No. 2/2 Stanford Looks To Bounce Back Sunday At USC
Jan. 5, 2008
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (12-2, 2-1 Pac-10)
- vs. -
USC Women of Troy (8-6, 1-2 Pac-10)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 2/2 Stanford women's basketball team concludes its first road trip of the New Year and the Pac-10 season, facing off against the USC Women of Troy Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Fans can catch Sunday's contest live on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Stanford and KZSU alumnus Jeremy Stone calling the action, filling in for Jake Kelman.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford had its nine-game winning streak, as well as its 11-game winning streak against Pac-10 opponents snapped Friday night, as UCLA dealt the Cardinal a 69-56 loss at Pauley Pavilion. A slow start doomed the Cardinal, as the Bruins led by as many as 11 in the first half. Despite out-scoring UCLA 24-17 the rest of the half to go into halftime down just 38-34, Stanford gave up a 12-0 Bruin run to start the second half and could not recover. Candice Wiggins posted her first double-double of the season with 29 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort, while Jayne Appel scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Although Kayla Pedersen (13 rebounds) and Jillian Harmon (nine rebounds) played hard in the paint, the telling stat was that they, along with the other five Cardinal players who saw action (not including Wiggins and Appel), were held to a collective 10 points.
The Women of Troy (8-6, 1-2) head into Sunday's contest looking to salvage a split of the weekend action, having dropped a 57-52 decision to No. 10/10 California Friday night. Helmed by Mark Trakh in his fourth season at USC, the Women of Troy are led on the court by the play of Nadia Parker (11.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Camille LeNoir (10.4 ppg).
All-Time Against USC
Stanford holds a 39-18 advantage in the all-time series against USC heading into Sunday's game. The Cardinal have also won its last 10 contests against the Women of Troy, dating back to a 75-57 win at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 19, 2004.
The Cardinal In The Polls
Stanford remained No. 2 in both national polls for the second week in a row Monday and Tuesday. The No. 2 ranking is Stanford's highest since being ranked No. 1 for two weeks (March 7-21) near the end of the 2004-2005 season.
Among The National Stats Leaders
The Cardinal found itself in the National Top 50 in quite a few categories through the games of Jan. 3, including: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.19 - eighth), fewest turnovers per game (14.0 - ninth), scoring margin (+20.2 - 11th), scoring offense (76.9 - 14th), rebounding margin (+10.1 - 15th), opponents' FG percentage (35.0% - 27th), assists per game (16.6 - 28th), FG percentage (45.5% - 29th), free-throw percentage (73.9% - 38th), scoring defense (56.7 - 42nd), and fouls per game (15.1 - 45th). Individually, Jayne Appel's 2.2 blocks per game were tied for 41st in the nation, and her 53.1 FG percentage stood 50th. Candice Wiggins, meanwhile, was 44th with her 85.5% success rate at the free-throw line, and 43rd with 17.6 points per game.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Dec. 30, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (76.9 ppg), scoring margin (+20.2), free-throw percentage (73.9%), blocked shots (54 - 4.15 per game), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.19). The Cardinal also sits second in opponents' points per game (56.7 ppg), FG percentage (45.5%), opponents' FG percentage (35.0%), rebounding (43.9 rpg), rebounding margin (+10.1), assists (16.62 apg), and turnover margin (+3.15). Individually, Candice Wiggins leads the conference in free-throw percentage (85.5%), is second in scoring (17.6 ppg), and fourth in steals (2.31 per game). Jayne Appel leads the loop in blocks (28 - 2.15 per game), is third in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and field-goal percentage (53.1%), and fourth in scoring (15.2 ppg). Kayla Pedersen is second in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and tied for seventh in scoring (13.0 ppg).
The 700 Club
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer became just the seventh member of the '700 Club' on Dec. 28, earning career win No. 700 with the 105-47 victory over Washington State. Of the seven members, VanDerveer is the second-fastest to have reached 700 wins, needing just 885 games to accomplish the feat. Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt was the fastest, reaching 700 wins in 847 total games. Following the win over the Cougars, VanDerveer was feted by the Maples Pavilion crowd, as a video tribute to her career was played and Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby presented her with a bouquet of flowers and a commemorative basketball.
Stanford has a tendency to rebound nicely from losses. Following its first loss of the season Thanksgiving night to Connecticut, Stanford reeled off nine straight wins in response. Discounting last year's season-ending loss to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal responded to its 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.
