Tara VanDerveer Posts 700th Career Victory

Dec. 28, 2007

AP Action Photos 

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Tara VanDerveer's 700th career victory resembled so many of her other methodical wins during nearly three decades of coaching.

And it was fitting Candice Wiggins led the way as usual for No. 2 Stanford.

Wiggins had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists in limited time to help VanDerveer become the seventh Division I coach to reach the 700 mark and the Cardinal beat Washington State 105-47 in the Pac-10 opener for both teams Friday night.

Freshman Kayla Pedersen, whose standout defense on Tennessee star Candace Parker last week led Stanford to an upset of the then-top-ranked Lady Vols, had 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists in Stanford's eighth straight victory.

The Cardinal (11-1, 1-0 Pac-10) are off to their best start since beginning the 2002-03 season 15-1 -- and VanDerveer was honored with a video tribute after the final buzzer sounded.

Wiggins was named Pac-10 Player of the Week each of the past two weeks, and had another big game as she began what will be her final time through the conference schedule. A two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, the senior guard shot 4-for-6 and converted all five of her free throws.

VanDerveer is 700-185, including 548-134 in 22 seasons on The Farm. She spent the first two of her 29 years as a head coach at Idaho starting in 1978-79 followed by five seasons at Ohio State.

She also took the 1995-96 season off to coach the U.S. team to a gold medal in the Atlanta Summer Olympics.

VanDerveer high-fived each of her players then walked to midcourt to accept a bouquet of red and white roses and a commemorative ball from athletic director Bob Bowlsby. VanDerveer then returned to the bench and greeted each of her coaches with a round of high-fives.

Alexa Price scored nine points for the overmatched Cougars (3-9, 0-1), who held tough for much of the first half before Stanford pulled away for its most lopsided win ever in the series. Washington State was outrebounded 50-17 and struggled to contain the Cardinal with its zone defense.

Stanford scored its most points since a 109-58 win against Pacific on Dec. 1, 2005.

Jillian Harmon earned her second straight start on the wing for Stanford, giving the team more size and a strong rebounding presence. Harmon's basket with 10:37 to play put the Cardinal ahead by 40, 74-34. Harmon finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Cissy Pierce scored 16 points all in the second half and Jeanette Pohlen added 14 points and seven boards.

Pedersen scored 10 of her points during a 22-5 run by Stanford over the final 6:42 of the first half after the Cougars cut the Cardinal's lead to seven points, and they led 48-24 at the break.

Stanford has never lost in 45 meetings against Washington State, including a 23-0 record on its home floor at Maples Pavilion.

The Cardinal made 17 of 19 free throws and overcame a slow start for an easy win, the team's first since an overtime upset of Tennessee on Dec. 22. The Cardinal moved up three spots in this week's poll for their highest ranking since spending three weeks in the No. 1 spot in March 2005.

June Daugherty, meanwhile, moved across the state of Washington to coach the Cougars after leading the Huskies in Seattle the past 11 years, and this was her first conference game with Washington State.

The Cougars started 2-for-11 from the field and Katie Calderwood was whistled for her third foul 6:52 into the game, but they hit three of their first four 3s.

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