arizona dropped both games, they look much more competent in the halfcourt when the supporting cast is hitting some open jumpers.

The UCLA game would be an interesting game to study deeply in the debate on whether it’s more advantageous to crash the offensive glass or prioritize getting everybody back.

The box score credited Arizona with 24 fastbreak points, including some electrifying and-ones by McDonald. UCLA grabbed 27 (not a typo) offensive rebounds. Those extra chances contributed to their 35 free throw attempts. It’s tough to keep up with a team getting that many extra chances; Arizona’s 23 turnovers didn’t help, either.

Stanford at Colorado

3-and-D Lacie

Lacie Hull may have been the Cardinal’s best player on the floor in the first half. As Stanford’s main three players struggled to hit shots, she worked her way to the basket to create two key first quarter buckets.

On top of that, her defense continues to impress. Watch her pursuit of Colorado leading scorer Alexis Robinson over several screens and jump the passing lane for a steal. And when Stanford rolled out a 2-3 zone, she keyed back-to-back stops, picking the perfect time to dig down for a steal and taking away a kick out pass after pressuring the ball and funneling it to the middle of the zone.

Big day for Colorado’s stretch bigs

More than anything, Stanford failed to capitalize on open looks in the first half against the Buffaloes. They made that clear in the third quarter as they turned an eight-point deficit into a 12-point lead.

But the Buffs but some stuff on film that future opponents will need to take into account. Annika Jank knocked down some open looks, including out of a set piece for Alexis Robinson to curl into the lane and a really tough pick and pop 3-pointer.

Colorado needs its potential stretch bigs to make a leap with Kennedy Leonard out of the lineup. Mya Hollingshed took the baton from Jank in the second half, drilling three pick and pop 3-pointers. Those are looks they should be able to get moving forward, especially against slower bigs that won’t have a chance to recover in time.

Robinson letting it fly

This is the version of Alexis Robinson that Colorado would like to see all the time. They need her pulling those difficult attempts now more than ever. The hope is that Leonard will be able to return, and that the backcourt will be able to lead the Buffs to a much better second half of the Pac-12 women’s basketball league slate.

Stanford at Utah

Smith’s foul trouble

Foul trouble remains Alanna Smith’s biggest enemy. She played just 25 minutes at Utah as foul trouble cost her time in both halves.

Smith riding the pine impacts Stanford everywhere, especially their ceiling on offense. They didn’t get to play her much at center against the Utes, and the limitations of Alyssa Jerome and Shannon Coffee burbled to the surface.

Utah took 19 of their 21 free throw attempts in the second half. Six of them came via shooting fouls drawn on Jerome. Coffee fouled a 3-point shooter in transition.

Fortunately for Stanford, we’ll only see this matchup once in Pac-12 women’s basketball regular season play. If they meet again in the conference tournament, look to see if Utah targets those players more frequently.

Utes keep their pace

Stanford built a seven-point lead early in the second half with Smith on the bench. Then Utah got a few stops, and their pace won out. The Cardinal did not have the legs to keep up with how quickly the Utes change ends:

Bean leads the way

Megan Huff shot 5-of-15 from the field, Dru Gylten turned it over five times and Dre’una Edwards logged just 23 minutes. Who stepped up, then, to put Utah over the top?

Erika Bean scored 20 points in the second half alone on 8-of-12 shooting. Four of those makes were 3-pointers, matching her 3-point makes in the previous 18 games of the season!

Several of them were dare shots. Stanford sent help into the post given the chance. Bean was going to be the only player that would beat them. This time she did.

Huff snuffs out a Stanford callback

This was a tie game with about five minutes to play. Amid Smith’s foul trouble and Utah appearing to have fresher legs, both teams had chances to pull out a win with their late game execution. Megan Huff made a great read to switch onto DiJonai Carrington, switching an action Stanford had just used to score.

That’s essentially the basketball version of a pick play in football. A cut to the opposite block functions as a faux-moving screen.

Drive of the game: Kiana Moore

Conversely, this may have been the play of the game. Kiana Moore drove all the way to the rim out of a horns set. Stanford wasn’t on the same page on how they were going to guard it. Carrington expected Kiana Williams to get through in time to keep the matchups; Williams anticipated a switch.

Bonus: You make the call: Smith’s fifth

I’m still not sure how I feel about Smith’s fifth foul. But I don’t like that the referee that made the call essentially had the same view. Did they really see through Smith’s body to be sure the contact was excessive? You make the call:

Previous editions of the column: Week 11 | Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1