No. 7/6 Stanford Prepares For Televised Showdown With No. -/25 Arizona State
Jan. 19, 2008
No. 7/6 Stanford Cardinal (15-3, 5-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
No. -/25 Arizona State Sun Devils (11-6, 5-1 Pac-10)
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 7/6 Stanford women's basketball team continues its pivotal road trip to the state of Arizona, closing out the weekend with Sunday's 1 p.m. PT game in Tempe against the No. -/25 Arizona State Sun Devils. Fans can watch Sunday's contest against ASU live on FSN Bay Area, with Ted Robinson calling the play-by-play and Mary Murphy on color. Sunday's game will also be available on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Jake Kelman calling the action.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford got this week's road trip off to a successful start Thursday night, scoring an 89-64 victory over the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. The Cardinal shot a season-high 60.7% (37-for-61) against the `Cats, led by the outings of Arizona native Kayla Pedersen, who tied her career-high with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, along with nine rebounds. Sophomore Jayne Appel posted her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting 72.7% (8-for-11) from the floor. The duo was also part of a collective team effort that saw five Cardinal players score in double figures, as Candice Wiggins (19 points, five rebounds, four assists), JJ Hones (season-high 11 points, 3-for-5 from three-point range), and Morgan Clyburn (career-high 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting) rounded out the group.
Scouting Arizona State
The No. -/25 Sun Devils (11-6, 5-1 Pac-10) opened this weekend's action by suffering their first loss of the conference season Thursday night, a 64-51 setback against No. 8/9 California. Helmed by former Stanford basketball player Charli Turner-Thorne (`88) in her 12th year in Tempe, and 15th overall, Arizona State is led on the court by forward Lauren Lacey (12.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and guard Briann January (11.8 ppg).
All-Time Against Arizona State
Stanford holds a 43-11 advantage in the all-time series against Arizona State heading into Sunday's contest. The Cardinal has won seven of the last eight, and 10 of the last 12 contests. In that span, the two losses have come in Tempe (Feb. 7, 2004 & Feb. 16, 2006).
The Cardinal In The Polls
A pair of lopsided wins last weekend kept Stanford ranked seventh in the Associated Press Poll, but moved the Cardinal up to sixth in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
Among The National Stats Leaders
The Cardinal found itself in the National Top 50 in quite a few categories through the games of Jan. 13, including: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.19 - sixth), fewest turnovers per game (13.9 - eighth), scoring margin (+18.8 - ninth), rebounding margin (+8.9 - 16th), scoring offense (76.0 - T-16th), assists per game (16.6 - 20th), FG percentage (45.3% - 25th), FG percentage defense (36.1% - 41st), and scoring defense (57.2 - T-43rd). Individually, Jayne Appel's 56.0 FG percentage stood 26th in the nation and her 2.0 blocks per game were tied for 45th. Candice Wiggins stands tied for 43rd with 17.6 points per game.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Jan. 17, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (76.7 ppg), scoring margin (+19.1), FG percentage (46.1%), blocked shots (80 - 4.44 per game), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23), and turnover margin (+3.83), while sharing the lead in assists (17.00 per game). The Cardinal also sits second in opponents' points per game (57.6 ppg), opponents' FG percentage (36.2%), rebounding (42.3 rpg), rebounding margin (+8.8), while the team is third in rebounding defense (33.6). Individually, Candice Wiggins is second in the conference in scoring (17.7 ppg), free-throw percentage (79.4%), and fourth in steals (2.17 per game). Jayne Appel leads the loop in blocks (36 - 2.00 per game), is second in field-goal percentage (56.8%), third in rebounding (8.4 rpg), and fifth in scoring (15.6 ppg). Kayla Pedersen is second in rebounding (8.6 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.
Quite The Return
Fountain Hills, Ariz. native Kayla Pedersen has enjoyed a successful return to her home state one game into this trip. Against Arizona, Pedersen shot 8-for-10 from the floor, matching her season-high of 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds. A two-time Gatorade Player of the Year (2006-07) and McDonald's All-American as a senior at Red Mountain High last year, Pedersen helped lead her squad to the 5A-DI State title as a senior, and set the 5A state record for career points scored with 2,611 in her varsity career. At the collegiate level, Pedersen, a Fountain Hills native (just over 20 miles away from Tempe, where Arizona State is located), has established herself as one of the top freshmen in the nation, averaging 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
In Thursday night's win over Arizona, the Cardinal shot a season-best 60.7% (37-for-61) from the floor, marking the third consecutive game in which Stanford has made over half of its attempts. Last week, Stanford shot 56.1% (32-for-57) and 51.5% (34-for-66) in wins over Oregon State and Oregon, respectively.
