No. 11/12 Stanford Seeks Rebound Win at Arizona

Game Coverage: Radio: KZSU | Full Game Notes
No. 11/12 Stanford (18-6, 13-3) at Arizona (7-19, 5-8)
Feb. 18, 2006 * 2:00 pm
McKale Center (14,545) * Tucson, Ariz.

Series History:
Stanford leads, 40-12
TV: None
Radio: 90.1 FM, KZSU (Jake Kelman)

VanDerveer's Victories...
Tara VanDerveer became the ninth Division-I coach to reach the 650 milestone last Saturday (Feb. 4) with an 87-54 victory over Oregon State. Two games later at Cal on Feb. 11, VanDerveer won her 500th as the Stanford head coach. One of the winningest active coaches, her overall record stands at 652-177 (.786) in 27 years, while her record at Stanford is 500-126 (.799) in 20 years.

Rankings Report...
Stanford began the 2005-06 season with a No. 11 ranking in the AP poll and a No. 10 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' poll. Prior to its first game, Stanford moved up to No. 9 in the USA Today poll - its highest ranking this season. The Cardinal is up from its lowest ranking this year (16th), but after a loss at UCLA last week, the Cardinal is dropped to No. 15 in both polls. With a five-game winning streak and having won 12 of its last 13 games, Stanford is now 11th in the AP poll and 12th in the USA Today poll.

Cardinal Catalogue...
Two Cardinal players are scoring in double digits and eight are averaging at least 14.2 minutes per game. Through all games on Feb. 13, Stanford is ranked No. 6 in the nation in scoring offense, with 78.9 points per game. The Cardinal is also in the top-25 nationally in three-point field-goal percentage (No. 8, 39.2%), scoring margin (No. 10, 15.7 ppg), field-goal percentage (No. 13, 47.0%), assists (No. 17, 17.1 apg), three-point field goals per game (No. 17, 7.1 pg), turnovers (No. 24, 14.3 tpg) and won-lost percentage (No. 25, .783). Candice Wiggins is ranked No. 9 in the country in scoring with 21.0 points per game, while Krista Rappahahn is ranked No. 11 in the nation in threes per game, making an average of 2.9 treys per contest. Wiggins and Rappahahn are both shooting 44.4% from behind the arc to be ranked No. 15 and No. 16, respectively. Brooke Smith is also among the nation's best in field-goal percentage, ranked No. 19 with a 56.7% average.

Arizona Bullets...
* The Wildcats defeated Cal at Haas Pavilion one game after losing at Stanford, but since then, Arizona has lost seven-straight games.
* With just two regular season games remaining (against Stanford and ASU), Arizona has just five conference wins -- the fewest since the Wildcats finished finished the 1991-92 campaign with just three league wins. The Cats have finished with five or fewer Pac-10 wins five times.
* In a ceremony following the game on Saturday, Arizona will retire the late Shawntinice Polk's No. 00.

The Stanford-Arizona Series...
This will be the 53rd match-up between Stanford and Arizona. The Cardinal has won the 10 of the last 12 meetings and the past four contests. The Wildcats' last victory was an 88-83 win in Tucson on Feb. 5, 2004.

Stanford vs. the Pac-10...
The Cardinal owns an overall record of 336-104 (.764) against current Pac-10 foes and a 303-54 (.849) record in regular season conference action, the best percentage in the league. Stanford won its fifth-straight regular season Pac-10 title and its third-straight Pac-10 Tournament title last season.

Arizona vs. the Pac-10...
The Wildcats are 182-263 (.409) all-time against current Pac-10 foes. In regular season action, Arizona has 163 wins in their 20th year of Pac-10 play. Arizona has won one Pac-10 Championship, when the Cats shared the regular season title with Stanford in 2003-04.

Wiggins Wire...
Sophomore Candice Wiggins became the 26th player in Stanford history to score 1,000 points with her first basket at USC on Jan. 29. Through 59 games, Wiggins has scored 1,123 points, which ranks 23rd on the all-time scoring list. Wiggins took 54 games to get to the 1,000 milestone, just shy of the fastest pace -- in 1980, Jeanne Ruark Hoff took just 49 games to reach 1,000.

