Three-Game, Six-Day Stretch Begins With Missouri At Home
Nov. 20, 2006
No. 11/10 Stanford Cardinal (1-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Missouri Tigers (3-0, 0-0 Big-12)
No. 11/10 Stanford (1-1, 0-0 Pac-10) begins its most challenging week of the year on Tuesday night when it hosts Missouri (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Maples Pavilion. A three-game, six-day stretch for the Cardinal wraps up later in the week with road games at No. 4/4 Tennessee on Friday and No. 8/8 Georgia two days later. However, the Cardinal's immediate focus will be the Tigers, who have opened the year with three consecutive double-digit wins. Stanford was upset by No. 24/24 BYU 55-52 in its last time out.
Tuesday's game can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, which also features live statistics and a webcast.
Later This Week
Stanford will hit the road for the first time this year on Wednesday, as the squad embarks on a five-day trip that includes games against top-25 foes Tennessee and Georgia. The Cardinal and Lady Vols resume their annual series on Friday in Knoxville at 4 p.m. PST. Stanford and Georgia face off Sunday in Athens at 12 p.m. PST. That game will also be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net, one of seven TV appearances for the Cardinal in 2006-07.
Missouri (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) has opened the year with three straight double-digit wins, the most recent coming on Nov. 17 in a 74-53 rout of Arkansas State. The Tigers opened the year with a 71-60 triumph at Southern Illinois and followed that with an 89-60 thrashing of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The blowouts translate into a 78.0 per game scoring average for Missouri, which is also shooting 41.9-percent from the field. Four players are scoring in double-figures, led by Tiffany Brooks (18.7 ppg, 54.5-percent FG, 11 assists).
Stanford All-Time vs. Missouri
Stanford owns a 3-1 all-time mark against Missouri, although Tuesday's game will be the first played at Maples Pavilion. Stanford and Missouri last met on Dec. 18, 2004, as the Cardinal downed the Tigers 71-55 in Columbia. Stanford also notched a 68-44 win on Mar. 20, 2004 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The other two meetings came during tournament play, with each club winning once.
Cardinal Finish 1-1 In Preseason WNIT
Stanford's run in the Preseason WNIT came to an early end on Nov. 13, as No. 24/24 BYU stunned the Cardinal 55-52 in a second round contest at Maples Pavilion. BYU's Haley Hall banked in a go-ahead three-pointer with 16.5 seconds remaining and the Cougars held off three Stanford chances in the final seconds. BYU used an 18-2 run over the final 7:23 to steal the victory. Stanford was led by Brooke Smith's 13 points and eight rebounds while Cissy Pierce chipped in with 10 points. That loss came on the heels of an 88-61 rout of Loyola Marymount in the opening round. In that game, Brooke Smith scored a game-best 26 points on 12-20 shooting while Candice Wiggins added 16 points and Kristen Newlin posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Stanford shot 54.3-percent overall, outrebounded Loyola Marymount 42-27 and held a 28-11 edge in assists.
Split To Start The Year
For the second straight season, Stanford has started the year 1-1. In similar fashion to 2005-06, the Cardinal won its season opener convincingly before suffering a close defeat to a top-25 team. However, the first two games this year were played at Maples Pavilion compared to last year when the Cardinal opened at the Minnesota Subway Classic.
What's Going Right
Through just two games, Stanford holds a statistical edge over its opponents in a few key categories. The Cardinal is averaging 70 points per game while allowing only 58. Stanford is shooting 47.2-percent from the field and limiting its opponents to just 38.3-percent. The Cardinal have posted a rebounding margin of +10, dished out 43 assists compared to just 25 by their opponents and led at halftime in both games.
What Needs Improvement
Of course it's still early, but Stanford will be looking for increased production in a couple of areas. The Cardinal has made just 10-29 three-point attempts, translating into a 34.5-percent rate. Meanwhile, opponents have knocked down 18-41 opportunties for a 43.9-percent clip led by BYU's 11-27 performance in their 55-52 upset over Stanford. The Cardinal will also be looking to improve at the free throw line, having made 12-22 tries for a 54.5-percentage. Opponents are shooting 66.7-percent (10-15), bolstered by Loyola Marymount's 6-6 clip in the season opener.
Smith, Newlin Producing Inside and Outside
As expected, seniors Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin have teamed up to provide the Cardinal with a solid frontcourt. Stanford's leading scorer in both games, Smith is averaging 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting 56.7-percent from the field (17-30). Newlin posted a double-double in the season opener and is averaging 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while making 50-percent (8-16). Surprisingly enough, Smith and Newlin are only a combined 4-7 from the free throw line. Even more surprisingly, they have combined to make 4-8 from three-point territory.
Stanford's starting linuep of Candice Wiggins, Cissy Pierce, Jillian Harmon, Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin accounted for 72 of the team's 88 points against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 9. The same group was responsible for 41 of Stanford's 52 points in a 55-52 loss to BYU on Nov. 13.
Finding A Way To Contribute
Head coach Tara VanDerveer must be pleased with the collegiate debuts of the four freshmen on the Cardinal roster. The newcomers may not have produced jaw-dropping numbers so far, but each has contributed in a reserve role. Michelle Harrison has enjoyed the most success, shooting 55.6-percent (5-9) while scoring eight points in 13 minutes in the season opener. JJ Hones is 0-5 from the field, but she ranks second on the team with 10 assists. In just six minutes against Loyola Marymount, Melanie Murphy dished out three assists. Jayne Appel made her much-anticipated debut against BYU, finishing with four points, five rebounds and two blocks in 14 minutes of action.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 273-30 record at home during her tenure, including a 169-11 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 69 of its last 74 games at Maples, although a 55-52 upset loss to No. 24 BYU on Nov. 13 snapped a 12-game winning streak. With a 78-47 win over Washington State on Feb. 25, 2006, Stanford improved its Pac-10 home win streak to 46 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.
Cardinal Recruiting Class Announced
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has announced the signing of four recruits- Ashley Cimino (Yarmouth, Maine), Hannah Donaghe (Atascadero, Calif.) Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) and Jeanette Pohlen (Brea, Calif.)- to national letters of intent. They will join the Cardinal for the 2007-08 campaign. Ranked by The All Star Girls Report as the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation, this group is loaded with depth and talent.
The Choice In The Pac-10...again
For the seventh year in a row, six-time defending conference champion Stanford has been voted as the favorite to win the 2006-07 Pac-10 women's basketball title, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Cardinal received nine of 10 first-place votes in the poll, tallying 81 points overall. Arizona State was picked as the runner-up, receiving one first-place vote and totaling 70 points. The preseason coaches' poll follows a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Pac-10, National Recognition
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. The Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN preseason poll, which features six Pac-10 teams ranked among the top-25. The high ranking follows a pattern of earlier publications such as ESPN.com (No. 3), Street & Smith's (No. 4), Lindy's (No. 3) and Athlon Sports (No. 4). And it might be early, but ESPN.com has already projected Stanford as a No. 1 seed for the 2006-07 NCAA Tournament.
VanDerveer Signs On For Six
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has signed a six-year contract extension that will keep her on The Farm through the 2011-12 campaign. Regarded in the profession as one of the most well-respected and dynamic coaches in the country, VanDerveer has notched an impressive 661-179 overall record in her 27 years of collegiate coaching. Currently in her 21st year at the helm of the Cardinal, she owns a 509-128 record. During her tenure on The Farm, she has led the Cardinal to two NCAA Championships, five NCAA Final Four appearances, 14 Pac-10 titles and 18 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
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