No. 7/7 Stanford Returns Home This Weekend
Jan. 8, 2008
No. 7/7 Stanford Cardinal (12-3, 2-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Oregon State Beavers (8-6, 1-2 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 7/7 Stanford women's basketball team returns home to the cozy confines of Maples Pavilion this weekend, welcoming the Oregon State Beavers for a 7 p.m. contest Thursday night, before hosting the Oregon Ducks in a 2 p.m. game Saturday. The Cardinal will be looking to bounce back into the win column after suffering a sweep last weekend at UCLA and USC. Fans can catch both of this weekend's contests live on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Jake Kelman calling the action.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford suffered its first sweep in Los Angeles at the hands of its Southern California Pac-10 foes last weekend for the first time since the 1993-94 season. Friday night's 69-56 loss at UCLA snapped Stanford's nine-game winning streak, as well as its 11-game winning streak against Pac-10 opponents. The 73-72 loss at USC on Sunday also completed the first road Pac-10 sweep the Cardinal had suffered since losing at Arizona and Arizona State in the 2003-04 season. Despite the results, Candice Wiggins averaged 23.0 points and 7.0 rebounds a game, including her first double-double of the season with 29 points and 10 rebounds at UCLA. Center Jayne Appel also had a fine weekend, averaging 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds, as well as putting up a double-double of her own with 22 points and 11 rebounds at USC.
Scouting Oregon State
The Beavers (8-6, 1-2) head into Maples Pavilion after earning a split of its action at home last week. Following a 94-88 double-overtime win over Arizona, Oregon State dropped a 69-60 decision to Arizona State. Helmed by LaVonda Wagner in her third year, the Beavers are led on the court by the play of Pac-10 leading scorer Ashley Allen (21.1 ppg), guard Brittney Davis (13.6 ppg), and center Tiffany Ducker (8.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg).
All-Time Against Oregon State
Stanford holds a 38-6 advantage in the all-time series against Oregon State heading into Thursday's contest. The Cardinal has also won 14 straight against the Beavers, dating back to an 87-76 win at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 10, 2001.
The Cardinal In The Polls
With two losses last weekend, Stanford dropped from No. 2 to No. 7 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Polls.
Among The National Stats Leaders
The Cardinal found itself in the National Top 50 in quite a few categories through the games of Jan. 6, including: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16 - ninth), fewest turnovers per game (13.9 - ninth), rebounding margin (+9.8 - 15th), scoring margin (+16.6 - T-21st), scoring offense (75.2 - T-24th), assists per game (16.1 - 38th), FG percentage (44.2% - 47th), and fouls per game (15.3 - 47th). Individually, Jayne Appel's 2.1 blocks per game were tied for 48th in the nation, and her 53.1 FG percentage stood 50th. Candice Wiggins stands tied for 26th with 18.3 points per game, and freshman Kayla Pedersen is 47th in the nation with 9.1 rebounds per game.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Jan. 6, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (75.2 ppg), scoring margin (+16.6), blocked shots (60 - 4.00 per game), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16). The Cardinal also sits second in opponents' points per game (58.6 ppg), opponents' FG percentage (36.5%), free-throw percentage (71.5%), rebounding (43.8 rpg), rebounding margin (+9.8), and turnover margin (+2.80). Individually, Candice Wiggins is second in the conference in scoring (18.3 ppg), free-throw percentage (82.5%), and tied for third in steals (2.33 per game). Jayne Appel leads the loop in blocks (31 - 2.07 per game), is third in rebounding (8.7 rpg), fourth in field-goal percentage (53.1%), and fifth in scoring (15.7 ppg). Kayla Pedersen is second in rebounding (9.1 rpg).
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.
They Don't Love L.A.
The sweep suffered at the hands of UCLA and USC last weekend marked the first time since the 1993-94 season that the Cardinal had dropped both contests of its annual Southern California Pac-10 trip. Prior to the results of last Friday and Sunday, Stanford had won six of its last seven at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, while boasting a three-game winning streak in games at USC.
Dominating the Boards
The Stanford 'Paint Crew' of center Jayne Appel and forward Kayla Pedersen are major reasons why the Cardinal is 15th in the nation with a +9.8 rebounding margin. Behind Pedersen's 9.1 rebounds a game and 8.7 for Appel, as well as 6.4 rebounds a game from Jillian Harmon, the Cardinal has now out-rebounded 12 of its 15 opponents this season. In those 12 contests, the Cardinal holds a 10-2 record.
Right On Point
Sophomore guard JJ Hones returned to the starting lineup Sunday at USC for the first time since suffering a season-ending torn ACL on Feb. 4, 2007. In a season-high 28 minutes at USC, Hones scored seven points while passing out three assists. Last Friday at USC, Hones split time running the offense with Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, scoring six points on a pair of three-pointers, and handing out three assists.
Can It Be 2007 Again?
With last week's losses at UCLA and USC, Stanford did something it had done only twice before and not since the 1983-84 season: it lost the first two games of the New Year. Friday's loss to the Bruins also marked the first time since the 1983-84 season that the Cardinal had dropped the first contest of January, as well.
Merely A Flesh Wound!
Three-time All-American guard Candice Wiggins lit up the scoreboard again last week, leading the Cardinal with a combined 46 points over the two games despite suffering a laceration on her chin. At UCLA, Wiggins posted her first double-double of the season with 29 points and a season-high 10 rebounds, and with a cut chin and sore jaw suffered in the game, came back Sunday to score 17 points and grab four rebounds at USC.
Stanford has a tendency to rebound nicely from losses, even ones that come back-to-back. 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 losses at No. 4/4 Tennessee and No. 8/8 Georgia on Nov. 24 & 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.
Nothing To Worry About
Looking ahead, despite being 2-2 in Pac-10 play, two games back of 4-0 Arizona State and California, Stanford shouldn't have to worry about catching the two leaders if recent history has anything to say about it. With two games yet to play against each opponent, the Cardinal can point confidently to the seven wins in the last eight contests against the Sun Devils, as well as its 14 wins in the last 15 meetings with the Golden Bears.
They Never See Her Coming
Junior Jillian Harmon quietly put up solid numbers and provided key supporting plays for the Cardinal again last week. Harmon grabbed nine rebounds and made three steals at UCLA before pulling down seven boards to go with three assists at USC.
Retiring The Number
Freshman Jeanette Pohlen took a detour from the L.A. trip last Saturday night to visit her alma mater, Brea Olinda High School. There, Pohlen's No. 32 jersey was retired as a testament to the career of BOHS' all-time leading scorer (2,196 points) and rebounder (1,140 rebounds).
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 2,115 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 101 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 235 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 588 career attempts. Finally, at the charity stripe, Wiggins is third all-time with her 452 career free throws, and currently sits fourth on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.3% success rate, just two percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 292-32 (.901) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 179-12 (.937) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 89 of its last 96 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.
There's No Place Like Home
Nov. 28's regular-season home opener against San Francisco opened up a stretch which saw Stanford play six of its next seven games at home and subsequently go 7-0 through the end of the 2007 calendar year. 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.
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. Freshman Ashley Cimino (back) has not yet seen action this season, but made her first road trip of the season and suited up at UCLA and USC.
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.
Joining The Elite
On Jan. 3, 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. She also became the first Stanford player to earn this national honor.