No. 14/15 Stanford, No. 10/11 Arizona State Clash In Pac-10 Showdown
Dec. 29, 2006
No. 14/15 Stanford Cardinal (8-3, 3-0 Pac-10)
- VS. -
No. 10/11 Arizona State Sun Devils (12-1, 2-0 Pac-10)
Winners of six straight, No. 14/15 Stanford (8-3, 3-0 Pac-10) tries for a sweep of its two-game homestand on Saturday night at Maples Pavilion. Standing in the Cardinal's way will be No. 10/11 Arizona State (12-1, 2-0 Pac-10), whose impressive start to the season has been blemished only by a hard-fought 83-74 loss to Tennessee on Nov. 19. The winner of Saturday's key Pac-10 clash gets an early edge in the conference standings.
Saturday's game against Arizona State can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. Live statistics and a webcast are also offered on the site. The contest will also be televised on Fox Sports Net, representing the second of seven television appearances for the Cardinal in 2006-07.
Junior guard Candice Wiggins returned to the court in Stanford's 86-58 win over Arizona on Thursday night after missing the previous two games (Dec. 20 at USC and Dec. 22 at UCLA) due to a sprained hamstring. In her ninth start of the year, Wiggins scored 12 points (all three-pointers) on 4-12 shooting while dishing out four assists in 16 minutes of action. She is expected to play against Arizona State.
Scouting No. 10/11 Arizona State
Coming off a 74-58 win over California in Berkeley on Thursday night, No. 10/11 Arizona State pays a visit to Maples Pavilion in what should be an exciting contest. Despite trailing 31-29 at intermission, Arizona State shot 57.6-percent to spur a second-half rally and outscore California 45-27 down the stretch. The Sun Devils, winners of eight straight, boast one of their best teams in recent memory. Arizona State's only loss of the year was a hard-fought 83-74 loss to Tennessee on Nov. 19. Otherwise, the Wildcats have notched impressive wins against the likes of New Mexico, Western Kentucky and Texas Tech. Of Arizona State's 12 wins, 11 have come by double-digit margins. Keep an eye on: Emily Westerberg (15.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 57.3 field-goal percentage), Danielle Orsillo (11.5 ppg, 50.4 field-goal percentage, Jill Noe (10.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 17-31 from three-point territory) and Briann January (8.4 ppg, 61 assists, 28 steals).
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona State
Stanford holds a 40-11 all-time edge in the series with Arizona State. Stanford has won four of the last five meetings, but Arizona State claimed a 62-59 victory in Tempe in the most recent contest on Feb. 16, 2006. Stanford came out on top in the other game last year, winning 84-78 at Maples Pavilion. Stanford owns a 24-1 record at home against Arizona State, with the Sun Devils' last road victory coming back on Mar. 3, 1984.
Who To Watch Against Arizona State
In five career games, Candice Wiggins is shooting 43-82 (52.4-percent) from the field against Arizona State. Wiggins is also averaging 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Brooke Smith is shooting at least 50-percent in her career against every Pac-10 opponent except Arizona State. In four games, Smith is just 19-46 (41.3-percent) while averaging 5.5 rebounds per game. Kristen Newlin is also shooting under 50-percent in the post, connecting at 44-percent in six career games.
Last Time Out:
No. 14/15 Stanford 86, Arizona 58 (Dec. 28, 2006 at Stanford, Calif.)
Jayne Appel scored 15 points and Kristen Newlin had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 14 Stanford to an 86-58 win over Arizona. Candice Wiggins, the Cardinal's leading scorer who was playing for the first time since sitting out two games with a sprained left hamstring, also had 12 points. Brooke Smith added 12 points and five rebounds for Stanford, which won its sixth straight and extended its conference home winning streak to 47 games. Stanford led 40-26 at halftime and coasted in the second half, leading by as much as 29 points on the way to its seventh consecutive win over the Wildcats. Newlin did most of her damage in the first half, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds while helping Stanford build a 40-26 lead.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current six-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. In those six games combined, Stanford has limited its opponents to 52.5 points per game, 33-percent shooting from the field and won all six games by an average of 22.6 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: the Cardinal has forced 122 combined turnovers while allowing only 49 assists. In fact, Stanford has held three of those six 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 (15.9 ppg), Brooke Smith (12.9) and Jayne Appel (11.1) 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. Stanford also placed five players in double-figure scoring on Dec. 28 against Arizona.
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 58.4 points per game while holding eight opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 36.6-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.
