No. 5 Stanford, Florida State Battle In 2006 NCAA Rematch
March 18, 2007
2007 NCAA TOURNAMENT SECOND ROUND
No. 5/5 Stanford Cardinal (29-4, 17-1 Pac-10)
- VS. -
Florida State Seminoles (23-9, 10-4 ACC)
No. 5/5 Stanford (29-4, 18-1) stands one victory away from its 15th Sweet 16 appearance in school history and a trip to Fresno. The Cardinal, which needs just one more win to post the seventh 30-win season in school history, opened this year's NCAA Tournament with a convincing 96-58 rout of Idaho State in the first round on Saturday afternoon. That sets up a rematch with Florida State (23-9, 10-4 ACC), who Stanford defeated 88-70 in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles advanced with an 85-75 victory over Old Dominion in the opening round.
KZSU 90.1 FM is your source for extensive coverage of Stanford women's basketball during the NCAA Tournament. The games will be broadcast live, with Jake Kelman and Andrew Shen calling the action. All tournament contests are also televised nationally on ESPN, with the crew of Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Jimmy Dykes (analyst) and Allen Hopkins (reporter) handling this weekend's action at Maples Pavilion.
Scouting Florida State
Florida State (23-9, 10-4 Pac-10) is coming off an 85-75 victory over Old Dominion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. An at-large entrant this year, the Seminoles own a 5-6 all-time mark in NCAA Tournament games. Florida State, which finished in a three-way tie for third place in the loaded ACC, is 6-4 in its last 10 games. Florida State is 0-5 against top-25 teams this year. The Seminoles average 68.6 points per game, shoot 43-percent from the field and own a +7.0 rebounding margin over their opponents. Keep an eye on: Alicia Gladden (13.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 71.4-percent free throws), Britany Miller (13.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 54 blocks) and Tanae Davis-Cain (9.6 ppg, 51 three-pointers). Head coach Sue Semrau has compiled a 159-137 record in 10 years with the club.
Stanford All-Time vs. Florida State
Two games have been played, with each team winning once at a neutral site. Florida State claimed a 73-50 victory back on Jan. 3, 1984 at the Dial Classic in Miami, Fla. Last year, Stanford beat Florida State 88-70 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Stanford All-Time vs. ACC
Stanford owns an overall record of 10-6 against current Atlantic Coast Conference foes. The Cardinal has faced seven of the 12 current members and boasts winning records against four of the squads: Boston College, NC State, North Carolina and Virginia.
A Look Back:
Stanford 88, Florida State 70 (Mar. 20, 2006 at Denver, Colo.)
Candice Wiggins scored 34 points, Brooke Smith posted a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds and the Cardinal connected on 27-33 free throw attempts in an 88-70 win over Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Stanford shot 52.9-percent overall while holding Florida State to just 38.2-percent shooting.
We Might See History
Jayne Appel's next blocked shot will be her 59th of the year, making her the single-season school record-holder in that category. She matched Cori Enghusen's mark of 58 after swatting three shots against Idaho State on Saturday. Meanwhile, Candice Wiggins has knocked down 205 career three-pointers, which ties her for third place on the all-time list with Sebnem Kimyacioglu. Only Vanessa Nygaard (210) and Kelley Suminski (208) have enjoyed more success from beyond the arc.
Two More For 30, Six To Tie The Mark
With the postseason now in full swing, Stanford stands at 29-4 overall with some realistic benchmarks in sight. Stanford's 62-55 victory over Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals on Mar. 3 matched last year's win total of 26. One more victory would represent the seventh 30-win season in school history. Five more would give Stanford its third national title, while tying the program's all-time win mark of 34 set back in 1996-97.
Stanford All-Time In NCAA Tournament
Stanford owns a 47-18 all-time record in NCAA Tournament competition and is making its 20th consecutive appearance and 21st overall. The Cardinal has advanced to the Elite Eight in each of the last three seasons, finishing one victory shy of its first Final Four trip since 1997. One of the most storied programs in NCAA history, Stanford has won two national championships, advanced to six Final Fours, 11 Elite Eights and 14 Sweet 16s. Last year, Stanford was edged by LSU 62-59 in the San Antonio Regional final after posting victories against Southeast Missouri State (72-45), Florida State (88-70) and Oklahoma (88-74) in the first three rounds.
Breaking Down The Seeding
Stanford is assigned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in school history. The last time the Cardinal was tabbed No. 2 came during the 2004-05 campaign, drawing No. 15 Santa Clara as a first round opponent in Fresno. Stanford reached the Elite Eight that season, falling to eventual national runner-up Michigan State. The Cardinal has been awarded the No. 2 seed seven times in program history (2007, 2005, 2002, 1995, 1994, 1991, 1989). Stanford was awarded a No. 3 seed in last year's tourney.
Thanks to its recent surge, Stanford is ranked No. 5 in the latest edition of both national polls. Stanford began the year with a consensus No. 4 preseason ranking in both polls. After a 2-3 start, the Cardinal dropped to No. 15 in both polls for its lowest ranking of the year. But a 17-game winning streak propelled Stanford back into the top-10 by mid-January and the club has been right around the mark ever since. Stanford's current No. 5 ranking is the club's highest since the preseason edition.
