Stanford and Utah Meet Again, Game Set for 8:30 p.m. PT on Monday

March 20, 2005

Game Coverage: TV - ESPN2 | Tournament Central
Live Audio | Scoreboard | NCAA Bracket | Full Game Notes

TWO SEED...
This is the sixth time that Stanford has been a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the first time since 2002. With Saturday's win, the Cardinal is now 15-5 and has never fallen before the Sweet 16 as a No. 2 seed. Stanford has also been a No. 2 seed in 1989 (2-1, Elite 8), 1991 (3-1, Final Four), 1994 (3-1, Elite 8), 1995 (4-1, Final Four), 2002 (2-1, Sweet 16).

SEEDING SIDEBAR...
Stanford, the top-ranked team in the country, was given a No. 2 seed, but it is not the first time that the country's No. 1 team did not get a No. 1 seed. In 1984, top-ranked Texas was awarded a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

MILE MARKER...
Stanford's second round match-up against Utah will be the 600th game of head coach Tara VanDerveer's coaching career at Stanford. She recently coached the 800th game of her career, a 73-69 win versus USC in the Pac-10 Tournament Semifinal. One of the winningest active coaches, her overall record stands at 632-170 (.788) in 26 years, while her record at Stanford is 480-119 (.801) in 19 years.

UTAH BULLETS...
* Utah opened the season with a 1-2 record with losses to then-No. 7 Stanford and then-No. 14 Michigan State, but the Utes rebounded quickly, winning 13 of their next 15 games.
* Stanford handed Utah its first loss of the year, 63-57, in the season opener on Nov. 19.
* In the season opener, Wiggins and Smith led the way for Stanford with a combined 35 points, while Utah had four scorers in double figures with Smith, Sitterud, Hanchett and Thorburn combining for 48 points.

THE STANFORD-UTAH SERIES...
This will be the eighth match-up between Stanford and Utah and the second this season, as the squads opened against each other on Nov. 19. Stanford has won all of the previous seven contest, including a 5-0 record on the road in Salt Lake City.

STANFORD VS. THE MOUNTAIN WEST...
The Cardinal is 19-7 all-time against current Mountain West teams. Stanford has faced six of the eight teams in the conference and leads all but one of the series (San Diego State has a 4-3 advantage).

THE MOUNTAIN WEST IN THE NCAAS...
The Mountain West Conference is sending two teams to the NCAA Tournament this year, with automatic qualifier New Mexico joined by one at-large selection, Utah.

UTAH VS. THE PAC-10...
The Utes are 42-40 all-time against current Pacific-10 Conference teams. Utah has matched up against all 10 teams and faced two Pac-10 foes this season, with a loss versus Stanford and a win against Washington. The Utes have beaten every team except Stanford at least one time.

THIRTY SOMETHING...
With the win over Santa Clara in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, Stanford posted its sixth 30-win season in school history. The last time the Cardinal posted at least 30 wins in a season was in 2001-02 when Stanford finished with a 32-3 mark and a trip to the Sweet 16. In each of the other four 30-win seasons, Stanford reached the Final Four - twice winning the NCAA Championship.

TOURNAMENT TALK...
The Cardinal is 41-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has won two National Championships, advanced to six Final Fours and made nine Elite Eight and a dozen Sweet 16 appearances. This is Stanford's 18th-straight NCAA appearance and 19th overall. Stanford is the automatic qualifier from the Pac-10 for the third-straight year after winning the tournament title on March 7 with a 56-42 win over Arizona State.

PAC-10 PARTICIPANTS...
Five Pacific-10 teams will represent the conference in this year's NCAA Tournament, as Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and USC all earned at-large bids. It is the first time since 1998 that the Pac-10 has sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament and the sixth time in conference history that five teams have been received bids (the Pac-10 has never sent more than five teams to the NCAA Tournament). With four Pac-10 teams playing on Saturday and all of them winning, the Pac-10 won four first round games for the first time since 1997 and only the fourth time in league history (`93, `94, `97, `05). Only the ACC (7) and the Big 12 (6) are sending more teams. The Big Ten and the SEC are also sending five teams.

CONFERENCE CHATTER...
Stanford swept the Pac-10 honors, as Candice Wiggins was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Tara VanDerveer was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and three Cardinal players were honored as All-Pac-10 selections, with sophomore Brooke Smith, senior Kelley Suminski and Wiggins earning First-Team honors and senior Susan King Borchardt taking honorable mention accolades.

