Wiggins Dominates as No. 5 Stanford Defeats No. 10 Baylor
Dec. 16, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Candice Wiggins was simply brilliant on both ends.
Wiggins scored 21 of her 35 points in the first half, had four steals, three assists and two blocks, and No. 5 Stanford dealt 10th-ranked Baylor its first defeat of the season with a physical 87-63 victory Sunday.
Wiggins shot 11-for-22, was two points off her career high, made 9 of 12 free throws and reached 2,000 points for her career when she sunk a 10-foot jumper with 5:54 remaining. Stanford won its fifth straight since its only loss, 81-77 to second-ranked Connecticut in two overtimes Nov. 15.
Freshman Kayla Pedersen added a season-best 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and fellow freshman Jeanette Pohlen had 10 assists for the Cardinal (8-1), who moved 22nd-year coach Tara VanDerveer within three victories of becoming the seventh Division I coach to reach the 700-win mark. She will have four chances to do it before the year ends.
Stanford looked sharp in its return from a two-week break for finals, shooting 49 percent despite a slow start and outrebounding the Bears 44-35.
Jhasmin Player scored 18 points and Jessica Morrow 16 for Baylor (7-1) in only the second meeting between the prominent programs, and the first since a 63-59 Stanford win on Dec. 2, 1983.
One play late in the first half summed up Wiggins' day: She made a tough catch on a high baseball pass from Pohlen on the left wing, split two defenders and made the tough layin and was fouled, then converted the three-point play.
She even banked in a tough 3 from well behind the line and under pressure just as the halftime buzzer sounded, but the shot was ruled too late - and Wiggins covered her mouth in disbelief as the teams headed off the court for halftime.
Wiggins scored eight straight points during one second-half stretch, then dished to Pedersen the next time down for another basket.
At the 11:16 mark, Baylor's Angela Tisdale slammed Wiggins into the padded base of the basket but avoided a flagrant foul call. Wiggins sunk both free throws and Stanford's 22-7 run put the Cardinal up 67-43. When two two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year called it a day with 2:56 left, she jumped up and down rooting on her teammates.
Baylor got sloppy with the ball in the closing 10 minutes of the first half, and Stanford jumped in the passing lanes to create steals and transition opportunities on offense. The Cardinal also did a good job getting to the free-throw line and led 45-32 at halftime.
Tisdale, Baylor's leading scorer with a 15.7 average, was held to seven points on 2-of-8 shooting and struggled to take care of the ball as Baylor faced a Pac-10 opponent for the third time this season.
The Bears came in ranked second in the country for margin of victory at 35.7 points and were averaging a third-best 83.2 points per game. They were coming off an 80-45 home victory against Oregon on Wednesday night.
Stanford was Baylor's highest-ranked opponent since the Bears faced No. 4 LSU on Jan. 30, 2006.
Stanford played only its third home game so far and with a small student section at Maples Pavilion because of the holidays.
This matchup featured two of the nation's top shot blockers in 6-foot-3 Danielle Wilson of Baylor now with 27 and 6-4 Stanford sophomore Jayne Appel (21), the reigning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. They bumped in the paint all game fighting for position.
Wilson swatted Pedersen early and has blocked at least one shot in 39 of 42 career games.
Stanford started 0-for-4 and missed five of its first six shots - two by Wiggins before she hit a 3 at 17:01.