No. 4/4 Stanford Continues Paradise Jam Against Old Dominion
No. 4/4 Stanford Cardinal (3-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (3-1, 0-0 CAA)
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - The No. 4/4 Stanford women's basketball team continues play at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday night, taking on the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (3-1) at 5:30 p.m. PT. With a win over ODU, Stanford would qualify for the tournament's third-place game Sunday at 3 p.m. PT, and with a loss, the Cardinal will participate in the 12:30 p.m. PT fifth-place game. All of Stanford's Paradise Jam contests can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM, with play-by-play man Jake Kelman on the call.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford suffered its first loss of the 2007-08 season Thanksgiving Night at the Paradise Jam, ending up on the wrong end of a 66-54 decision against the No. 2/2 Connecticut Huskies. Candice Wiggins scored 15 points to lead the Cardinal while Jayne Appel had 13 points to go with a team-leading eight rebounds. But poor shooting from the floor doomed the Cardinal, as the team combined to go a season-low 22-for-69 (31.9%) Thursday night, and was also out-rebounded 48-39 by the Huskies.
Scouting Old Dominion
The Lady Monarchs (3-1) come into Saturday's contest following an 86-43 tournament-opening loss to Connecticut Friday night. Prior to the first loss, Old Dominion had opened the season on a three-game winning streak with victories over Middle Tennessee, East Carolina, and Charlotte. The Lady Monarchs, coached by Wendy Larry in her 21st season at Old Dominion, are led by the scoring of T.J. Jordan (17.5 ppg) and boast three players that are averaging at least 6.3 rebounds a game in Megan Pym (7.0), Tiffany Green (6.5), and Shahida Williams (6.3).
All-Time Against Old Dominion
Saturday night's clash with Old Dominion will be just the fifth meeting all-time between the two schools, and the first since Old Dominion's 83-82 overtime win at the 1997 Final Four in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 28, 1997. The two schools first met during the 1982-83 season, then went over 12 years before the next battle in 1995-96. That second meeting, a 97-76 Stanford victory at Maples Pavilion, is the Cardinal's only win in the all-time series.
Despite Thursday night's loss to Connecticut, the Cardinal, if recent history is any indicator, should bounce back rather nicely. Discounting last season's season-ending loss to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal responded to their previous two losses of 2006-07 with lengthy winning streaks. After a 74-69 loss at No. 8/8 Georgia on Nov. 26, 2006, the Cardinal reeled off 17 wins in a row. That streak was broken by a 72-57 loss to No. 21/21 California on Feb. 4, 2007, but the Cardinal re-energized with 10 consecutive wins.
The Tropics Do Wonders
Since the 1992-93 season, Stanford had played in three preseason tournaments on a tropical island, all being the Rainbow Wahine Classic at the University of Hawaii. Over those nine contests, Stanford put together a record of 8-1, twice winning the tournament title. With Thursday's loss to Connecticut, the Cardinal are now 8-2 in their last 10 games in the tropics.
Movin' On Up
Stanford, ranked fifth in both national polls last week, kept its 2007-08 record unblemished with last Sunday's win over Utah and moved forward another spot in the rankings. With previous No. 4/4 LSU's loss to No. 3/3 Maryland, the Cardinal slide forward to occupy the fourth slot in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls.Appel Named Player Of The WeekSophomore center Jayne Appel, after a monster opening two weeks that saw her shoot 61.5% from the floor and average 22.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 3.33 blocks a game in Stanford's 3-0 start, was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week on Monday, the second such honor of her career. Appel, who posted a pair of double-doubles over the three wins, highlighted her overall performance in last Sunday's 81-77 double-overtime win at Utah. There, she established new career highs with 30 points, 20 rebounds, and six blocks.
Climbing To The Top Of The Record Books
Heading into the 2007-08 season, senior guard Candice Wiggins stands on the brink of establishing multiple new career records in the Stanford women's basketball annals. Currently, Wiggins is already the all-time Stanford leader with a career mark of 18.6 points per game, and stands fifth with 1,901 career points. Besides being only 99 points away from the 2,000-point mark, Wiggins needs to score 315 more points to take over the top spot from all-time scoring leader Kate Starbird (2,215 points). Moving beyond the arc, Wiggins, with two three-pointers against Connecticut on Nov. 22, brought her career three-pointer total to 212, becoming the new all-time leader and breaking the previous record of 210, held by Vanessa Nygaard. Additionally, with 34 more three-point attempts this season, Wiggins, who is currently third on the all-time list with 516, will pass Sebnem Kimyacioglu's all-time leading mark of 549 three-point attempts. Finally, at the charity stripe, Wiggins is fourth all-time with her 393 career free throws, and currently sits tied for third on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.7% success rate, just under two percentage points behind Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Rebounding (And Scoring!) Machines
Sophomroe center Jayne Appel and freshman forward Kayla Pedersen have combined to form one of the most formidable frontcourts in the nation. Each player has demonstrated an ability to dominate in the paint, as they each average 11.8 rebounds per game. On the scoring side of things, Appel leads the team with 20.3 ppg, while Pedersen posts a respectable 11.3 ppg as they make up two of Stanford's three players averaging double-digit figures in points per game.
Rugged And Productive
Freshman wing Jeanette Pohlen has been earning her time on the court with hard-nosed play and a knack for finding loose balls. She has appeared in all four games so far, and in 15.0 minutes per game off the bench, Pohlen is contributing 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds. Her all-out style of play isn't the only factor she brings onto the court, though, as Pohlen is quite the sure-shot with a 7-for-13 showing from the floor this year.
Ms. 'Money In The Bank'
While the career day of Jayne Appel and the 17 points from preseason All-American Candice Wiggins got much of the attention in last Sunday's 81-77 double-overtime win at Utah, it was the effort and clutch shooting of sophomore reserve Melanie Murphy that saved the Cardinal from the upset. Murphy took charge at the point late in regulation, and although she only scored five points in the game, she made them count. All five points came in the final 12 seconds of regulation, as she hit a jumper to cut the deficit to two, then, on Stanford's final possession, hit a three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to tie it up at 62-62 and send the game into overtime.
Keeping Their Cool
Minus its 56-point blowout win over Yale in the season opener, the Cardinal has proven that it has the collective maturity to keep its composure and pull out close games. Stanford's two other wins, over Rutgers and Utah, have been decided either in the final seconds of regulation, or in overtime. Against Rutgers, the Cardinal fought tooth-and-nail, eventually getting a pair of free throws from Candice Wiggins with 0.1 left, and at Utah, Stanford used Melanie Murphy's three-pointer with 0.2 left to send the game into overtime, where it took two extra sessions to come away with the win.
An impressive note about Stanford's 3-1 start is that it has come entirely on the road. The Cardinal are currently in a week which is seeing them play three tough non-conference games on a neutral court in St. Thomas, so the lack of a supportive hometown crowd has been another factor that the Cardinal battle in the first six games. With the exception of the 2004-05 season, in which the Cardinal played its first two 'home' games at Santa Clara University's Leavey Center, the most games Stanford had played outside of the Bay Area to start a season was five, in the 1987-88 season.
Gotta Stay Healthy
No matter how much talent is on any given roster, a team must stay as healthy as possible to give itself the best chance for a national title. Stanford suffered a tough break last weekend, as sophomore forward Michelle Harrison was lost for the year with a torn ACL and sprained MCL in her left knee at Yale. Freshman Ashley Cimino (back) did not make the weekend's trip to the East Coast, while fellow first-year Hannah Donaghe (hip), who did not see action this past weekend, remains listed as day-to-day.