RECORD REVIEW...
With an 84-41 win over Oregon State on Feb. 26, the Cardinal wrapped up the conference season, breaking two school records in the process. Stanford limited its Pac-10 opponents to only 56.9 points per game and held its conference foes to 34.4% shooting from the field -- both record-setting marks in school history and in the Pac-10.

DEFENSIVE DRIVE...
Stanford is poised to break the school record in scoring defense this season as it has limited opponents to 55.0 points per game this season. This would be the third season in a row that the Cardinal has broken the school record for scoring defense, as last year's team set a new mark with 58.4 points, besting the mark of 58.9 it had set in 2002-03.

WINNING WAYS...
Stanford currently owns an 21-game win streak, which is the fifth-best streak in school history. In the last 21 games, Stanford is averaging a margin of victory of 23.4 points per game, the closest win being a four-point win over USC on March 6. Stanford has only won by single digits three times this season: at Utah, versus Texas Tech and against the Trojans in the Pac-10 Semifinals.

STANFORD STATS...
Stanford owns a 30-2 overall heading into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal also owns the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN/Coaches' polls. It is the first time Stanford has ended the regular season as the top-ranked team in the country. It is also the first time that Stanford has been ranked No. 1 since December 1996 when the Cardinal began the season with the top ranking in both polls and stayed on top until a loss at Old Dominion.

CARDINAL CATALOGUE...
Three Cardinal players are scoring in double digits and 10 are playing double-digit minutes. As of March 7, Stanford is ranked in the top-10 nationally in scoring margin (No. 1, +22.3 points), won-loss percentage (tied for No. 1 with LSU, 93.5%), field goal percentage (No. 5, 47.8%), scoring offense (No. 7, 77.3 ppg) and in field goal defense (No. 8, 34.8%). Through 31 games, the Cardinal is also ranked No. 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (37.9%), No. 17 in turnovers (14.2), No. 20 in rebounding margin (+6.6), No. 22 in scoring defense (55.0 ppg), No. 25 in assists (16.4). Also ranked in the top-10 are Brooke Smith, who is No. 8 in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 61.2% from the field, and Kelley Suminski, who is ranked No. 7 in three-point field goal percentage at 45.7%.

SENIOR SALUTE...
Stanford's five seniors won their 100th game together on Jan. 13 with an 88-53 victory over California. Since arriving on The Farm, the quintet has posted a 116-17 record. As freshmen in 2001-02, the squad advanced to the Sweet 16, and as juniors last season, they helped the team make it to the Elite Eight. They only suffered three losses at Maples over the past four years, and the 13-0 record this year is their first perfect home season.*
*As sophomores in 2002-03, the group defended its home court during the regular season but lost a second-round NCAA Tournament game at Maples.

FIRST HALF FACTS...
Stanford has owned the lead at halftime in all but one game this season and is out-scoring opponents by an average of 13.8 points in the first 20 minutes. Twice, Stanford has only led by two points (at Utah and at Tennessee), but 20 times, the Cardinal has carried a double-digit lead into the break. Against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinal, the Trojans took a four-point lead into the break -- the only time this season that Stanford has not led its opponent at halftime.

PAC-10 PRIDE...
Stanford won the Pac-10 Championship on Feb. 18, winning its 14th conference game at USC. The victory secured Stanford's record-tying fifth-straight Pac-10 title (the Cardinal also won five-straight between 1988-89 and 1992-93). Stanford has finished the regular season with at least 17 Pac-10 wins eight times. The Cardinal has posted four perfect 18-0 seasons and four 17-1 seasons.

PERCENTAGE PERFECT...
Stanford has finished all but one game this season with a better field goal percentage than its opponent. The Cardinal shot a season-high 63.0% from the floor en route to a 94-58 victory over USC on Jan. 22, and on Feb. 24, Stanford finished with 62.5% shooting against Oregon. Then on March 6, USC became the only team to top the Cardinal in shooting, when the Trojans out-shot Stanford in the Pac-10 Semifinal. Through 31 games, the Cardinal's 47.8% shooting average ranks No. 5 in the nation.

STANFORD VS. RANKED OPPONENTS...
The Cardinal is 4-1 over ranked opponents this season, after defeating No. 25/-- UCLA, then-No. --/24 Arizona State and then-No. 12/11 Texas Tech. Earlier this season, Stanford lost on a buzzer-beater at then-No. 9/10 Tennessee.

