No. 6/7 Stanford Begins Three-Game Week With Tuesday's Clash At Santa Clara
Feb. 4, 2008
No. 6/7 Stanford Cardinal (19-3, 9-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Santa Clara Broncos (16-5, 5-2 WCC)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 6/7 Stanford women's basketball team opens up a three-game week Tuesday night, making the half-hour drive south on U.S. 101 to visit the Santa Clara Broncos of the West Coast Conference in a 7 p.m. contest. The game will serve as a prelude to the Cardinal's first trip to the Pacific Northwest this season, in which Stanford will visit Oregon and Oregon State. Tuesday's contest will be available on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Topher Anderson handling play-by-play duties, in place of Jake Kelman.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford fully avenged its only two conference losses of the season this past weekend, defeating USC, 77-51 Thursday night, before dealing a 75-62 defeat to the UCLA Bruins Saturday afternoon. Candice Wiggins, who was named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week for the fourth time this season for her outstanding weekend, became Stanford's all-time leadng scorer Thursday, netting her 2,216th career point to pass Kate Starbird's previous record of 2,215. Wiggins also hit her 482nd career free throw against USC, passing Val Whiting as Stanford's new all-time career leader. Saturday against UCLA, the combined force of Wiggins (31 points) and freshman Kayla Pedersen (career-high 28 points to go with 10 rebounds and four blocks) proved too much for the Bruins to handle.
Scouting Santa Clara
The Broncos (16-5, 5-2 WCC), despite having a five-game winning streak snapped at Gonzaga Saturday, come into Tuesday's contest having won 12 of their last 14 contests. Under the guidance of sixth-year head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson, Santa Clara boasts four players averaging over 10 points a game: guards Chandice Cronk (17.1 ppg, 40.6% 3-pt.), Liz Doran (10.5 ppg, 44.9% 3-pt.), Tracey Walker (10.3 ppg, 4.79 apg), and forward Jen Gottschalk (16.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg).
All-Time Against Santa Clara
Stanford holds a 26-4 advantage in the all-time series against Santa Clara, including victories in 10 of the last 11 meetings dating back to Dec. 12, 1987. Santa Clara's last win in the series came with an 81-65 decision at Toso Pavilion on Dec. 4, 1998, which was also Stanford's most recent trip to Santa Clara.
The Cardinal In The Polls
After last weekend's wins, Stanford rose to No. 6 in the Associated Press Poll, and is awaiting Tuesday's latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
Among The National Stats Leaders
The Cardinal is in the National Top 50 in quite a few categories through the games of Feb. 3, including: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24 - fifth), scoring margin (+18.5 - T-eighth), fewest turnovers per game (13.8 - 10th), assists per game (17.2 - 11th), scoring offense (75.7 - 13th), rebounding margin (+7.7 - 17th), FG percentage (46.0% - 17th), FG percentage defense (35.7% - 19th), blocks per game (107 - 4.9 - T-25th), scoring defense (57.2 - 32nd), and fewest fouls per game (15.2 - 45th). Individually, Jayne Appel's 57.5 FG percentage is 17th in the nation, her 2.3 blocks per game are tied for 30th, and her 9.0 rebounds per game are 50th. Candice Wiggins stands 23rd with 18.7 points per game.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Feb. 3, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (75.7 ppg), scoring margin (+18.5), FG percentage (46.0%), blocked shots (107 - 4.86 per game), turnover margin (+3.77), assists per game (17.18), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24). The Cardinal also sits second in opponents' points per game (57.2 ppg), opponents' FG percentage (35.7%), rebounding (41.4 rpg), and rebounding margin (+7.7). Individually, Candice Wiggins leads the conference in scoring (18.7 ppg), is second in free-throw percentage (82.9%) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.74), and tied for third in steals (2.14 per game). Jayne Appel leads the loop in field-goal percentage (57.5%) and blocks (50 - 2.27 per game), is second rebounding (9.0 rpg), and fifth in scoring (15.1 ppg). Kayla Pedersen is third in rebounding (8.4 rpg).
