NCAAW: Stanford Cardinal, Gonzaga Bulldogs meet in Sunday matinee

The No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (9-1) purpose for his or her fifth straight win once they host the No. 23 Gonzaga Bulldogs (7-1) on Sunday. The matchup between the 2 nationally-ranked, conference-leading packages can be broadcast on the Pac-12 Community with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.

Each the Cardinal and Bulldogs, as their data would counsel, have gotten off to sizzling begins to the 2022-23 NCAA season; an extra time loss to No. 1 South Carolina is the one blemish on the Cardinal’s document, whereas the Bulldogs’ solely defeat got here by the hands of No. 24 Marquette.

The Cardinal (Pac-12) and Bulldogs (WCC) are additionally presently main their respective conferences, although this shouldn’t come as a lot of a shock. Stanford obtained 39 of a attainable 40 first-place votes within the Pac-12 preseason poll, whereas Gonzaga was picked by 9 of 10 preseason voters to win the WCC.

It could be cheap, then, to count on high-level play in Sunday’s contest, although the historical matchup between the 2 packages has been one-sided. Stanford and Gonzaga have performed 13 occasions since 2010, with the Cardinal profitable 11 of these video games, together with a pair of conferences final season (66-62 on Nov. 21 and 66-50 on Jan. 9).

Stanford made a deep run within the NCAA Match final season, shedding to the eventual champion South Carolina Gamecocks within the Ultimate 4, and definitely has the firepower to return to these lofty heights once more in 2023 — if not win all of it. The Cardinal return main scorers Haley Jones and Cameron Brink, each of whom have been lately named to the Wade Trophy watch list for nationwide Participant of the 12 months, and encompass them with knockdown shooters like Hannah Leap (50.8 p.c 3-point share) and Ashten Prechtel (48.1 p.c), in addition to 2022’s No. 1 overall recruit, Lauren Betts. As a workforce, Stanford is scoring 119.2 factors per 100 possessions, which is fifth amongst Division I groups (Her Hoop Stats).

For sure, the Bulldogs could have their work lower out for them, however they shouldn’t be underestimated. They, too, have loads of 3-point taking pictures at their disposal, with gamers akin to Brynna Maxwell (54.1 p.c 3-point share) and Kayleigh Truong (40 p.c) lighting it up with one of the best of them. There have been fewer groups hotter from past the arc than the Bulldogs to date; Gonzaga is flattening 40 p.c of its 3-pointers, eleventh within the nation, with that success translating to the free throw line as nicely (80.9 p.c; sixth).

Clearly, Gonzaga might want to proceed its sizzling exterior taking pictures with a purpose to upend the Stanford juggernaut, significantly when the Cardinal have such a bonus on missed photographs (80.8 p.c defensive rebounding charge; second within the nation). Neither workforce appears to push the basketball fairly often — Gonzaga performs significantly slowly, recording 68.7 possessions per 40 minutes — so the sport will more than likely be determined by execution within the half court docket moderately than which workforce makes extra performs in transition.