SHOOTING FROM THE OUTSIDE...
Stanford made 15 3-pointers against UCLA on Jan. 20, just one shy of the school record and No. 3 in Cardinal history. The Cardinal made 10 shots from beyond the perimeter in the first half against the Bruins, a new Stanford record (besting the previous high of nine 3-pointers in a single half). Kelley Suminski led the way with five 3s, as five different Cardinal players connected a trey.

STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT...
Stanford's 21 steals against Eastern Washington at the Great Alaska Shootout was the third-best single game total in school history. Freshman guard Candice Wiggins led the way with five steals as nine different Cardinal players recorded at least one steal in the contest. Then on Dec. 10, the Cardinal posted 20 steals versus Pepperdine, with Wiggins taking the ball six times. Wiggins also picked up six steals at ASU on Jan. 7, five of which resulted in breakaway layups. In 32 games, the Cardinal totals 319 steals - which ties for the fifth-best single season total in school history.

SEEING DOUBLE...
Stanford has posted seven double-doubles this season. Senior forward Sebnem Kimyacioglu recorded the first double-double of the year when she posted 10 points and 10 assists at Oregon State on Dec. 27. Then on Jan. 4, Stanford saw two in one night as Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin both posted a double-double against Washington. Smith finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Newlin added 14 points and 11 boards. In Los Angeles, freshman guard Candice Wiggins added the fourth of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds at USC. Two days later, Wiggins scored 24 points and pulled down 16 boards at UCLA. She posted her third double-double of the year with 24 points and 12 rebounds in the Pac-10 semifinal against USC. Smith added the second of her Stanford career with a 19-point, 12-rebound effort against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

RANKINGS REPORT...
The Cardinal enters the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 21-game win streak and a 30-2 record. Stanford won the Pac-10 title with a 17-1 mark in conference play and is currently ranked No. 1 in the AP the USA Today/Coaches' poll. The 1/1 ranking bests Stanford's highest previous ranking this season, when both polls ranked the Cardinal No. 2 during December. Stanford had not been No. 2 since the 2001-02 season and has not been ranked No. 1 in the nation since starting the 1996-97 in the top spot. This year, Stanford has been ranked in the top-10 for the entire season.

MAPLES MAGIC...
Stanford finished the regular season with a win over Oregon, extending its conference home win streak to 37 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal. Stanford owns an impressive 343-75 (.821) record at Maples Pavilion, including a 40-2 mark since the 2002-03 season. Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 260-28 (.903) record at home* during her tenure and, with the 13-0 mark this year, have posted seven perfect seasons at Maples. Stanford has won 56 of its last 59 games at Maples.
*Home record includes this season's games at the Leavey Center.

STRONG FINISHES...
With the 84-41 win over Oregon State on Feb. 26, Stanford has won its regular season home finale in each of the last 17 years.

VANDERVEER'S VICTORIES...
Head coach Tara VanDerveer recorded her 600th career win last season, as the Cardinal defeated Missouri, 68-44, in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. She won her 450th game as Stanford's head coach against Vanderbilt (57-55) in the Sweet 16 last March. Her overall record now stands at 632-170 (.788) in 26 years, while her record at Stanford is 480-119 (.801) in 19 years.

BORCHARDT BOOK...
Stanford's lone fifth-year senior, Susan King Borchardt, saw the court for the first time this season at Oregon State on Dec. 27. She suffered a stress reaction right before the season began, but made her debut with five minutes against the Beavers. Borchardt scored two points, connecting on her first shot of the year. Since that game, her court-time increased steadily and she made her first start of the season against Cal on Jan. 13. Against Arizona on Feb. 3, she tallied a season-high 17. She is now operating at full strength, averaging 22.9 minutes per game.

