No. 9 Women's Basketball Returns Home To Host Oregon
Jan. 16, 2007
No. 9/9 Stanford Cardinal (14-3, 7-0 Pac-10)
- VS. -
Oregon Ducks (10-6, 2-4 Pac-10)
No. 9/9 Stanford (14-3, 7-0 Pac-10) returns to Maples Pavilion this week for a two-game homestand. The Cardinal will play only three home games in January, and the upcoming homestand against Oregon and Oregon State represents the only Pac-10 competition at home during the month. Winners of 12 in a row, Stanford opens the week against Oregon (10-6, 2-4 Pac-10) which has experienced some inconsistency after opening the year 7-1. The Cardinal has been anything but erratic, breezing through Pac-10 play and holding down the top spot in the standings.
Both of this week's games can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, with Jake Kelman handling the broadcasting chores. Live statistics and a webcast are also offered on the site.
Junior Candice Wiggins missed her third game of the year when she sat out Stanford's 63-55 win over Washington State on Jan. 13. Wiggins suffered a right ankle sprain during Stanford's win at Washington on Jan. 11. She practiced with the team on Tuesday and is expected to be available when the Stanford hosts Oregon.
Oregon enters this weekend at 10-6 overall and 2-4 in the Pac-10. The Ducks began the season 7-1 but have struggled lately, winning back-to-back games only once since then. Oregon, 4-3 away from home so far this year, has dropped three of its last four games with the only victory coming in the form of an 86-73 decision over Arizona last week. The Ducks have been competitive in all six of their conference games, including a hard-fought 80-70 defeat to Arizona State in their last time out. Oregon, which finished 14-15 overall and 5-13 in the Pac-10 last year, is averaging 66.2 points per game while shooting 42.8-percent from the field and 39-percent from three-point territory. Players to watch include: Eleanor Haring (14.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 47.4-percent field goals), Taylor Lilley (10.6 ppg, 20-37 three-pointers), Kaela Chapdelaine (6.2 ppg, 68 assists, 32 steals) and Jessie Shetters (5.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 27 blocks). Head coach Bev Smith enters her sixth year.
Stanford All-Time vs. Oregon
Stanford owns a 33-8 all-time record against Oregon. The Cardinal has won three in a row and nine of the last 11 contests overall in the series, which originated back in 1981. Stanford swept last year's season series, winning 76-64 in Eugene and following that with a 79-58 rout at Maples Pavilion. The Ducks' last triumph in the series came back on Dec. 29, 2004, in a 62-58 home victory.
Who To Watch Against Oregon
In four career games, Brooke Smith is 23-40 from the field (57.5-percent) despite hauling down an unusually low rebounding total of just 4.2 per game. Candice Wiggins has made 26-48 (54.1-percent) from the field, knocking down seven three-pointers in four games. Reserves who might provide some scoring punch include Clare Bodensteiner (four games, 4-9 shooting) and Cissy Pierce (two games, 3-5 shooting).
Smith Leads Cardinal To 3-0 Week
Stanford received contributions from several different players during last week's 3-0 performance that included wins over South Carolina, Washington and Washington State, most notably Brooke Smith. She opened the week by establishing a season-high point total and closed it with a near triple-double. In a non-conference contest against South Carolina, Smith was almost perfect from the field in a 14-17 performance that resulted in a season-best 28 points. Her 14 field goals in that game matched a career-high, and she also grabbed seven rebounds in 40 minutes. In a 77-56 victory over Washington, Smith filled the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks in 32 minutes. Two days later in a 63-55 win over Washington State, Smith nearly recorded Stanford's first triple-double since 2002. She fell one rebound shy, totaling 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-best 10 assists. She also snatched a career-high seven steals in 38 minutes.
Defense The Key In Winning Streak
Stanford's current 12-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. During the streak, Stanford has limited its opponents to 53.9 points per game, 32.2-percent shooting from the field and won all 12 games by an average of 19.9 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: Cardinal opponents are averaging 16.5 turnovers per game while registering only 9.9 assists per contest. In fact, Stanford has held 11 of those 12 victims to under 60 points.
Winning Streak Hits No. 12
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 12 straight, the most since a 23-game stretch in 2004-05. However, the current 12-game winning streak is just one of 17 double-digit winning streaks in school history.
Last Time Out:
No. 10/10 Stanford 63, Washington State 55 (Jan. 13, 2007 at Pullman, Wash.)
No. 10 Stanford overcame 20 turnovers to beat Washington State 63-55 and improve to 43-0 all-time against the Cougars. JJ Hones led Stanford with a season-high 17 points while Brooke Smith added 12 points, nine rebounds and career-highs of 10 assists and seven steals. The last-place Cougars missed 10 of 11 shots in the first 9 minutes and shot 32 percent for the game. The Cardinal led 24-8 before Washington State closed the first half with a 12-4 run to trail 28-20 at the break. Hones scored 14 points in the second half to help Stanford pull away. The Cardinal shot 47.3-percent and forced 20 Cougar turnovers.
Low Totals? There's A Reason
A quick glance at a couple box scores reveals unusually low scoring totals for All-American candidates Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins. It's actually 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 six 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 (13.6) and Jayne Appel (12.3) 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 609 points in the first half of games this year and 621 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 57.3 points per game while holding 13 opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 34.7-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. That had not occurred since last year, when Krystal Frazier led Rice with nine points in an 83-53 Stanford rout on Dec. 17, 2005.
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 (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg) while shooting 50-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in 14 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 7.6 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 54.3-percent from the field. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (12.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg) while leading the Cardinal in blocks with 30.
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 17games, sitting out for the first time in her career against USC and UCLA (Dec. 20- hamstring) and Washington State (Jan. 13- ankle sprain).
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 (4.7 rpg), second in steals (25), fourth in assists (34), and is shooting 46.1-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.
Hones Helps The Cardinal
Get in position to score and freshman JJ Hones will find you. The Cardinal freshman has succesfully made a quick transition to the college level at one of the toughest positions on the floor. And she has been outstanding, leading the team with 70 assists while committing only 23 turnovers. Hones has dished out at least four assists in a game on 11 different occasions. She is averaging 5.2 points per game in 14 starts, including a season-high 17 points in a win at Washington State on Jan. 13.
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 12.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 30 blocks. Appel is shooting a team-best 54.9-percent from the field and has scored in double-figures 11 times.
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.