Swishin' And Dishin'
Point guard JJ Hones, returning to action this season from a torn ACL suffered in February 2007, posted her best outing of 2007-08 Thursday night at Arizona, scoring 11 points and handing out six assists against zero turnovers. Hones' 3-for-5 three-point shooting fueled her season-high scoring effort, while her zero turnovers helped increase her team-leading assist-to-turnover ratio to 4.00.
Paying Back The Native State
Oregon native Jillian Harmon turned in a solid weekend against the Pac-10 schools of her home state last weekend, averaging 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two contests. After pulling down six rebounds against the Beavers on Thursday, Harmon, a Lake Oswego native, shot 6-of-7 from the floor against the Ducks on Saturday, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds in Stanford's 83-49 win.
Paying Back The Native State: Week Two
Arizona native Kayla Pedersen, with a career-high-matching 22 points (on 8-for-10 shooting) as well as nine rebounds against Arizona Thursday night, nailed the first leg of her homecoming trip. With a solid performance Sunday at Arizona State, located just over 20 miles from her hometown of Fountain Hills, Ariz., Pedersen will have completed a very successful return to her old stompng grounds.
Where The Stars At Night Are Big And Bright...
Stanford's lone Texan, Morgan Clyburn, shined as brightly as the stars deep in the heart of her home state Thursday at Arizona, seeing 16 minutes of action in relief of Kayla Pedersen and Jayne Appel throughout the contest and scoring a career-high 10 points. Clyburn's ascension was also evident in her outside shooting, where she sank all four of her attempts, including both of her three-point tries.
Stanford has a tendency to rebound nicely from losses, even ones that come back-to-back. Three consecutive wins mark the start of a good recovery from the sweep in Los Angeles. Following its first loss of this season on 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.
Sophomore center Jayne Appel has seen her shooting percentage skyrocket following the past three contests. Against Oregon State and Oregon last week, and Arizona Thursday night, Appel shot a combined 84.6% (22-for-26) from the field, as well as averaging 15.0 points a game in that span. Her recent performances have also increased her shooting percentage to 56.8% (125-for-220) on the year, currently second in the Pac-10.
You Won't Like Them When They're Angry
To say that the Stanford women have been looking to let out some pent-up frustration since suffering its first sweep in Los Angeles in 14 years, the Cardinal have loosed a maelstrom of aggression on Oregon State, Oregon, and Arizona, winning the three contests by a combined 95 points (81-45 vs. OSU, 83-49 vs. UO, 89-64 at Arizona). The wins against Oregon State and Oregon at Maples Pavilion also raised Stanford's average home margin of victory to 30.9 points.
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 18.6 points per game, and now stands second with 2,158 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 58 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 239 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 605 career attempts. Finally, at the charity stripe, Wiggins is third all-time with her 457 career free throws, and currently sits fourth on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 81.8% success rate, just two and a half percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Don't Sweat It
Looking ahead, despite being 5-2 in Pac-10 play, two games back of 7-0 California and just a half-game back of 5-1 Arizona State, Stanford shouldn't have to worry about catching the two leaders if recent history has anything to say about it. With two games still to be played 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.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 294-32 (.902) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 181-12 (.938) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 91 of its last 98 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.
Certainly Not Gracious Hosts
Nov. 28's regular-season home opener against San Francisco began what Stanford hopes will become its first undefeated home season since going 11-0 at Maples in 2004-05. Since posting undefeated home marks in each of the three seasons from 1994-97, the Cardinal has only posted one unblemished mark at home (2004-05). Currently, Stanford is 8-0 at home in 2007-08, and has won seven of those games by over 20 points. Through last Saturday's win over Oregon, Stanford boasts an average margin of victory of 30.9 points.
Belated Christmas Gift
Three-time All-American guard Candice Wiggins received a late holiday gift on Jan. 10, as she was named the WBCA's Player of the Month for December. Over the final month of the calendar year, Wiggins averaged 20.5 points and 3.2 assists while leading the Cardinal to a perfect 6-0 mark, victories over No. 10/10 Baylor and No. 1/1 Tennessee, and a national No. 2 ranking.
Retiring The Number
Freshman Jeanette Pohlen took a detour from the team's L.A. trip on Jan. 5 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).
Retiring The Number, Part II
Freshman Kayla Pedersen became the second Stanford player to have her prep number retired this season, watching her No. 14 jersey rise to the rafters Saturday night at her alma mater, Red Mountain High School. There, Pedersen led her squad to the 5A-DI state title as a senior, and established the 5A career mark with 2,611 points scored.
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. Freshman Ashley Cimino, after missing the first 15 games of the season due to a lingering back injury, made her collegiate debut Jan. 10 against Oregon State. 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.
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.