No. 7/7 Seeks Retribution This Weekend Against USC, UCLA
Jan. 29, 2008
No. 7/7 Stanford Cardinal (17-3, 7-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
USC Women of Troy (13-7, 6-3 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 7/7 Stanford women's basketball team remains home for the second straight week, hosting return games against the only two Pac-10 teams to defeat it this season. The Cardinal will get its first chance at revenge Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the USC Women of Troy, who captured a 73-72 victory in Los Angeles back on Jan. 6, thanks to Camille LeNoir's jumper with under eight seconds remaining. Stanford's second contest is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, opposite the UCLA Bruins, victors by a score of 69-56 on Jan. 4 in Los Angeles. Both contests will also be available on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with play-by-play man Jake Kelman on the call.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford proved last Saturday that reports of its demise in the Pac-10 regular-season title race were greatly exaggerated, defeating the No. 8/8 California Golden Bears 72-52 at Maples Pavilion. The victory not only brought Stanford to within a game of California's lead in the conference, but was also the Cardinal's fourth win over a Top-10 team this season. Candice Wiggins scored 28 points (including a 14-for-14 performance from the free-throw line) en route to earning Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, Jayne Appel turned in a fine all-around effort with nine points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists, and JJ Hones sank a career-best four three-pointers in a 12-point effort.
The Women of Troy (13-7, 6-3 Pac-10) have been on a roll since defeating the Cardinal back on Jan. 6, winning five of their last six games to climb into fourth place in the Pac-10. Under head coach Mark Trakh, USC is led by Nadia Parker's 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, while Camille LeNoir, the hero of the last meeting between the Cardinal and Women of Troy, averages 10.9 points and 3.94 assists a game.
All-Time Against USC
Stanford holds a 39-19 advantage in the all-time series against USC, and had its 10-game winning streak against the Women of Troy snapped by USC's 73-72 win in Los Angeles on Jan. 6 of this year. The Cardinal have not been swept in the regular season by the Women of Troy since the 1986-87 season.
The Cardinal In The Polls
Stanford remained at No. 7 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll this week after its victory over No. 8/8 California.
Among The National Stats Leaders
The Cardinal found itself in the National Top 50 in quite a few categories through the games of Jan. 27, including: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.26 - fourth), fewest turnovers per game (13.5 - fifth), scoring margin (+18.4 - eighth), assists per game (17.0 - 12th), scoring offense (75.7 - 15th), rebounding margin (+7.9 - 17th), FG percentage (45.9% - 19th), FG percentage defense (35.9% - T-27th), scoring defense (57.3 - T-38th), and blocks per game (91 - 4.55 - 47th). Individually, Jayne Appel's 57.3 FG percentage stood 17th in the nation and her 2.2 blocks per game were tied for 35th. Candice Wiggins stands 29th with 18.1 points per game.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Jan. 27, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (75.7 ppg), scoring margin (+18.4), FG percentage (45.9%), blocked shots (91 - 4.55 per game), turnover margin (+3.75), assists per game (17.00), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.26). The Cardinal also sits second in opponents' points per game (57.2 ppg), opponents' FG percentage (35.9%), rebounding (41.5 rpg), rebounding margin (+7.8), while the team is third in rebounding defense (33.7). Individually, Candice Wiggins leads the conference in scoring (18.1 ppg), shares the lead in steals (2.30 per game), and is second in free-throw percentage (81.7%) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67). Jayne Appel leads the loop in blocks (44 - 2.20 per game), is second in field-goal percentage (57.3%) and rebounding (8.8 rpg), and fifth in scoring (15.3 ppg). Kayla Pedersen is third in rebounding (8.5 rpg).
A Hallowed Record Set To Fall
With 28 points in Saturday's victory over California, senior guard Candice Wiggins brought her career scoring total to 2,204 points, only 11 away from Kate Starbird's Stanford record of 2,215. With 12 more points, Wiggins, who is averaging 18.1 per game so far in 2007-08, will take over the top spot on the school's all-time scoring list, and move into fifth all-time on the Pac-10 career scoring list.
Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
Stanford has a prime opportunity this week to exact revenge upon the only two conference teams to defeat it this season in USC and UCLA. Yet not only will the Cardinal be seeking retribution in the form of victory, it will be seeking to avoid a season sweep by a Pac-10 opponent for the first time since the 1987-88 season, when UCLA turned the trick. The last time the Cardinal were swept in the regular season by USC was 1986-87.
To Be The Best, You've Got To Beat The Best
Saturday's 72-52 win over No. 8/8 California marked the fourth Top-10 team that Stanford has defeated this year. The Cardinal has posted a 4-1 mark against the five Top-10 teams it has met in 2007-08, having previously (before the win over California) defeated then-No. 1/1 Tennessee (Dec. 22), No. 3/3 Rutgers (Nov. 11), and No. 10/10 Baylor (Dec. 16), while losing only to No. 2/2 Connecticut (Nov. 22).
Pulling Off The Trifecta
Senior guard Candice Wiggins took home her third U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week honor this past Monday, following a game-best 28 points in No. 7/7 Stanford's 72-52 win over No. 8/8 California. Wiggins' effort included a perfect 14-for-14 showing from the free-throw line, equalling the Stanford single-game mark with 100.0% accuracy, and setting the new standard with 14 converted attempts in that perfect outing. In addition to these stats, Wiggins rounded out her superb outing with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals against the Golden Bears.
Back In The Thick Of Things
The 72-52 victory over California served many purposes. Most importantly, it pulled Stanford to within one game of California's lead in the Pac-10 standings, keeping hopes alive for the school's eighth consecutive Pac-10 regular-season title. Next, it continued the trend of Stanford dominance in the Bay Area rivalry, as the Cardinal has now won 30 of the last 32 meetings with the Golden Bears.
We're Ready For Your Closeup, Ms. Hones
Sophomore point guard JJ Hones set two new career highs in Saturday's victory over California: dropping four three-pointers in the game, and scoring her first postgame TV interview. With her 4-for-6 effort behind the arc, Hones scored a season-high 12 points while also handing out three assists against only one turnover. That effort earned her her first career postgame chat with FSN color commentator Mary Murphy.
Score, Rebound, Block, Dish...She Does It All!
Stanford center Jayne Appel continues to flourish a season after winning the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award, ranking in the Pac-10's top-five with 15.3 points per game (fifth), a 57.3 shooting percentage (second), 8.8 rebounds per game (second), and 2.20 blocks a game (first). Saturday, Appel came close to her first career triple-double, scoring nine points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and matching her career-high with seven assists. While her scoring and rebounding totals were no surprise to anyone, her seven assists marked the third consecutive game in which she had registered at least five. Over the last three games, Appel has handed out 17 assists.
Saturday's contest against California marked the close of the first half of Pac-10 play. With a 7-2 mark through the first nine games, the Cardinal are a game back of the Golden Bears, and tied with Arizona State. Yet the Cardinal hold wins over each squad, giving it the advantage in a tiebreaker scenario.
No Soup For You!
The Cardinal defense grabbed the spotlight Saturday by holding the Golden Bears to a paltry 30.8% shooting performance (16-for-52). Also, Stanford's relentless effort and double-teams limited California's star posts, reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker, to just 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
Stanford cashed in on some easy points in Saturday's win at California, sinking 17-of-19 free throws in the contest. The team's effort at the charity stripe was highlighted by Candice Wiggins' 14-for-14 performance, the best-ever by a Stanford player with at least 14 attempts.
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 2,204 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 12 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 243 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 617 career attempts. At the charity stripe, Wiggins is third all-time with her 475 career free throws, and currently sits fourth on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.2% success rate, just over two percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%. Finally, on the defensive end, Wiggins' 243 career steals through Jan. 26 leaves her fifth on Stanford's all-time list, just 37 away from tying Sonja Henning's leading tally of 280.
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.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 295-32 (.902) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 182-12 (.938) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 92 of its last 99 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 9-0 at home in 2007-08, and has won eight of those games by at least 20 points. Through last Saturday's win over California, Stanford boasts an average margin of victory of 29.7 points in its home games this season.
Stanford has a tendency to rebound nicely from losses, even ones that come back-to-back. Five wins in a row following Jan. 6's loss at USC 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.