No. 14/15 Women's Basketball Opens Pac-10 Play At USC

Dec. 18, 2006

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Smith, Wiggins: All-America Candidates

Wigginsâ�TM World

Jillian Harmon and Kristen Newlin have made more shots against USC than any other Pac-10 foe. In three career games against the Trojans, Harmon is 13-26 from the field while averaging 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. In seven games, Newlin is 27-54 from the field while pulling down 5.7 rebounds per contest. Brooke Smith is shooting 51.8-percent overall (28-54) in six career games against USC.

Stanford All-Time In Pac-10 Openers
Stanford is 17-3 all-time in Pac-10 openers and that includes a six-game winning streak. When opening conference play on the road, the Cardinal owns a 7-3 record. The last time Stanford opened the Pac-10 season on the road was Dec. 27, 2004, resulting in an 83-45 rout at Oregon State. Stanfordâ�TMs last loss in a Pac-10 opener occurred on Jan. 6, 2000 in a 74-68 defeat at Arizona State. Last season, the Cardinal breezed past USC 77-56 in its league debut at Maples Pavilion.

Recent Homestand Highlighted By Defense
Stanford is coming off an undefeated three-game homestand that was highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. In those three games combined, Stanford limited its opponents to 50.6 points per game, 32.3-percent shooting from the field and won all three games by an average of 27.6 points. Furthermore, the Cardinal forced 64 combined turnovers while allowing only 20 assists.

Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
At least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year with the exception of Nov. 13 against BYU. Candice Wiggins (16.4 ppg), Brooke Smith (12.9) and Jayne Appel (11.3) are all averaging double-figure scoring for the Cardinal. Five different players scored in double-figures during Stanfordâ�TMs 88-56 victory over Santa Clara on Nov. 29, representing the first time that has happened since six Cardinal players accomplished the feat in a 109-58 win at Pacific on Dec. 1, 2005.

Not So Much For The Opposition...
Stanfordâ�TMs success in placing multiple players in double-figure scoring has not been duplicated by its opponents. A stout Cardinal defense has allowed just 59.9 points per game while holding five opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 37.6-percent from the field and only two teams have shot better than 40-percent in a game. In fact, during a 73-49 rout of Texas Tech on Dec. 3, the Cardinal held the Lady Raiders without a double-digit scorer. The last time a Stanford opponent failed to place at least one player in double-figure scoring occurred last year, when Krystal Frazier led Rice with nine points in an 83-53 Stanford rout on Dec. 17, 2005.

For Starters
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has used three different starting linuep combinations through the first eight games. Only six different players have earned a starting nod so far: Kristen Newlin, Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins with eight, Cissy Pierce with six, and Jillian Harmon and JJ Hones with five.

Three-Pointers Beginning To Fall
Once thought to be a weakness, solid three-point shooting has proved to be a key factor during Stanfordâ�TMs recent three-game winning streak. Over the last three games combined, the Cardinal has conncected on 21-60 three-point opportunities, including a season-high eight treys against Santa Clara on Nov. 29. For the season, Stanford has made 43-128 chances, translating into 33.6-percent.

Post Players Providing Production
Stanfordâ�TMs talented post rotation is one of the deepest in the entire country, as evidenced by some impressive performances. Senior Brooke Smith ranks second on the squad in scoring (12.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) while shooting 46.7-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in six games and has led the club in scoring twice. Senior Kristen Newlin has been just as good, posting three double-doubles while averaging 8.1 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 52.1-percent from the field. And donâ�TMt forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (11.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg) while leading the Cardinal in blocks with 16.

Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
The two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, junior Candice Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (16.4 ppg), three-pointers (16) and steals (16). A 44.6-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins also ranks second in assists (25) and is pulling down 4.1 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in six straight games and seven overall. Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in two games this year.

Harmon Makes The Hustle Plays
Candice Wiggins will score. Kristen Newlin will rebound. JJ Hones will rack up assists. But perhaps no player on the roster is more capable of making her mark in multiple stat categories than sophomore Jillian Harmon. A Pac-10 All Freshman Team honoree last year, Harmonâ�TMs hustle and intensity provides the Cardinal with yet another versatile weapon. Case in point: she currently ranks fourth in scoring (9.1 ppg), fifth in rebounding (3.3 rpg), second in steals (15), fourth in assists (15), and is shooting 50.0-percent from the field.

Road Trip Carries Over For Appel
Stanfordâ�TMs first road trip of the year to No. 4 Tennessee and No. 8 Georgia was thought to be a learning experience for freshman Jayne Appel. Instead, Appel put on a clinic against some of the nationâ�TMs best competition. Against Tennessee, Appel led the Cardinal with a season-best 23 points on 10-17 shooting to match five rebounds and five blocks. Two days later versus Georgia, she nearly recorded her first double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Since that road trip she has been just as impressive, averaging 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 16 blocked shots. Appel is shooting 52.6-percent from the field and has scored in double-figures three times.

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 success, shooting 40.5-percent (15-37) while scoring a season-best 13 points against Santa Clara on Nov. 29. JJ Hones has made five starts and leads the team with 37 assists. Melanie Murphy has given the club a boost off the bench, with 10 assists in limited playing time. Jayne Appel had her way with Tennesseeâ�TMs post players, pouring in a career-best 23 points with five rebounds on Nov. 24. She is averaging 11.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg.

Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveerâ�TMs teams have compiled a 277-30 record at home during her tenure, including a 169-11 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 73 of its last 78 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. Stanfordâ�TMs last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.

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