No. 9 Stanford Begins Upcoming Road Trip At Arizona
Jan. 23, 2007
No. 9/9 Stanford Cardinal (16-3, 9-0 Pac-10)
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Arizona Wildcats (7-14, 1-8 Pac-10)
No. 9/9 Stanford (16-3, 9-0 Pac-10) begins the second round of conference play with a road trip to the desert. Despite playing six of the nine games in January away from Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal has pieced together an incredible 14-game winning streak that ranks third-best in the nation. Two of those wins came against this week's opponents: Arizona and Arizona State. The Wildcats (7-14, 1-8 Pac-10) get the first opportunity to upset the Cardinal, seeking revenge after an 86-58 rout back on Dec. 28.
Both games this week can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, with Jake Kelman handling the broadcast duties. Saturday's tilt at Arizona State represents the fourth of seven national television appearances for the Cardinal this year, with the game airing on Fox Sports Net.
Following this week's road trip, Stanford will play its final non-conference game of the year on Thursday, Feb. 1, when it travels to UC Santa Barbara. The week concludes with a Sunday afternoon matchup against rival California, signaling the start of a three-game homestand at Maples Pavilion.
Arizona (7-14, 1-8 Pac-10) has picked up just one victory in its last 10 games and owns a 3-11 record since the beginning of December. One of those wins was a 59-57 decision over Washington State on Jan. 6, representing Arizona's only Pac-10 victory. The Wildcats are 5-5 at home, 1-8 on the road and 1-1 on neutral courts. Four of Arizona's last five games have been decided by 10 points or less, including a 76-73 defeat at the hands of UCLA to close out last week's homestand. Arizona is averaging 64.5 points and 36.5 rebounds per game while shooting just 39.9-percent from the field. The Wildcats are 0-4 against top-25 competition. Players to watch include: Joy Hollingsworth (16.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, team-best 41 three-pointers), Ashley Whisonant (11.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 85 assists) and Amina Njonkou (9.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 47.2-percent field goals). Head coach Joan Bonvicini is in her 27th season.
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona
Stanford owns a 43-12 record against Arizona in the all-time series, which dates back to 1979. The Cardinal has won the last seven meetings, with six of those coming by double-digit margins. Stanford routed Arizona 86-58 in the team's earlier meeting this year, with Kristen Newlin's 12-point, 11-rebound outing leading five Cardinal players in double-figure scoring. The Wildcats' last win in the series came back on Feb. 5, 2004, in the form of an 88-83 victory in Tucson.
Who To Watch Against Arizona
Brooke Smith has torched the Wildcats in seven career games, making 39-62 chances for a 62.9 field-goal percentage. That also includes averages of 7.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Candice Wiggins has made 34-78 tries from the field in six contests. Meanwhile, Morgan Clyburn is 3-6 from the field in three games against the Wildcats with all three of those baskets coming from three-point territory. Jayne Appel was 6-7 from the field with six boards in her debut versus Arizona.
Winning Streak Among Nation's Best
In addition to ranking among the program's all-time best stretches, Stanford's current 14-game winning streak is tied for third-best in the nation. Here's a breakdown of the nation's top winning streaks, heading into Thursday's contest against Arizona:
Streak...School...Next Game...Overall/Conference Record22...North Carolina...Jan. 28 at Maryland...22-0, 6-0 ACC20...Duke...Jan. 25 at Florida State...20-0, 5-0 ACC14...Stanford...Jan. 25 at Arizona...16-3, 9-0 Pac-1014...Middle Tennessee State...Jan. 24 at North Texas...17-3, 9-0 Sun Belt12...Wisconsin-Green Bay...Jan. 25 at Butler...15-3, 6-0 Horizon
Defense The Key...
Stanford's current 14-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. During the streak, Stanford has limited its opponents to 53.5 points per game, 32.6-percent shooting from the field and won all 14 games by an average of 19.6 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: Cardinal opponents are averaging 15.7 turnovers per game while registering only 10.1 assists per contest. In fact, Stanford has held 13 of those 14 victims to under 60 points.
...Especially Early In The Game
Stanford's outstanding numbers on defense have been well documented, especially those early in the game. During the 14-game winning streak, the Cardinal has been able to shut down opponents from the opening tip and race out to commanding halftime leads.
Winning Streak Among All-Time Best
Stanford is enjoying its longest winning streak in two years, the best stretch since a 23-game stretch in 2004-05.
Streak Year Date Final Record25 1996-97 Dec. 20 - Mar. 24 34-2, 18-0 Pac-1023 2004-05 Jan. 2 - Mar. 27 32-3, 17-1 Pac-1023 1995-96 Dec. 30 - Mar. 23 29-3, 18-0 Pac-1022 2001-02 Dec. 19 - Mar. 3 32-3, 18-0 Pac-1022 1988-89 Dec. 29 - Mar. 23 28-3, 18-0 Pac-1020 1989-90 Nov. 24 - Feb. 2 32-1, 17-1 Pac-1015 1997-98 Jan. 16 - Mar. 7 21-6, 17-1 Pac-1015 1994-95 Dec. 3 - Feb. 2 30-3, 17-1 Pac-1014 2006-07 Nov. 29 - present - - -14 1993-94 Feb. 3 - Mar. 24 25-6, 15-3 Pac-1014 1987-88 Nov. 27 - Jan. 14 27-5, 14-4 Pac-10
Stanford In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through nine conference games, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in the following categories: scoring defense (54.7 ppg), field goal percentage defense (33.3), rebounding (44.3 rpg), rebounding margin (+7.8), blocked shots (47) and assist/turnover ratio (1.23). Three Cardinal players lead individual categories: Candice Wiggins averages 3.3 three-pointers made, Jayne Appel with 13 blocks and JJ Hones with a 2.43 assist/turnover ratio.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
At least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year except three. Candice Wiggins (15.3 ppg), Brooke Smith (13.7) and Jayne Appel (12.1) 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.
...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 56.7 points per game while holding 15 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- the first time that has happened since 2005.
Unusually Low Totals? There's A Reason
There have been occasional box scores with 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. Overall, eight different players have scored in double-figures and seven different players have earned team-high scoring honors.
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 (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg) while shooting 50.2-percent and scoring in double-figures 16 times. Fellow senior Kristen Newlin is shooting 53-percent, posting four double-doubles while averaging 8.1 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds per game. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (12.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg) while leading the squad with 34 blocks and a 55.5 shooting percentage.
Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
The two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, junior Candice Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (15.3 ppg) and three-pointers (39). A 44.2-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins also ranks third in assists (56) and is pulling down 4.6 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in 13 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 16 of the team's 19 games, sitting out for the first time in her career against USC and UCLA (Dec. 20- hamstring) and Washington State (Jan. 13- right 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 (9.0 ppg) and rebounding (4.8 rpg), second in steals (25), fourth in assists (36) while shooting 46.8-percent from the field. Harmon has scored in double-figures in eight 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 rookie point guard 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 80 assists while committing only 27 turnovers. Hones has dished out at least four assists in a game on 13 different occasions. She is averaging 5.1 points per game in 16 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, she put on a clinic against 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 at Georgia, she nearly recorded her first double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Since that road trip she has been just as solid, averaging 12.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 34 blocks. Appel has also scored in double-figures 12 times.