No. 12/15 Stanford Squares Off Against Fresno State
Jan. 1, 2007
No. 12/15 Stanford Cardinal (9-3, 4-0 Pac-10)
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Fresno State Bulldogs (7-5, 0-0 WAC)
Fresh off its biggest victory of the year and riding a seven-game winning streak, No. 12/15 Stanford (9-3, 4-0 Pac-10) steps out of conference play to battle Fresno State (7-5, 0-0 WAC). After defeating No. 10/11 Arizona State 77-71 at home last Saturday, Stanford now sits atop the Pac-10 standings. But the Cardinal will have little time to savor that victory, facing a pesky Bulldog club that has already upset two top-25 foes at home.
Both of this week's games can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. In addition, both games will be televised. Tuesday's contest at Fresno State represents Stanford's first-ever appearance on CSTV. Later in the week, Stanford travels to Berkeley and squares off against California in a game that can be seen on Comcast.
Break From Conference Play
Stanford is four games into its Pac-10 regular-season slate, but the Cardinal still has three non-conference opponents remaining on the schedule. Following Tuesday's game against Fresno State, Stanford will host South Carolina (Monday, Jan. 8) and travel to UC Santa Barbara (Thursday, Feb. 1).
Scouting Fresno State
It's been a little tough to figure out Fresno State (7-5, 0-0 WAC) at times this year. The Bulldogs, coming off their best season in school history at 24-8, have notched impressive wins over top-25 opponents but also suffered a few head-scratching losses. Fresno State shocked then- No. 18 BYU 61-51 (who upset Stanford four days earlier) for its first win over a top-25 club since 1992. However, the Bulldogs have also dropped decisions to Cal State Fullerton and Santa Clara. At the moment Fresno State looks to be in control again, winning at Pepperdine 68-59 in its most recent outing. Fresno State, which has won 16 of its last 17 at the Save Mart Center, is shooting just 39.8-percent on the year but holds a +4.7 rebounding edge over its opponents. Keep an eye on: Tierre Wilson (15.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 44.4 field goal percentage), Chantella Perera (15.2 ppg, 17-51 three-pointers, 57-65 FT's) and Brittani Green (7.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg). Head coach Adrian Wiggins has notched an impressive 38-17 overall record during his brief tenure.
Stanford All-Time vs. Fresno State
Stanford owns the upper hand in this series at 15-6. The Cardinal has won the last three meetings following a five-game winning streak by the Bulldogs. After a 17-year hiatus, the two schools resumed play last season at Maples Pavilion with Stanford claiming an 89-67 win. Tuesday's game will be the first meeting in Fresno since the Cardinal registered a 62-58 victory back on Nov. 29, 1988.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current seven-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. In those seven games combined, Stanford has limited its opponents to 55.1 points per game, 33.6-percent shooting from the field and won all seven games by an average of 20.2 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: the Cardinal has forced 130 combined turnovers while allowing only 63 assists. In fact, Stanford has held six of those seven victims to under 60 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 (13.4) and Jayne Appel (11.5) 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 59.4 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.
Last Time Out:
No. 14/15 Stanford 77, No. 10/11Arizona State 71 (Dec. 30, 2006 at Stanford, Calif.)
Candice Wiggins scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half and Stanford won its 48th straight Pac-10 home game, earning a hard-fought 77-71 victory over Arizona State.Brooke Smith hit a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left and Arizona State's Jill Noe missed a 3-pointer on the other end that would have tied it. Smith made another free throw at 12.3 seconds and two more with 4.2 left to finish with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the Cardinal's 23rd straight victory against the Sun Devils at Maples Pavilion, a streak spanning more than two decades. Jayne Appel scored 16 points, hitting several key baskets in crunch time, and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench.
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 (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg) while shooting 47.8-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in 10 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 8.3 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 52.7-percent from the field. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg) while leading the Cardinal in blocks with 21.
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) and three-pointers (25). A 43.9-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins also ranks third in assists (31) and is pulling down 3.7 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in eight straight games and nine overall. Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in three games this year, including a 21-point effort against Arizona State in Stanford's most recent contest. Wiggins has started 10 of the team's 12 games, sitting out for the first time in her career against USC (Dec. 20) and UCLA (Dec. 22) due to a hamstring injury originally suffered Dec. 16 versus Utah.
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 (3.7 rpg), first in steals (20), fifth in assists (20), and is shooting 49.5-percent from the field. Harmon has scored in double-figures in six 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 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 21 blocked shots. Appel is shooting a team-best 55.7-percent from the field and has scored in double-figures seven 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 51 assists while committing only 18 turnovers. Hones has dished out at least four assists in a game on eight different occasions. She is averaging 4.8 points per game in nine starts, including a pair of season-high 11-point performances at USC (Dec. 20) and UCLA (Dec. 22). After a slow shooting start, Hones currently ranks second on the club with eight three-pointers.
For The Record...
Senior guard Clare Bodensteiner might be looking forward to facing Fresno State. In 81 career games, Bodensteiner has scored in double-figures only twice. One of those contests was last year against the Bulldogs, as Bodensteiner started and scored 13 points (nine coming off three-pointers). Her career-high is 14 points vs. Princeton on Nov. 29, 2003 ... Tara VanDerveer received her first technical foul in almost six years during the first half of Stanford's win over Arizona State on Dec. 30. Prior to that contest, VanDerveer's last technical foul came back on Jan. 25, 2001, in Stanford's 76-68 win over Washington at Maples Pavilion. In that game, she became the first women's basketball coach in Pac-10 history to win 200 career conference games ... The Stanford women's basketball team will be eating Tuesday's pregame meal at the team hotel, but one member of the travel party has already decided that he will eat lunch at Colorado Grill (Willow and Barstow location). Home to arguably the best hamburger in Fresno, a tasty Boulder Combo (add swiss cheese, no mayo) awaits after shoot-around ... Jayne Appel, who has scored in double-figures the last three games, has totaled almost as many blocked shots (21) as all 12 of Stanford's opponents combined (23). The school record for most blocked shots in a single season is 58 by Cori Enghusen in 2001-02 ... The crowd of 3,607 that witnessed Stanford's 77-71 thriller over Arizona State on Dec. 30 is the largest of the season through eight home games ... Stanford's 77-71 victory over Arizona State marked the first time this year the team had trailed at halftime (35-28) and won the game ... Stanford has totaled almost as many assists (213) as its opponents' turnovers (217) ... The Cardinal might be making its first regular season appearance in Fresno since 1988, but the club is already familiar with the Save Mart Center. Two years ago, Stanford defeated Santa Clara and Utah in the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament