No. 8/9 Stanford Travels To UC Santa Barbara Thursday
Jan. 30, 2007
No. 8/9 Stanford Cardinal (18-3, 11-0 Pac-10)
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UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (11-9, 5-2 Big West)
No. 8/9 Stanford (18-3, 11-0 Pac-10) takes a break from Pac-10 play, starting the week at UC Santa Barbara (11-9, 5-2 Big West) in its final non-conference game of the year. The Cardinal has now won 16 straight games, including a 73-65 overtime thriller at then-No. 10 Arizona State in its last contest. That victory gave Stanford a two-game lead in the standings with seven Pac-10 games remaining. And the schedule is favorable for the Cardinal, which plays five of its final eight games at Maples Pavilion.
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 broadcast duties. Sunday's contest against California represents the fifth of seven national television appearances for the Cardinal this year, as it can be seen on Fox Sports Net.
After squaring off against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Stanford hosts rival California on Sunday afternoon, signaling the start of a three-game homestand that continues next week with Washington State and Washington. Five of Stanford's remaining seven Pac-10 games will be played at Maples Pavilion.
Scouting UC Santa Barbara
Despite a 1-5 start, UC Santa Barbara (11-9, 5-2 Big West) is streaking as of late and figures to be one of the top contenders in a wide-open conference race. The Gauchos, who have traditionally been the class of the Big West, qualified for the WNIT last year while finishing 16-14 overall. UC Santa Barbara enters the week having won seven of its last eight overall, with five of those victories coming by double-digit margins. In a two-game homestand last week, UC Santa Barbara dropped a 66-64 decision to Cal State Northridge and routed Pacific 89-55. The Gauchos average 67.8 points and 37.5 rebounds per game, in addition to shooting 41.2-percent from the field and 33.8-percent from three-point territory. Players to watch include: Jenna Green (15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 31 blocked shots), Jessica Wilson (13.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 84 assists) and Chisa Ononiwu (13.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 18-36 three-pointers). Head coach Mark French enters this 20th season.
Stanford All-Time vs. UC Santa Barbara
Nine games have been played between the two schools, with Stanford winning eight. One of those came last year at Maples Pavilion, where the Cardinal posted an 81-47 victory on Feb. 9. Otherwise, Stanford has won eight in a row against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos' only victory in the series occurred almost 30 years ago: a 62-61 triumph on Nov. 28, 1977. The only meeting in Santa Barbara resulted in a 64-54 Cardinal win.
Wiggins Earns Second Pac-10 Player of the Week Honor
Candice Wiggins has been named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 22-28. For the week, Wiggins averaged 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.0 steals as Stanford swept road games against Arizona (86-76) and Arizona State (73-65 in overtime). She also shot 44.1-percent from the field (15-of-34) and 93.3-percent from the foul line (14-of-15). The Player of the Week honor is the fifth of Wiggins' career and second of the year, earning the honor back on Jan. 1 for her efforts against Arizona and Arizona State in games played at Maples Pavilion. Against Arizona, Wiggins scored 18 points and pulled down five rebounds. Two days later at Arizona State, she scored a season-high 30 points to lead Stanford to a 73-65 overtime win against then-No. 10 Arizona State. Wiggins carried the Cardinal in overtime, scoring 10 of Stanford's 14 points in the extra period. Wiggins also added seven assists and five rebounds and was perfect from the foul line (9-of-9) while playing all 45 minutes.
Winning Streak Among Nation's Best
In addition to ranking among the program's all-time best stretches, Stanford's current 16-game winning streak is tied for third-best in the nation with Middle Tennessee State. Only North Carolina (23-0) and Duke (22-0) have enjoyed more success.
Winning Streak Among Program's Best
Stanford is riding its longest winning streak in two years, the best stretch since a 23-game span in 2004-05. The current 16-game streak ranks fifth-best in program history.
Defense The Key...
Stanford's current 16-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. During the streak, Stanford has limited its opponents to 55.6 points per game, 33.4-percent shooting from the field and won all 16 games by an average of 18.3 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: Cardinal opponents are averaging 15.5 turnovers per game while registering only 10.3 assists per contest. In fact, Stanford has held 13 of those 16 victims to under 60 points.
Last Time Out:
No. 9/9 Stanford 73, Arizona State 65- OT (Jan. 27, 2007 at Tempe, Ariz.)
When one of the biggest games of the women's Pac-10 season was on the line, the conference's two-time player of the year took over. Candice Wiggins scored 10 of her season-high 30 points in overtime and No. 9 Stanford stayed unbeaten in the conference, extending its winning streak to 16 games with a 73-65 victory over No. 10 Arizona State. Stanford dominated the overtime 14-6 despite losing front-line players Jayne Appel and Brooke Smith to fouls late in regulation. Appel added 17 points in Stanford's 14th Pac-10 win in a row, dating to last season. After going 3-for-10 in the first half, Wiggins was 5-for-9 in the second half and 2-for-3 in the overtime. Stanford led most of the second half, but never by more than six before the overtime. Pierce's inside basket put Stanford ahead for good 63-61 with 4:01 left in overtime. Wiggins scored the next six on a 16-footer from the baseline, a 10-footer and two free throws, giving Stanford a 69-61 lead 1:02 from the finish.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
At least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year except three. Candice Wiggins (16.3 ppg), Brooke Smith (13.7) and Jayne Appel (12.6) are all averaging double-figure scoring. There have been three times this year (Santa Clara on Nov. 29, Arizona on Dec. 28 and Arizona on Jan. 25) where at least five different Cardinal players have reached double-digit scoring. Overall, eight different players have scored in double-figures and seven different players have earned team-high scoring honors.
...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 58 points per game while holding 15 opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 35.1-percent from the field and only three 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.
Wiggins, Newlin, Smith Climb Rankings
Candice Wiggins and Kristen Newlin continue to climb the rankings in the Stanford record books. Wiggins currently ranks sixth in school history in points scored at 1,645. She is also ninth all-time with 169 three-pointers. Newlin ranks second all-time in blocked shots with 148 and seventh in rebounds with 684. Brooke Smith has moved up to sixth in blocked shots with 116.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has used just four different starting linuep combinations through 21 games. Only six players have earned a starting nod: Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith with 21, Jillian Harmon, JJ Hones and Candice Wiggins with 18 and Cissy Pierce with nine. The combination of Hones, Wiggins, Harmon, Smith and Newlin has been most effective, as the Cardinal is undefeated in 12 contests when that lineup is penciled into the official scorebook.
For The Record...
Stanford has won 13 straight Pac-10 regular season games, dating back to last year ... With her 30-point effort at Arizona State on Jan. 27, Candice Wiggins became the first Cardinal player to score at least 30 points in a game since Brooke Smith poured in 35 against Oklahoma on Mar. 25, 2006 in the NCAA Tournament ... Stanford's 73-65 overtime win at Arizona State on Jan. 27 represented the club's first overtime victory since defeating UCLA 78-71 back on Jan. 23, 2004 ... Stanford improves to 6-0 in games played on Saturday ... The lineup combination of JJ Hones, Candice Wiggins, Jillian Harmon, Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin has produced a 12-0 record ... Stanford has won 14 straight Pac-10 regular season games, dating back to last year ... Only three teams have shot better than 40-percent overall against Stanford this year: Arizona (45-percent) on Jan. 25, Georgia (45.3-percent) on Nov. 26 and Tennessee (50-percent) on Nov. 24.