COLEMAN CATALOGUE...
Sophomore Markisha Coleman has appeared in 24 games this season and is averaging 5.8 minutes per game. A walk-on, Coleman adds 1.1 points and 0.7 rebounds per game. Against Pacific, she played a career-high 16 minutes and dished out four assists. In conference play, Coleman scored a career-high five points against Cal on Jan. 13 in 10 minutes on the floor. Against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Coleman led the floor for seven minutes and went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

KIMYACIOGLU CORNER...
Senior Sebnem Kimyacioglu is one of the leading 3-point shooters in Stanford history. She has made 30 3s this season and is No. 4 in school history with 199 in her career. Kimyacioglu netted three 3s against UCLA on Jan. 20 as Stanford came one-trey short of the school record 16 threes in a game. Kimyacioglu broke the school record in three-pointers attempted (540), as she connected on three of her five attempts against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

NEWLIN NEWS...
Sophomore center Kristen Newlin started all-three games at the Pac-10 Tournament with the injury to T'Nae Thiel. She started twice early in the season (at Utah and at USF). She is the Cardinal's second-leading blocker with 30 this season. As a freshman, Newlin set the school record for blocks in a game with eight at Washington State.

PERRYMAN PIPELINE...
With 150 rebounds so far this season, senior forward Azella Perryman is now ranked No. 11 in school history with 617 boards in her career. Through 31 games, Perryman is ranked No. 9 in the Pac-10 with 3.71 defensive rebounds per game.

PIERCE POINTS...
Freshman guard Cissy Pierce missed three games (home series vs. Arizona schools and at Cal) due to a laceration on her right hand suffered in shoot-around before the Arizona game on Feb. 3. Pierce appeared in 19 games prior to her injury and returned with seven minutes at USC on Feb. 18. She was also sidelined with the flu for one game (Oregon on F24), but returned against the Beavers in the home finale.

RAPPAHAHN RATINGS...
Junior Krista Rappahahn has been a key reserve for Stanford off the bench, averaging 11.6 minutes per game and shooting 35.8% from beyond the arc in 30 games. She made a season-high three treys against Louisiana-Lafayette at the Great Alaska Shootout and went 2-for-2 against UCLA to help the Cardinal make 15 threes in a game.

SMITH SCOOP...
Sophomore center Brooke Smith has made a huge impact during her first season on the court with Stanford. After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, the Marin native is the Cardinal's second leading scorer with 13.2 points per game and is the second-leading rebounder with 5.4 boards per game -- all of that in 23.2 minutes per contest. Her signature hook shot has helped her to a 61.2% field goal percentage -- the best in the Pac-10, No. 8 nationally, and third-best in school history for a single season.

SUMINSKI STORY...
Kelley Suminski has started 125 games during her four years at Stanford. She ranks No. 2 in school history with 206 three-pointers in her career. Suminski's 141st three-pointer boosted her into the top-10, but is even more special because she hit it with 0.3 seconds left in the Sweet 16 match-up versus Vanderbilt last March to help the Cardinal advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1997. She became the 25th player in school history to score 1,000 points when she hit her first bucket of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette at the Great Alaska Shootout. This season, she is ranked No. 7 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, as she is shooting 45.7%. In 133 contests played, she has averaged 10.0 points per game, No. 21 in the school record books.

THIEL TALE...
T'Nae Thiel stepped it up a notch during the conference season. The senior forward is averaging a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game against Pac-10 opponents and is ninth in the conference with 152 rebounds in 27 games this season (5.6 rpg). She is ranked No. 8 in school history with 665 rebounds in her career. Thiel, who suffered a small fracture in her left foot against Oregon on Feb. 24, will be sidelined for three weeks and will be available during the NCAA Tournament.

WIGGINS WIRE...
Freshman guard Candice Wiggins, the Pac-10 Player of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the lone freshman on the Wooden Award Voting Ballot and the Midseason Naismith Trophy list, leads the Cardinal in scoring with 17.6 points per game. The third-leading rebounder with 5.3 boards per game was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Pac-10 Tournament after helping the Cardinal to its third-straight conference tournament title. She recorded a career-best 31 points at ASU and also tallied a career-high six assists and six steals (five of which resulted in breakaway layups), and she tacked on a 28-point performance at Arizona on Jan. 9, to earn her first Pac-10 Player of the Week nod. Wiggins has scored 535 points this season, which ranks 16th in school history for points in a single season. Wiggins added a 29-point effort in her NCAA Tournament debut against Santa Clara, 16 of which came in the second half. She also leads Stanford with 81 steals this season -- which ties for No. 5 in school history for steals in a single season. Candice's late father, Alan, also had a knack for steals - in 1984 he helped the San Diego Padres to the World Series and set the club's single-season record with 70 stolen bases (besting his own record of 66 from the year before). Alan Wiggins ranks third all-time in Padres history with 171 stolen bases in his career.

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