Washington State On Tap For No. 10 Cardinal Saturday
Jan. 12, 2007
No. 10/10 Stanford Cardinal (13-3, 6-0 Pac-10)
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Washington State Cougars (5-12, 1-6 Pac-10)
No. 10 Stanford (13-3, 6-0 Pac-10) continues to cruise through conference play in convincing fashion. Stanford's latest victim was Washington, as the Cardinal registered a dominating 77-56 win in Seattle on Thursday night. That's become a routine practice as of late, as Stanford's 11-game winning streak includes nine double-digit victories. Several of those have come against Pac-10 opponents, allowing Stanford to maintain its stranglehold of first place in the conference standings. The Cardinal looks to continue that success on Saturday afternoon against Washington State (5-12, 1-6 Pac-10).
Saturday's game against Washington State can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. Jake Kelman handles the broadcasting chores.
Junior Candice Wiggins, who notched her first double-double since 2005 in a 77-56 win over Washington on Thursday night, did not practice with the team on Friday afternoon as she nurses a sprained right ankle. Her availability against Washington State will be determined Saturday morning.
Scouting Washington State
Much improved from a year ago, Washington State (5-12, 1-6 Pac-10) is coming off a 55-48 loss to California on Thursday night. The Cougars finished in last place in the Pac-10 in 2005-06 at 2-16 and 8-20 overall. Two of Washington State's victories have come at home, including a 58-41 triumph over Oregon State in the Pac-10 opener. However, Washington State currently finds itself in the middle of a six-game losing skid. Following their game against the Cardinal, the Cougars play five of their next seven games on the road. Areas of concern for the Cougars include: 37.2 field goal percentage, an average of 19.4 turnovers per game and a 29.4 clip from three-point territory. Washington State has faced two top-25 clubs this year, falling at No. 15 Kentucky 80-51 in the season opener and to No. 22 California two nights ago. Look out for: Marisa Stotler (10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 36 steals), Katie Appleton (8.3 ppg, 38.6-percent from the field, 43 assists) and Kate Benz (6.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg). Head coach Sherri Murrell is in her fifth year in the Palouse.
Stanford All-Time vs. Washington State
The next win Washington State gets over Stanford will be its first. Stanford has won all 42 meetings in the series, which originated during the 1982-83 campaign. The last time Stanford defeated Washington State by 10 points or less came back on Feb. 22, 2001, when the Cardinal won 87-78. In games played at Pullman, Stanford is 20-0 all-time.
Who To Watch Against Washington State
Look out for Clare Bodensteiner once she checks into the game. In six career contests versus Washington State, Bodensteiner has made 13-24 (54.1-percent) from the field and that includes six three-pointers. In two games as a freshman, Jillian Harmon made 12-19 from the field and averaged 7.0 rebounds per contest.
Last Time Out:
No. 10/10 Stanford 77, Washington 56 (Jan. 11, 2007 at Seattle, Wash.)
Jayne Appel led all scorers with 19 points while Candice Wiggins recorded her first double-double of the year as No. 10 Stanford breezed past Washington 77-56 in Seattle. Appel's 19 points on 9-14 shooting in just 20 minutes helped key a 50-22 advantage for the Cardinal in points in the paint. Wiggins was just as impressive, registering her first double-double since 2005 with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Brooke Smith chipped in with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists while JJ Hones added 10 points. Stanford owned a commanding 51-43 edge on the boards, shot 47.7-percent overall and limited Washington to just 27.8-percent shooting from the field. The Cardinal raced out to an early first-half lead and built a 41-28 cushion by halftime. Washington's leading scorer, Cameo Hicks, was hounded defensively by Jillian Harmon and was just 4-13 overall.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current 11-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. During the streak, Stanford has limited its opponents to 53.8 points per game, 31.7-percent shooting from the field and won all 11 games by an average of 21 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: the Cardinal has forced 178 combined turnovers (16.1 per game) while allowing only 109 assists (9.9 per game). In fact, Stanford has held 10 of those 11 victims to under 60 points.
Winning Streak Hits No. 11
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 11 straight, the most since a 23-game stretch in 2004-05. However, the current 11-game winning streak is just one of 17 double-digit winning streaks in school history.
Low Totals? There's A Reason
A quick glance at some of Stanford's box scores this year 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.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
At least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year except three. Candice Wiggins (15.8 ppg), Brooke Smith (13.8) and Jayne Appel (12.5) 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 581 points in the first half of games this year and 586 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 57.4 points per game while holding 12 opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 34.5-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 16. The most effective starting lineup has been the current combination of JJ Hones, Candice Wiggins, Jillian Harmon, Smith and Newlin, which has posted a 6-0 mark.
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 (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg) while shooting 51.1-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in 13 games and has led the club in scoring four times. Fellow senior Kristen Newlin has been just as good, posting four double-doubles while averaging 8.4 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 53.5-percent from the field. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (12.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) while leading the Cardinal in blocks with 29.
Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
The two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, junior Candice Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (15.8 ppg) and three-pointers (37). A 45-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins also ranks third in assists (49) and is pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in 12 games overall. Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in three games this year, including a 21-point effort against Arizona State on Dec. 30 that resulted in a Pac-10 Player of the Week honor. Wiggins has started 14 of the team's 16 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 (8.8 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 rpg), second in steals (24), fourth in assists (31), and is shooting 46.2-percent from the field. Harmon has scored in double-figures in seven games, including her first double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Fresno State on Jan. 2.
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 12.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 29 blocked shots. Appel is shooting a team-best 54.9-percent from the field and has scored in double-figures 10 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 66 assists while committing only 21 turnovers. Hones has dished out at least four assists in a game on 10 different occasions. She is averaging 4.4 points per game in 12 starts, including a pair of season-high 11-point performances at USC (Dec. 20) and UCLA (Dec. 22).
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 1,573. She is also 9th all-time with 163 three-pointers. Newlin ranks fourth all-time in blocked shots with 134 and is tied for 11th overall in rebounds with 631.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 280-30 record at home during her tenure, including a 171-11 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 76 of its last 81 games at Maples, although a 55-52 upset loss to No. 24 BYU on Nov. 13 snapped a 12-game winning streak. With a 77-71 victory over Arizona State last weekend, Stanford improved its Pac-10 home win streak to 48 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.