Wiggins, Wiggins, Wiggins
The record-breaking adventures of Stanford's Candice Wiggins continued last weekend, as the three-time All-American toppled a pair of long-standing Stanford career records. First, in Thursday's win over USC, Wiggins scored her 2,216th career point, surpassing Kate Starbird's previous tally of 2,215 points to become Stanford's all-time leading scorer. In that same contest, Wiggins converted her 482nd career free throw, taking over the all-time lead from Val Whiting, who hit 481 career free throws. Up next for Wiggins with at least 11 games remaining? Lisa Leslie's Pac-10 career record of 2,414 career points.
Just Give All Of Them To Her
It was a new date but the same honor for Candice Wiggins Monday, as the senior guard collected U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the second straight week. Besides breaking the Stanford career records for scoring and free throws, Wiggins averaged 24.5 points, 4.0 assists, and shot 90.0% (18-for-20) from the free-throw line in leading the Cardinal to a sweep of USC and UCLA last weekend. The honor, the fourth of this season for Wiggins, is also the ninth time that she has garnered the award, making her the Pac-10's all-time leader.
Double-Double, Animal Style!
Freshman forward Kayla Pedersen bruised and battered with the best Saturday afternoon, wearing down the UCLA posts to the tune of her fifth double-double of the season. Pedersen went 13-for-18 from the floor, scoring a career-best 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the process. To round out her career day, she blocked four shots, passed out four assists, and made three steals in Stanford's 75-62 win.
Cleaning The Glass
Among the many reasons that Stanford is one of the top rebounding squads in the Pac-10 is sophomore center Jayne Appel. The Pleasant Hill native attacked the glass with a vengeance last weekend, averaging 12.0 rebounds a game, including an eye-popping 16 against UCLA. With her rebounding efforts this past weekend, Appel has now led or co-led the team in rebounding in 13 of 22 games this season.
Sharing The Bounty
Another category that the Cardinal have become increasingly successful with is assists per game. The Stanford offense has clicked to the point where crisp passing and deft cutting are rewarding not just the scorers, but also the playmakers. Candice Wiggins (68) paces a group of four players who have passed out at least 50 assists so far this year, as Jayne Appel (52), JJ Hones (51), and Jeanette Pohlen (50) are also responsible for Stanford's 17.18 team assists per game.
Get That Out Of Here!
Saturday's win over UCLA wasn't just something for the offense to celebrate, as the defense did its part in denying the Bruins opportunities. The Cardinal were a force in the defensive paint, blocking a season-high 12 shots. Jayne Appel led the way with five swats, as Kayla Pedersen made a career-best four blocks, and Candice Wiggins even got in on the act, turning away a pair of shots.
Stanford's defense had a weekend it could hang its hat on last week, as not only did the unit put up a season-high in blocks, but it also forced USC into committing a season-high 29 turnovers Thursday night. The mix of the formidable tandem of Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen inside, the tenacity of Candice Wiggins and JJ Hones in the front court, and the all-around effort of Jillian Harmon harassed and bullied the Women of Troy into rushed passes, bad decisions, and general chaos.
The weekend sweep of the Los Angeles schools was a therapeutic treatment for the Cardinal and its fans, as avenging its only two conference losses this season continued Stanford on the path towards an eighth consecutive Pac-10 regular season title. With the wins, Stanford ensured that it would not be swept by a Pac-10 foe in the regular season, something which has not occurred since UCLA turned the trick in 1987-88.
Waiting For The Moment To Strike
Stanford's victories over USC and UCLA kept it in prime position to continue its streak of Pac-10 regular-season titles. California, the current Pac-10 leader, also won its two weekend contests, keeping it one game ahead of Stanford. While the Cardinal hold an all-important head-to-head win over the Golden Bears, both teams need to continue winning heading into Feb. 23's televised showdown in Berkeley.
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 on Jan. 31, 2008, against USC, she passed Kate Starbird's all-time leading total of 2,215 points to become Stanford's all-time leading scorer. Wiggins' 2,253 career points are also third all-time on the Pac-10 scoring list. 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 246 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 629 career attempts. At the charity stripe, Wiggins is the Stanford all-time leader with her 493 career free throws, having surpassed Val Whiting's previous tally of 481 on Jan. 31 against USC. She also currently sits fourth on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.4% success rate, just under two percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%. Finally, on the defensive end, Wiggins' 244 career steals through Feb. 3 leaves her fifth on Stanford's all-time list, just 36 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.