Smith Story...
Junior center Brooke Smith is the Cardinal's second-leading scorer with 16.6 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.3 boards per game. In her career, she is averaging 14.6 points per game (863 points in 59 contests), which is sixth-best in school history. Smith had a career-high night in the Cardinal's loss at UCLA, scoring 26 points and pulling down 17 rebounds.

Newlin Notes...
Junior forward Kristen Newlin was diagnosed with a stress reaction in her left femur and missed eight games, but returned for the Cardinal's contest versus California on Jan. 14. Newlin, who was averaging 12.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in her first six games, pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds at Texas Tech and scored a career-high 20 points against Tennessee. Newlin has four double-doubles this season and is averaging 9.1 points and 7.1 rebounds on the year. Newlin has also accumulated 23 blocks so far this season, upping her career total to 104.

Okafor Odyssey...
Junior forward Eziamaka Okafor is in her fourth season at Stanford, but has played in more games this season (24) than in her previous three combined (17). In her true freshman season, Okafor suffered a season ending ACL injury before the year began. In her second year, she tore her Achilles' tendon in September, but returned for three games at the end of the season. Last year, Okafor played in 14 games (averaging 8.1 minutes) before tearing her other Achilles' at Washington on Jan. 27. This season, Okafor has appeared in every game and is averaging 12.9 minutes per game. Against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 9, Okafor had one of the best games of her career, playing a career-high 25 minutes, tying her career-high in scoring and rebounds with 14 points and eight boards, and snagging a career-high four steals.

Harmon History...
Freshman forward Jillian Harmon has been a major contributor all season, starting 17 contests and playing in all 24. Harmon is contributing 8.6 points per game in 25.6 minutes and is shooting 48.5% from the field. At Oregon State, the Lake Oswego-native went 9-for-10 from the field (90.0%), which ranks seventh-best in school history for a single game. Harmon has posted two double-doubles this season, her first at Washington with a 10-point, 10-rebound night and her second against UCSB with a 17-point, 11-rebound night.

A Lot Allowed...
The Cardinal gave up 90 points in the Jan. 27 loss at UCLA, the most points allowed by the Cardinal this season. It is the first time Stanford has given up 90 points since Feb. 24, 2001, when the Cardinal lost 95-87 at Washington. That season, Stanford gave up 90 points or more in three games (a 30-point loss at No. 8 Purdue and a four-point overtime loss at No. 22 Oklahoma).

Not A Lot Allowed...
The Cardinal held an opponent to 17 for the second time this season as Stanford limited Cal to just 17 first half points in Berkeley on Feb. 11. The Cardinal also held Long Island to 17 first half points in the season opener. But against the Golden Bears it went both ways, as Stanford scored a season-low 22 points in the first half at Haas. The Cardinal ended the game with a season-low 55 points.

Free Throw Lows...
Stanford is shooting 68.2% from the free throw line. The worst free-throw shooting by a Cardinal team on record was in 1978-79, when Stanford went 64.8% from the charity strike. The Cardinal has not shot less than 70% since the 1999-2000 season when the squad finished the campaign with a 69.9% average. Stanford's free throw percentage has been below 70% since the Tennessee game on Dec. 4.

Free Throw Highs...
Against Arizona State, the Cardinal shot a season-high 32 free throws and made a season-high 26, with sophomore Candice Wiggins leading the way, going 16-for-19 from the charity strike, which ties the school record for makes in a single game and sets a new mark for attempts. In the last seven games, Wiggins has gone 72-of-82 (87.8%) from the free throw line. Wiggins made 23-straight free throws over a four game stretch (last four at USC, all nine against Oregon, all six against Oregon State, first three against UCSB), but missed the last of four on the double-technical fouls called on head coach Mark French to snap the streak.

Shooting from the Outside...
Stanford has made at least eight three-pointers in a game nine times this season - hitting 10 against Fresno State, at Pacific, and at Washington and knocking down 14 against Cal (Jan. 14). Against Fresno State and Pacific, Krista Rappahahn was nine-for-ten from behind the three-point line, and against the Huskies, she hit a career-high six threes in a game. She has made six threes in a game three times this season. Rappahahn and sophomore guard Candice Wiggins are both strong beyond the arc, as both are hitting 44.4% of their shots this season. Against Cal in Maples, Wiggins hit a career-high seven threes in the game and at Cal she hit five of her six threes.

