No. 10 Stanford Faces Next Challenge At Washington
Jan. 9, 2007
No. 10/10 Stanford Cardinal (12-3, 5-0 Pac-10)
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Washington Huskies (12-5, 5-1 Pac-10)
At the end of this week, No. 10/10 Stanford (12-3, 5-0 Pac-10) should have a clear picture of where it stands in Pac-10 play. The Cardinal has already posted victories over the other two top-25 squads (Arizona State and California) in the conference, and that will provide momentum heading into Thursday's contest against upstart Washington (12-5, 5-1 Pac-10) in Seattle. The Huskies, who have been receiving votes in both polls all season long, currently hold down second place in the conference despite suffering a hard-fought 88-83 defeat at Arizona State their last time out.
Both games of this week's road trip can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. Jake Kelman handles the broadcasting chores. Stanford's game against Washington will be televised by Comcast, on a Video On Demand basis in the Seattle area.
Stanford is navigating through its second three-game, six-day stretch of the year. The busy week wraps up at Washington State on Saturday afternoon. Back in November, Stanford faced Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia in a span of six days and went 1-2.
Washington (12-5, 5-1 Pac-10) had its nine-game winning streak snapped last weekend in an 88-83 setback at No. 13 Arizona State. Prior to that loss, Washington had started conference play with a 5-0 mark while picking up key non-conference victories over Texas A&M and Florida State. The Huskies, who are currently second in the Pac-10 standings, enter this week with an 8-0 record at home and a 4-5 mark on the road. Despite shooting only 40.3-percent from the field, Washington is averaging 74.9 points per game while allowing 68.9 and owning a rebounding edge of +3.2 over its opponents. The Huskies are led by: Cameo Hicks (18.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 22-51 three-pointers, 73-94 free throws), Andrea Plouffe (12.1 ppg, 38.1-percent from the field), Jill Bell (8.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 11 blocks) and Cheri Craddock (7.1 ppg, 19-54 three-pointers). Head coach June Daugherty is in her 11th season at the helm.
Stanford All-Time vs. Washington
Stanford owns a 30-14 edge in the all-time series. Last year's meetings resulted in a split, with Washington claiming a 77-72 win in Seattle and Stanford returning the favor 100-69 at Maples Pavilion. Stanford has won eight of the last 10 overall, with six of those turning out to be double-digit victories. In games played in Seattle, Stanford is 11-9. The last six meetings in Seattle have resulted in three wins for both programs.
Who To Watch Against Washington
Post players Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith have enjoyed the most success. In five career games, Newlin has made 17-30 from the field (56.6-percent) while hauling down 6.0 rebounds per game. Smith is shooting 33-49 (67.3-percent) from the field in four career games, including an average of 8.5 rebounds per contest.
Winning Streak Hits Double-Digits
Having not tasted defeat since Nov. 26 at Georgia in the fifth game of the year, Stanford is riding its longest winning streak in two years. The Cardinal has now won 10 straight, the most since a 23-game stretch in 2004-05. However, the current 10-game winning streak is just one of 17 double-digit winning streaks in school history.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current 10-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. During the streak, Stanford has limited its opponents to 53.6 points per game, 32.1-percent shooting from the field and won all 10 games by an average of 21 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: the Cardinal has forced 165 combined turnovers (16.5 per game) while allowing only 99 assists (9.9 per game). In fact, Stanford has held nine of those 10 victims to under 60 points.
Low Totals? There's A Reason
A quick glance at the last few box scores reveals unusually low scoring totals for standouts Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins. It's more of a tribute to Stanford's incredible depth, which has routinely allowed the club to build a sizeable halftime lead and cruise in the second half. For example, Wiggins scored just seven points in only 24 minutes against Fresno State on Jan. 2, as the Cardinal received a double-double from Jillian Harmon in addition to 50 points from its frontcourt trio. Smith finished with six points and seven boards in 26 minutes against California on Jan. 6, as Stanford benefited from Wiggins' gaudy stat line (18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) and Jayne Appel's 19 points. Overall, eight different players have scored in double-figures and five different players have earned team-high scoring honors.
Last Time Out:
No. 10/12 Stanford 69, South Carolina (Jan. 8, 2007 at Stanford, Calif.)
Brooke Smith talked to coach Tara VanDerveer earlier in the day about looking more for her shot. And Smith just plain put on a show with that signature hook of hers. She made her first six field-goal attempts on the way to a season-high 28 points, leading No. 10 Stanford to its 10th straight win with a 69-54 victory over South Carolina. Candice Wiggins added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. Smith shot 14-for-17, tying her career high for shots made, and grabbed seven rebounds. Kristen Newlin finished with eight points, while freshman Jayne Appel came off the bench to add seven points, seven boards, three assists, three blocks and two steals. Fellow freshman JJ Hones had five assists. Stanford shot 46 percent and outrebounded South Carolina 47-36, with four players grabbing seven or more rebounds for the third straight game.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
At least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year except three. Candice Wiggins (15.7 ppg), Brooke Smith (13.9) and Jayne Appel (12.0) are all averaging double-figure scoring. Twice this year (Santa Clara on Nov. 29, Arizona on Dec. 28), five different Cardinal players have reached double-digit scoring. Just how balanced has the Cardinal offense been so far? Stanford has scored 540 points in the first half of games this year and 550 in the second.
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 57.5 points per game while holding 11 opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 35.0-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.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has employed four different starting linueps. Only six players have earned a starting nod, led by Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith with 14. The most effective starting lineup has been the current combination of JJ Hones, Candice Wiggins, Jillian Harmon, Smith and Newlin, which has posted a 5-0 mark.
Wiggins, Newlin Continue To Climb Rankings
Candice Wiggins and Kristen Newlin continue to climb up the rankings in the Stanford record books. Wiggins currently ranks eighth in school history in points scored at 1,556. She is also 9th all-time with 160 three-pointers. Newlin ranks fourth all-time in blocked shots with 133 and 12th overall in rebounds with 629.