Three-Pointers Beginning To Fall
Once thought to be a weakness, solid three-point shooting has proved to be a key factor during Stanford's current six-game winning streak. Over the last six games combined, the Cardinal has conncected on 35 three-point opportunities. Stanford matched its season-high for triples with eight in an 86-58 win over Arizona on Dec. 28. The Cardinal also connected on eight treys against Santa Clara on Nov. 29. Overall, Stanford has made 57-179 chances from beyond the arc.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has used four different starting linuep combinations through the first 11 games. Only six players have earned a starting nod: Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith with 11, Candice Wiggins with nine and Jillian Harmon, JJ Hones and Cissy Pierce all with eight. No matter what the lineup, starters have been key.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 278-30 record at home during her tenure, including a 170-11 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 74 of its last 79 games at Maples, although a 55-52 upset loss to No. 24 BYU on Nov. 13 snapped a 12-game winning streak. With an 86-58 win over Arizona on Thursday night, Stanford improved its Pac-10 home win streak to 47 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.
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 (12.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) while shooting 48-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in nine games and has led the club in scoring three times. Fellow senior Kristen Newlin has been just as good, posting four double-doubles while averaging 8.6 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 52.9-percent from the field. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (11.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.4 rpg) while leading the Cardinal in blocks with 20.
Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
The two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, junior Candice Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (15.9 ppg) and three-pointers (20). A 43.5-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins also ranks third in assists (29) and is pulling down 3.7 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in seven straight games and eight overall. Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in two games this year. Wiggins has started nine of the team's 11 games, sitting out for the first time in her career against USC (Dec. 20) and UCLA (Dec. 22) due to a hamstring injury.
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, Harmon's hustle and intensity provides the Cardinal with yet another versatile weapon. Case in point: she currently ranks fourth in scoring (9.5 ppg), fifth in rebounding (3.6 rpg), first in steals (20), fifth in assists (18), and is shooting 48.9-percent from the field. Harmon has scored in double-figures in five games, including a team-best 14 point outing against UCLA on Dec. 22 in 37 minutes of playing time.
Road Trip Carries Over For Appel
Stanford's 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 nation's 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 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 20 blocked shots. Appel is shooting a team-best 57.3-percent from the field and has scored in double-figures six times.
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 49 assists while committing only 17 turnovers. Hones has dished out at least four assists in a game on eight different occasions. She is averaging 4.5 points per game in eight starts, including a pair of 11-point performances at USC (Dec. 20) and UCLA (Dec. 22). After a slow shooting start, Hones continues to improve and currently ranks second on the club with eight three-pointers. She is also 10-15 from the charity stripe.
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 in 2007-08. The class is ranked No. 4 by The All Star Girls Report.
Cardinal on National Television
Stanford is scheduled to have seven regular-season games televised nationally. In addition, postseason games will be broadcast on ESPN. Check www.gostanford.com for the most updated listings. Stanford will play six games on Fox Sports Net (FSN): Nov. 26 at Georgia, Dec. 30 vs. Arizona State, Jan. 27 at Arizona State, Feb. 4 vs. California, Feb. 10 vs. Washington and Feb. 25 vs. USC. Another contest (Jan. 2 at Fresno State) will represent Stanford's first-ever appearance on CSTV.
For The Record...
Jayne Appel has totaled as many blocked shots (20) as all 11 of Stanford's opponents combined (20). The school record for most blocked shots in a single season is 58, established by Cori Enghusen in 2001-02 ... The crowd of 3,230 that witnessed Stanford's 86-58 drubbing of Arizona on Dec. 28 is the largest of the season through seven home games ... Against Arizona on Dec. 28, Candice Wiggins was held without a rebound for the first time since Jan. 21, 2006, when she failed to pull down a board against Arizona State. She did just about everything else in that game though, scoring 33 points on 8-14 shooting while tying a school record with 16 free throws in 19 attempts ... No Stanford player was on the court for 30 minutes against Arizona on Dec. 28, marking the second time that has happened this year (also on Dec. 16 vs. Utah) ... Stanford has totaled almost as many assists (199) as its opponents' turnovers (209) ... Melanie Murphy scored her first collegiate bucket in the Cardinal's win over Arizona on Dec. 28, knocking down a jumper with 3:45 remaining in the second half ... Brooke Smith has torched Arizona in seven career games, making 39-62 opportunities for a 62.9 field-goal percentage. She is also averaging 7.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game ... Candice Wiggins missed the first game of her collegiate career (hamstring sprain) against USC on Dec. 20, snapping a streak of 77 consecutive games played. Wiggins has started 76 of the 77 contests she has appeared in, with the exception coming back on Feb. 26, 2005 in an 84-41 home win over Oregon State. The starting lineup on Senior Day that afternoon featured Kelly Suminski, Susan (King) Borchardt, Sebnem Kimyacioglu, Azella Perryman and Brooke Smith. In that game, Wiggins scored a game-high 20 points on 8-12 shooting in 19 minutes of action ... Maples Pavilion has been selected as one of eight regional sites to host 2007 NCAA Tournament First and Second Round competition. For more info, refer to www.gostanford.com or call 1-800-STANFORD.