No. 6/5 Stanford Hosts UC Davis Sunday Afternoon
Nov. 30, 2007
No. 6/5 Stanford Cardinal (6-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
UC Davis Aggies (5-0, 0-0 Big West)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 6/5 Stanford women's basketball team continues its first homestand of the season Sunday afternoon, hosting the UC Davis Aggies for a 2 p.m. contest before taking a two-week hiatus for finals. Sunday's contest 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 returned home after a 10-day road trip, including seven days in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the Cardinal went 2-1 and secured third place in the Paradise Jam. Wednesday night, Stanford captured its home opener and third-straight win overall with a 96-61 win over the San Francisco Dons. Last week, Stanford suffered its first loss of the season Thanksgiving Night, ending up on the wrong end of a 66-54 decision against the No. 2/2 Connecticut Huskies. Saturday night, Stanford got back in the win column with a 69-61 win over Old Dominion before claiming third place in the six-team tournament Sunday with a 63-54 win over Temple. Candice Wiggins scored 22 points in Sunday's win while Jillian Harmon and Kayla Pedersen posted double-doubles in the wins. Pedersen scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Old Dominion, while Harmon scored 13 points to go with 10 rebounds against Temple.
Scouting UC Davis
The Aggies (5-0) enter Sunday's contest on the heels of a perfect November, having defeated Portland State 80-62 Tuesday night. Helmed by Sandy Simpson in his 11th year, the Aggies are led on the court by the play of senior wing Jessica Campbell (13.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and sophomore guard Anna Harp (13.0 ppg), while senior wing Heather Bates 11.2 ppg) leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game.
All-Time Against UC Davis
Sunday afternoon's contest will be the 10th all-time meeting between Stanford and UC Davis, and the first since the 1979-80 season. The Aggies lead the series with a 7-2 mark, but the Cardinal captured the last meeting, 94-55 at Maples Pavilion on Dec. 4, 1979.
In The National Rankings
Stanford, ranked fourth in both national polls last week, dropped its first game of the year on Thanksgiving Night on a road trip which saw it go 3-1. The loss, despite coming to No. 2/2 Connecticut and being followed by a pair of quality wins over Old Dominion and Temple, still dropped the Cardinal in the national polls, as Stanford is now ranked sixth in the Associated Press poll and fifth in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
Spreading The Love
In Wednesday's 96-61 victory over San Francisco, the Cardinal had five different players score in double figures for the second time this season. Three of those five players were freshmen, as Kayla Pedersen led the team with 18 points, Jeanette Pohlen added 13 points, and Hannah Donaghe, in her Stanford debut after missing the first six games due to a hip injury, reeled off 11 points. Rounding out the scorign parade were Jillian Harmon (16 points) and Candice Wiggins (13 points).
Junior forward Jillian Harmon gave further reason to believe that she has broken out of her recent slump from the floor with big performances in Stanford's current three-game winning streak. Most recently, Harmon matched her season high with 16 points against San Francisco Wednesday night, and also grabbed seven rebounds to boost the all-around effort. Against Old Dominion, Harmon shot 6-for-11 from the floor for 16 points and grabbed six rebounds, and against Temple, she posted a 4-for-9 effort (including 5-for-5 from the free-throw line) for 13 points to go with 10 rebounds as she posted her first double-double of the season.
Stanford has rebounded nicely from its only loss of the season last Thursday night to Connecticut, reeling off three straight wins in response. 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 from that hiccup with 10 consecutive wins.
Sunday's contest against UC Davis will have a family feel to it, as sisters Hannah and Haylee Donaghe will square off on the hardwood. Both natives of Atascadero, Calif., Hannah, a Stanford freshman who missed the first six games of the year with a hip injury, made her debut Wednesday with 11 points against San Francisco, while Haylee, a junior wing with UC Davis, has started all five games for the Aggies, averaging 10.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.
Home For The Holidays
Wednesday night's contest was Stanford's first regular-season home game of the season, and kicked off a month of December which will see the Cardinal play five of its six games in the cozy confines of Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal opened its home-friendly month with a 96-61 win over San Francisco on Wednesday, after opening the season with six games on the road. 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 on the road prior to its home opener was five, in the 1987-88 season.
Passin' The Rock
One benefit from Stanford scoring 96 points in Wednesday night's win was the number of assists the team racked up. The Cardinal passed out 26 assists in its win over San Francisco, with nine of the 10 players who saw action recording at least one assist. Point guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude led the effort with six assists, while fellow guards Jeanette Pohlen and JJ Hones passed out five and four assists, respectively.
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 1,946 career points. Besides being only 54 points away from the 2,000-point mark, Wiggins needs to score 270 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. Currently, she has 213 threes in her career. Additionally, with 21 more three-point attempts this season, Wiggins, who is currently third on the all-time list with 529, will pass Sebnem Kimyacioglu's all-time leading mark of 549 three-point attempts. Finally, at the charity stripe, Wiggins is third all-time with her 409 career free throws, and currently sits second on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 83.1% success rate, just under one and a half percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Getting The Hustle Points
Freshman guard Jeanette Pohlen has quickly established herself as a fan favorite among the maples faithful with her hustle and hard-nosed play. Pohlen's tenacity on the court paid off in Wednesday night's win, as the Brea, Calif. native turned in a fine stat line with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a blocked shot against the Dons. Recently, Pohlen has seen an increase in playing time, now averaging 16.9 minutes per game.
Free Throws = Free Points
The Cardinal have made teams pay for their fouls so far this season, boasting a collective 74.5% mark from the free-throw line through the first seven games of the season. Highlighting this effort from the charity stripe are senior Candice Wiggins (37-for-40 - 92.5%), one of the best free-throw shooters in school history, and freshman Kayla Pedersen (21-for-26 - 80.8%).
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 287-32 (.900) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 177-12 (.937) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 84 of its last 91 games at Maples. Stanford's last loss in Maples was on March 19, 2007 to Florida State, while the last home conference loss was on Feb. 4, 2007, when California posted a 72-57 victory over the Cardinal.
Keeping Its 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. Two of Stanford's 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.
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. Sophomore forward Michelle Harrison was lost for the year in the season opener at Yale with a torn ACL and sprained MCL in her left knee, and sophomore point guard Melanie Murphy was also lost for the year with a torn ACL on Nov. 24 against Old Dominion at the Paradise Jam. Freshmen Ashley Cimino (back) has not yet seen action this season, and remains out.
The Choice In The Pac-10...again
For the eighth year in a row, seven-time defending conference champion Stanford has been voted as the favorite to win the 2007-08 Pac-10 women's basketball title, according to both the preseason coaches and media poll. The Cardinal received eight of 10 first-place votes in the coaches poll, tallying 79 points overall, and 17 of 18 top votes in the media poll, good for 179 points. Arizona State was picked as the runner-up in each poll.
The honors have already begun rolling in for a pair of Cardinal players in 2007-08, as senior guard Candice Wiggins and sophomore forward/center Jayne Appel have been named to various preseason teams and award lists. Both players were named to the Preseason All-Pac-10 Team, and to the list of 30 preseason candidates for the prestigious Wooden Award. Wiggins, a three-time Kodak and Associated Press All-American, earned preseason All-America honors from the AP, ESPN, and Sports Illustrated.