Maples Magic...
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 270-29 (.903) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 167-11 all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 66 of its last 70 games at Maples and nine-straight since the Tennessee loss on Dec. 4, 2005. With the 87-54 win over Oregon State on Feb. 4, Stanford improved its conference home win streak to 44 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal. None of the current Stanford team has lost a conference game in Maples.

Stanford Saga...
Stanford owns a 18-6 record this season, with an 12-3 mark in Pac-10 play. The Cardinal is in first place in the conference with a half game lead over Arizona State.

Back-to-Back Disappointment...
In December, Stanford lost two games in a row for the first time since just two seasons ago, when the Cardinal suffered back-to-back losses at Arizona and Arizona State on Feb. 5 & 7, 2004 (Stanford was ranked No. 7 at the time). Stanford has not lost back-to-back games twice in a season since 2000-01, when the Cardinal lost at least two games in a row three times.

Pac-10 Pride...
Stanford finished atop the preseason coaches' poll with nine first-place votes (81 points). It is the sixth-consecutive time and sixth time overall that Stanford has been favored by the coaches to win the Conference title since the poll's inception in 1998-99.

Streak Stats...
After Stanford lost back-to-back games in December, the Cardinal rebounded with a seven-game win streak, during which time sophomore guard Candice Wiggins averaged 26.9 points per game -- with four games of 30 points or more. Junior Brooke Smith averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game during the stretch and freshman point guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude contributed 5.1 assists per game. Senior guard Krista Rappahahn knocked down 3.7 threes per contest and freshman forward Jillian Harmon added 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Preseason Praise...
Sophomore Candice Wiggins was just named to the 2005-06 Midseason All-American Team and is on the Preseason Watch List for the Wade Trophy. A Kodak All-American last season, Wiggins is currently Stanford's leading scorer at 21.3 points per game (which ties the school record for a single-season average). Wiggins was named the Bay Area's Most Dynamic Amateur Athlete of 2005 by KNTV-11 (NBC) and was selected as the Stanford/MET-Rx Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Dec. 27-Jan. 2, after helping the Cardinal to a pair of wins against USC and UCLA. After helping Stanford to a road sweep in Oregon and a 37-point showing against the Ducks, Wiggins was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Jan. 9. She has passed the 30-point mark four times this season.

Katrina Assist...
Assistant coach Charmin Smith is spearheading a year-long fund-raiser by the Stanford Women's Basketball team this year, as the program collects pledges for every Stanford assist in order to help the Peninsula Habitat, our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity International, build houses for Operation Home Delivery, a tremendous nationwide effort, that will shipped new homes to the Hurricane Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast area. The California Golden Bears are also launching a Katrina Assist program. More information and pledge forms can be found at GoStanford.com.

Looking Ahead...
Next season, the Cardinal will add four freshmen to its roster, as Jayne Appel, Michelle Harrison, JJ Hones and Melanie Murphy all signed a National Letter of Intent in November. Scout.com has ranked the class No. 3 in the nation, while Blue Star ranks the group at No. 4. The quartet will arrive on The Farm in 2006 and will make an immediate impact:
Appel (6-4, C, Concord, CA/Carondelet HS)
Harrison (6-3, F, Orem, UT/Mountain View HS)
Hones (5-10, G, Portland, OR/Southridge HS)
Murphy (5-9, G, Brooklyn, NY/Midwood HS)

Looking at the Lineup...
Stanford has used eight different lineups this season, with only Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins starting all 24 games. Kristen Newlin made six starts before a stress reaction sidelined her. Freshman Jillian Harmon made four starts to begin the season and stepped back in to replace the injured Newlin. Guards Clare Bodensteiner, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Cissy Pierce and Krista Rappahahn have all made starts for the Cardinal this season. Stanford tried a new line-up at Cal last week, starting guards Wiggins and Rappahahn, forwards Harmon and Newlin and center Smith.

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