Stanford's Jayne Train Keeps Rolling as Cardinal Sew Up Conference Crown
Feb. 22, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Jayne Appel scored 24 points to help Stanford overcome the absence of leading scorer Candice Wiggins and clinch at least a share of its seventh straight Pac-10 title with a 65-54 victory over UCLA on Thursday night.
Stanford (24-4, 16-1 Pac-10) is already assured the top seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament because it swept second-place Arizona State. The Cardinal can win the title outright with a Sun Devils loss at Arizona on Saturday or their own win Sunday against Southern California.
Wiggins, the two-time conference player of the year, missed the game with an injured hamstring. She could also miss Sunday's regular-season finale and next week's Pac-10 tournament as coach Tara VanDerveer said the priority is making sure Wiggins is healthy for the NCAA tournament.
Wiggins, the Cardinal's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, played only nine minutes last Thursday at Oregon State with an ankle injury and missed time earlier in the season with another ankle injury. Stanford is 4-0 without its star.
The Cardinal did miss Wiggins against UCLA (7-10, 13-16), but used a late 11-2 run to take a 60-50 lead with 1:23 remaining and put the game away.
With Wiggins watching in sweats, Stanford had no outside shooting threat. Wiggins had made nearly half of the Cardinal's 3-pointers this season, and Stanford made none without her - ending a streak of 403 consecutive games with a 3-pointer.
Brooke Smith added 14 points for the Cardinal.
Noelle Quinn scored 17 points to lead Bruins, who have lost four straight games. Lindsey Pluimer added 15.
Appel, who averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds a game last weekend in Oregon, didn't start the game but came on to replace Kristen Newlin after just 48 seconds. Stanford used all three of its big players to start the second half - Appel, Newlin and Smith.
That helped the Cardinal go on a 10-2 run early in the half to take a 40-33 lead. But UCLA responded with a 10-2 run of its own, going ahead 43-42 on Noelle Quinn's 3-pointer with 9:33 remaining. The game was close until Stanford's late run.
Stanford missed 10 of its first 16 shots and turning the ball over 10 times in the first half. Appel scored eight of the Cardinal's final 12 points in the half to take a 30-29 lead at the break.
Sloppy play by UCLA kept Stanford in the game as the Cardinal committed 14 first-half turnovers and 13 personal fouls.