No. 14/15 Stanford Resumes Pac-10 Play; Hosts Arizona
Dec. 27, 2006
No. 14/15 Stanford Cardinal (7-3, 2-0 Pac-10)
- VS. -
Arizona Wildcats (6-7, 0-1 Pac-10)
No. 14/15 Stanford (7-3, 2-0 Pac-10) returns to Maples Pavilion on Thursday night, hosting Arizona and No. 10/11 Arizona State in the second full week of Pac-10 action. Riding a five-game winning streak, the Cardinal open the week against Arizona (6-7, 0-1 Pac-10). Two days later, No. 10/11 Arizona State (11-1, 1-0 Pac-10) arrives in town for a key Pac-10 clash that will provide the winner with an early edge in the standings.
Both games this week 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 and a webcast are also offered on the site. Saturday's contest against Arizona State is a 5 p.m. tip-off and will be televised on Fox Sports Net, representing the second of seven television appearances for the Cardinal in 2006-07.
Arizona (6-7, 0-1 Pac-10) is battling through one of the toughest stretches on its schedule. The Wildcats, who were routed by No. 10/11 Arizona State 89-62 in their Pac-10 opener, now face a pair of top-25 opponents on the road in Stanford and California. The Wildcats have dropped two straight, with their last victory coming in the form of a 77-39 win over Long Beach State on Dec. 12. Arizona has notched key wins over TCU (59-56 in overtime), NC State (68-66 in overtime) and Louisiana Tech (74-59). The Wildcats are 0-4 against top-25 opponents, including a 75-61 loss at No. 1 Maryland. Arizona is averaging 65.2 ppg, shooting 40.9-percent from the field and pulling down 37.8 rebounds per game. Players to watch include: Joy Hollingsworth (16.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 35 steals, 35-41 FT's), Ashley Whisonant (11.2 ppg, 55 assists) and Amina Njonkou (9.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 51.5 field-goal percentage). Head coach Joan Bonvicini owns a 597-260 record in 27 years as a head coach.
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona
Stanford owns a 42-12 record against Arizona in the all-time series, which dates back to 1979. The Cardinal has won the last six meetings, with five of those coming by double-digit margins. The two clubs met three times last year, with Stanford winning all three games by an average of 23 points. The Wildcats' last win in the series came back on Feb. 5, 2004, in the form of an 88-83 victory in Tucson. Stanford sports a 23-3 record against Arizona at home.
Who To Watch Against Arizona
Brooke Smith has torched the Wildcats in six career games, making 34-52 opportunities for a 65.3 field-goal percentage. That also includes averages of 7.5 points and 3.3 assists per game. Candice Wiggins has made 30-66 tries from the field in five contests. Meanwhile, Morgan Clyburn is 3-4 from the field in two games against the Wildcats with all three of those baskets coming from three-point territory.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current five-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. In those five games combined, Stanford has limited its opponents to 51.4 points per game, 32.3-percent shooting from the field and won all five games by an average of 21.8 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: the Cardinal has forced 98 combined turnovers while allowing only 37 assists. In fact, Stanford has held three of its last five opponents to under 50 points.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's 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. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.