No. 14/15 Stanford Tries For Road Sweep At UCLA Friday
Dec. 21, 2006
No. 14/15 Stanford Cardinal (6-3, 1-0 Pac-10)
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UCLA Bruins (7-6, 1-0 Pac-10)
No. 14/15 Stanford (6-3, 1-0 Pac-10) looks for a sweep of its Southern California road trip on Friday afternoon when it squares off against UCLA (7-6, 1-0 Pac-10) at Pauley Pavilion. The Cardinal has won four in a row, thanks to balanced scoring and a stingy defense. However, UCLA upset California 77-68 in its conference opener on Wednesday night. Not to mention, the Bruins were a nemesiss for the Cardinal last year down the stretch and have claimed the last two meetings. Following the holiday break, Stanford hosts Arizona (Dec. 28) and Arizona State (Dec. 30) in a two-game homestand.
Friday's game against UCLA can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties Live statistics are also offered on the site.
Junior guard Candice Wiggins remains day-to-day as she recovers from a hamstring sprain. Wiggins, who first suffered the injury in the second half of a win against Utah on Dec. 16, did not play in Stanford's 62-46 victory at USC on Dec. 20. That was the first missed game of her career, snapping a streak of 77 consecutive games played.
UCLA enters Friday's contest at 7-6 overall and 1-0 in Pac-10 play. That record might be a little deceiving however, as the Bruins have played an extremely challenging schedule. The ledger includes losses to Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, New Mexico and Baylor. However, the Bruins finally broke through against a top-25 opponent with a thrilling 77-68 overtime win over No. 15 California on Wednesday. In that game, Amanda Livingston (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Chinyere Ibekwe (13 points, 12 rebounds) were two of six UCLA players scoring in double-figures. UCLA has won four of its last six and owns a 2-2 record at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA is averaging 70.2 points per game, shooting 43.9-percent from the field and owns a +7.3 rebounding edge over its opponents. Keep an eye on: Lindsey Pluimer (16.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 38-47 FT's), Noelle Quinn (15.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 6.3 apg, 14 steals) and Amanda Linvingston (9.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 54.4 field-goal percentage). Head coach Kathy Olivier has amassed a 209-180 record and is in her 14th season.
Stanford All-Time vs. UCLA
Stanford owns a 36-21 record against UCLA in the all-time series. Despite a 14-game Stanford winning streak that spanned from 2001-06, UCLA has come out on top in the last two meetings. Last season, Stanford blasted UCLA 91-68 at home, only to fall 90-80 three weeks later in Los Angeles. The two teams met again in the Pac-10 Tournament championship game, with UCLA claiming an 85-76 overtime win and the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Stanford is 15-10 against UCLA in Los Angeles.
Who To Watch Against UCLA
Brooke Smith is shooting 57.3-percent (43-75) in five career games against UCLA. Smith is also pulling down an incredible 9.6 rebounds and dishing out 4.6 assists per game. Candice Wiggins' 42.3-percent field-goal percentage against UCLA in five career games is her lowest such mark against any Pac-10 team. Kristen Newlin (17-33 from the field in seven career games) is averaging 6.0 boards per game against the Bruins. Cissy Pierce is 2-7 from the field in three career games.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current four-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. In those four games combined, Stanford has limited its opponents to 49.5 points per game, 31.9-percent shooting from the field and won all four games by an average of 24.7 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: the Cardinal has forced 82 combined turnovers while allowing only 26 assists. In fact, Stanford has held its last three opponents to under 50 points.
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 (13.0) and Jayne Appel (10.6) are all averaging double-figure scoring for the Cardinal. Five different players scored in double-figures during Stanford's 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...
Stanford's success in placing multiple players in double-figure scoring has not been duplicated by its opponents. A stout Cardinal defense has allowed just 58.3 points per game while holding six opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 36.9-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.
Last Time Out:
No. 14/15 Stanford 62, USC 46 (Dec. 20, 2006 at Los Angeles, Calif.)
Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith scored 14 points each, Jillian Harmon had 13 and JJ Hones added 11 as Stanford defeated USC 62-46 in the Pac-10 opener for both teams.Playing without junior guard Candice Wiggins (hamstring sprain) for the first time during her career, the Cardinal received balanced scoring production in the post with Smith (14 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists) and Newlin (14 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and on the perimeter from Hones (11 points, three three-pointers). Stanford limited USC to 30.9-percent shooting from the field, forced 18 turnovers while allowing only six assists and held a 41-40 rebounding edge. The Cardinal led 36-27 at intermission, then held the Women of Troy in check during the second half. USC's 46 points represented a season-low for a Stanford opponent in 2006-07. Shay Murphy scored 18 of her 22 points in the first half for USC, hosting its first Pac-10 opponent in the new Galen Center.
Post Players Providing Production
Stanford's 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 (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg) while shooting 46.7-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in seven games and has led the club in scoring three times. Fellow senior Kristen Newlin has been just as good, posting three double-doubles while averaging 8.8 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 51.7-percent from the field. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (10.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.4 rpg) while leading the Cardinal in blocks with 16.
Hones Helps The Cardinal
Get in position to score and freshman JJ Hones will find you. The Cardinal freshman has been forced to make a quick transition to the college level at one of the toughest positions on the floor. And the early returns are positive, with Hones leading the team with 41 assists while committing only 10 turnovers. She is averaging 3.6 points per game in six starts, including a season-best 11-point, four-assist outing at USC on Dec. 20 in 33 minutes. After a slow shooting start, Hones continues to improve and currently is tied with Kristen Newlin for second on the squad with seven three-pointers.
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