Women's Basketball Begins Season With Pair Of Exhibitions
Oct. 31, 2006
STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford ushers in the start of the 2006-07 campaign with a pair of exhibition games this week at Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal open the week by hosting Chico State on Thursday, Nov. 2, in a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Wildcats are led by first-year head coach and former Cardinal standout Molly Goodenbour. On Saturday, Nov. 4, Stanford hosts Love & Basketball at 12 p.m.
Preseason Wade Trophy candidates Candice Wiggins and Brooke Smith join a group of talented returnees and a highly-touted freshman class that combine to represent one of the deepest Cardinal teams in recent memory.
Stanford finished 26-8 overall and 15-3 in the Pac-10 last year, advancing to the Elite Eight for the third straight year before falling to LSU in the San Antonio Regional final. Four starters and 10 letterwinners return from last year's squad, providing a reason for optimism both within the Cardinal program and on a national level.
In addition to being picked to win the Pac-10 for a seventh straight season, six-time defending conference champion Stanford is a consensus national championship contender in 2006-07. ESPN.com recently ranked Stanford No. 3 in one preseason top-25 poll, following a pattern of earlier publications such as Street & Smith's (No. 4), Lindy's (No. 3) and Athlon Sports (No. 4).
Under the direction of head coach Tara VanDerveer, who enters her 21st year on The Farm after recently signing a six-year contract extension, the Cardinal is in search of its first Final Four appearance since 1996-97.
The season opener is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9, against Loyola Marymount in the first round of the Preseason WNIT. The 16-team field includes Baylor, Purdue, St. John's and NC State and all games will be played at campus sites to be announced throughout the tournament.
For Saturday's exhibition contest, fans are encouraged to arrive early and park in the Maples Pavilion lot as a result of numerous athletic events scheduled that day, including football (vs. USC at 4 p.m.) and men's water polo (vs. USC- 1:30 p.m.).