Joining The Elite
Thursday afternoon, Stanford senior guard Candice Wiggins joined a distinguished list of elite basketball players as she was named USA Basketball's 2007 Female Athlete of the Year. In 2007, Wiggins was part of four USA Basketball squads, and helped those four teams to a combined record of 23-0 and three gold medals in international competition. With the honor, she also became the first Stanford player to be named USA Basketball's Female Athlete of the Year.
Odd Or Even?
For anyone who has followed Stanford' fortunes the past five seasons (including the current one), Friday's loss at UCLA may have had a familiar feel. Since 2003-04, the Cardinal has alternated splitting and sweeping its trip to the two Los Angeles schools. In seasons ending in an even year (2003-04, 2005-06), the Cardinal has split the trip, while in seasons ending in an odd year (2004-05, 2006-07), the Cardinal have swept the series. With Friday's loss to start the weekend in the 2007-08 season, Stanford fans may be able to prepare for a win Sunday against USC, if recent history prevails.
Stanford made evident why it holds a +9.4 rebounding margin over its opponents Friday night. The Cardinal pulled down 48 rebounds in the contest, led by the 13 of freshman Kayla Pedersen, a season-high 10 from Candice Wiggins, nine from Jillian Harmon, and eight from Jayne Appel. After Friday's performance on the boards, Stanford has now out-rebounded 11 of its 14 opponents this season.
Eight Won't Be Enough
Last week's victories over Washington State and Washington got Stanford's quest for an eighth consecutive Pac-10 regular-season title off to the right start. The wins marked the second season in a row, but just the second time in the last four years, that the Cardinal had opened up the Pac-10 season with an opening weekend sweep.
Can I Get A Mulligan?
With Friday night's 69-56 loss at UCLA, Stanford did something it had not done in over 20 years: it lost the first game of the New Year. The last time that the Cardinal had lost its first game after New Year's Day was the 1983-84 season, when the Cardinal traveled to Miami for the Dial Classic, dropping the opening contest 72-32 to No. 16 Missouri on Jan. 2, 1984.
When The Cardinal Wins, It WINS
Stanford put the finishing touches on a 6-0 December with routs of Washington State (105-47) and Washington (77-42) last week. The decisive victories helped showcase Stanford's explosive offensive potential. With the routs coming by a combined total of 93 points, they increased Stanford's scoring margin to a Pac-10-leading +17.9 points, and the team's average margin of victory this year to 22.9 points. Last week's wins also marked the fifth and sixth times this season that Stanford has won a contest by more than 20 points.
Hitting The Century Mark Again
The Cardinal had a scoring party in last Dec. 28's blowout of Washington State, as all 10 participating players registered points to help the team score a season-high 105. The 105 points also marked the second time this season that the Cardinal have reached the century mark (the first was on Opening Night, a 100-44 win at Yale), and just the third time in the new millenium that the Cardinal have twice scored at least 100 points in a game.
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 career records in the Stanford women's basketball annals. Currently, Wiggins is already the all-time Stanford leader with a career mark of 18.7 points per game, and now stands second with 2,098 career points. With 35 points in the Dec. 16 win over Baylor, Wiggins became the fifth player in Stanford history to score 2,000 career points, and needs just 118 more points to take over the top spot from all-time scoring leader Kate Starbird (2,215 points). Moving beyond the arc, Wiggins hit her 211th and 212th career three-pointers against Connecticut on Nov. 22, becoming the new all-time leader and breaking the previous record of 210 held by Vanessa Nygaard. Currently, she has 234 threes in her career. Additionally, Wiggins on Dec. 18 at New Mexico passed Sebnem Kimyacioglu's all-time mark of 549 career three-point attempts, and currently holds the mark with 580 career attempts. Finally, at the charity stripe, Wiggins is third all-time with her 446 career free throws, and currently sits fourth on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.6% success rate, just over one and a half percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Streaking In December
Sunday's win over Washington State extended the Cardinal's winning streak in the month of December. Dating back to a 77-56 win at home over USC on Dec. 30, 2005, Stanford has now won 13 consecutive December contests. Last season, the Cardinal posted a perfect 6-0 record in the final month of the calendar year, and this season again went 6-0 to post a second straight perfect December.