Stanford Captures Fourth Pac-10 Tournament Title
Candice Wiggins scored a game-high 20 points and Jayne Appel posted 17 points and 15 rebounds for her fifth double-double as Stanford defeated Arizona State 62-55 on Mar. 5 in the Pac-10 Tournament title game. It was the fourth conference tournament championship for the Cardinal, which also claimed the hardware in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Despite holding a 20-point second-half lead, Stanford held off a late Arizona State attack. The Cardinal held a 45-32 rebounding edge, made 18-22 free throws and placed four players in double-figure scoring. Stanford reached the final after routing USC 67-52 in the semfinals on Mar. 4, thanks to a dominating performance from Wiggins that featured 29 points along with a career-high and tournament-record eight three-pointers. In the quarterfinal round on Mar. 3, Stanford downed Arizona 65-55 with Wiggins scoring 16 points and Appel pouring in 18 points to match 13 rebounds in just 25 minutes off the bench. For her efforts, Wiggins picked up her second career Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player award (also winning in 2005). Appel and Brooke Smith were also awarded spots on the Pac-10 All-Tournament team, giving Stanford three of the six roster spots.
Appel Named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year; Smith, Wiggins Honored
Jayne Appel was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, highlighting a league-best five selections for Stanford as the 2006-07 Pac-10 women's basketball honors were announced on Mar. 1. Appel, who also garnered All Pac-10 Honorable Mention accolades, was joined on the five-member All-Freshman Team by fellow rookie JJ Hones. Appel, who ranks third on the Cardinal in scoring and rebounding, becomes the sixth Cardinal player to earn the honor and the fourth in the last eight years. Stanford was also represented on the All Pac-10 Team, as senior Brooke Smith and junior Candice Wiggins strengthened their case for All-America status by being named to the squad for the third consecutive year.
Stanford secured its seventh consecutive Pac-10 regular season championship with a 56-53 win over USC on Feb. 25. This time around the Cardinal accomplished the feat with a 17-1 record, one of five one-loss conference campaigns in program history. Stanford, 8-1 at home and 9-0 on the road in 18 Pac-10 contests, won 12 games by double-digits and averaged a +13.9 margin of victory. Stanford has captured 16 championships in 21 Pac-10 seasons.
It All Starts With Ball Security
Just like several Stanford teams of the past, this year's club has displayed a knack for sharing the basketball and limiting miscues. The Cardinal's 1.2 assist/turnover ratio ranks tops in the Pac-10. Stanford is averaging 17.8 assists per game and has dished out at least 20 helpers in a game on 10 different occasions. And Stanford is taking care of the basketball, averaging the fewest amount of turnovers (14.8) in the Pac-10. Furthermore, five different players have totaled at least 60 assists so far this year. Consider Stanford's opening round NCAA Tournament contest agains Idaho State for example, as the Cardinal dished out 26 assists while recording only 10 turnovers.
17-Game Winning Streak Boosts Cardinal
A 17-game winning streak that spanned just over two months vaulted Stanford into the top-10 of both polls and solidified the Cardinal's standing as the best team on the West Coast. After a 74-69 loss at Georgia back on Nov. 26, Stanford rattled off 17 consecutive victories (13 by double-digit margins) before a 72-57 upset loss to California on Feb. 4. The winning streak was the nation's third-best at the time and represented the fifth-longest winning stretch in school history. Defense proved to be key during the streak, as Stanford limited its foes to 55.8 points per game and 34-percent shooting from the field.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
Candice Wiggins (16.8 ppg), Brooke Smith (13.9) and Jayne Appel (13.2) 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 (led by Brooke Smith's 27) and seven players have earned team-high scoring honors (led by Jayne Appel's 12).
...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 56.8 points per game while holding 26 opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 34.4-percent from the field and only five 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.
Post Players Providing Production
Stanford's talented post rotation might be the deepest in the entire country. Senior Brooke Smith ranks second on the squad in scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg), leads the club in assists (118) and has scored in double-figures 27 times. Senior Kristen Newlin is shooting 51.4-percent while averaging 6.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. Newlin also has six double-doubles to her credit. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) while leading the team with 58 blocks and a 53.3 shooting percentage.
Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
Despite not being able to play at full strength all year long, junior Candice Wiggins remains one of the nation's best players. Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (16.8 ppg) and three-pointers (79). A 46.5-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins ranks third in assists (91) while snagging 4.1 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in 24 games. Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in eight games this year, including a season-best 30-point effort at Arizona State on Jan. 27 that resulted in her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor. Wiggins has participated in 28 of the team's 33 games, making 27 starts. She was named Most Outstanding Player at the Pac-10 Tournament, averaging 22.3 points per game while connecting on 14 of 25 three-point attempts.
Stanford's first road trip of the year to No. 4 Tennessee and No. 8 Georgia was meant to be a learning experience for freshman Jayne Appel. Not so much. At Tennessee, Appel led the Cardinal with 23 points on 10-17 shooting to match five rebounds and five blocks. Two days later at Georgia, she tallied 16 points and nine boards. Since then she has been just as solid, averaging 13.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while leading the club with 58 blocks. Appel has scored in double-figures 21 times with five double-doubles. How about her February? In eight games last month, she averaged 15. 8 points and 10.3 rebounds. Now she is threatening the single-season school record of 58 blocked shots, established by Cori Enghusen in 2001-02.
With starting point guard JJ Hones out for the year, the Cardinal is looking for someone to step in as the floor general. Enter freshman Melanie Murphy, who made her first career start at Oregon State on Feb. 15 after 22 appearances as a reserve. She contributed immediately down the stretch, averaging 7.6 points and 6.8 assists in Stanford's last five games of the regular season. Murphy, who has recorded 69 assists despite limited court time, poured in a season-best 11 points against Washington on Feb. 10 and dished out a season-high 10 assists in Stanford's win over USC on Feb. 25.
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 2005-06 Pac-10 All Freshman Team honoree, Harmon's hustle and intensity provides the Cardinal with a versatile weapon. She ranks fourth in scoring (7.8 ppg), rebounding (4.9 rpg) and assists (76), third in steals (35) while shooting 42.2-percent overall. Harmon has scored in double-figures in 10 games, including a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds at Fresno State on Jan. 2.