No. 6/6 Cardinal Heads Into Eugene To Battle Ducks
Feb. 7, 2008
No. 6/6 Stanford Cardinal (20-3, 9-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Oregon Ducks (10-12, 4-7 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 6/6 Stanford women's basketball team continues its busy three-game week Thursday night, heading into Eugene, Ore. to battle the Oregon Ducks at 7 p.m. The long week comes to a close with Saturday night's 7 p.m. contest against the Oregon State Beavers at Gill Coliseum. Both weekend contests will be available on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford got this week off to a winning start Tuesday night, defeating South Bay rival Santa Clara, 96-74 at the Leavey Center in non-conference action. JJ Hones went off with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting (including a career-best five three-pointers) while also passing out three assists against zero turnovers. Reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week Candice Wiggins also scored 20 points in the contest, hitting on 7-of-12 of her attempts from the floor. The Cardinal had its best shooting night of the season against the Broncos, shooting 62.1% (36-for-58) in the contest, including a season-best 13 three-pointers. Kayla Pedersen (15 points, eight rebounds) and Jillian Harmon (11 points, four steals) rounded out the Cardinal players scoring in double figures, while Cissy Pierce and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude added eight points apiece.
The Ducks (10-12, 4-7 Pac-10) return home for this weekend's action after spending the past two weeks on the road. Despite a promising start to Pac-10 play earlier this year, Oregon dropped all four road contests in the last two weeks, being swept in Los Angeles and Arizona. Helmed by Bev Smith, the Ducks are paced on the court by Taylor Lilley (12.6 ppg) and Kaela Chapdelaine (6.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg).
All-Time Against Oregon
Stanford holds a 36-8 advantage in the all-time series against the Ducks, and is currently on a six-game winning streak in the series. The Cardinal captured the first meeting of the two schools this season, collecting an 83-49 decision on Jan. 12 at Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal In The Polls
After last weekend's wins, Stanford rose a spot to No. 6 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Polls.
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).
'Hones'-ing In On The Target
Reports of smoke in the Leavey Center during Stanford's 96-74 victory at Santa Clara are not too far-fetched, because sophomore point guard JJ Hones was on fire, shooting 7-for-9 from the floor (including a career-best five three-pointers) for a career-high 20 points. Hones' hot hand from downtown was a key factor in Stanford being able to counter the three-point potency of Santa Clara by making a boatload of its own threes.
Waking Up With A Sore Neck
Many Cardinal and Bronco fans probably felt a twinge in their necks this morning due to the lightning-fast pace of Tuesday's contest. Stanford and Santa Clara combined to score an incredible 170 points in a contest (won 96-74 by the Cardinal) that featured the teams combining to shoot 54.4% (62-for-114) from the field, making 19 three-pointers, and pushing the pace up and down the court to such a high level that fans barely had time to turn their heads towards one end of the court before having to switch back to the other side.
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaave You Met Jillian?
Excelling once more in the shadows of her teammates' flashier performances was Cardinal forward and fan-favorite Jillian Harmon, who scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and made a season-high four steals in Tuesday's win. While JJ Hones and Candice Wiggins were drilling threes, Harmon was her usual hard-working, humble self, grabbing key boards and disrupting the opposing offense with her strong court awareness.
They're On Fire!
After struggling to rediscover its outside shooting touch for much of this season, the Cardinal found that familiar feeling Tuesday at Santa Clara, shooting a blistering 62.1% (36-for-58) in the 96-74 victory. The season-best effort from the field even extended out beyond the arc, as the Cardinal shot a season-best 50.0% (13-for-26) on its three-point attempts.
Another Long-Range Threat
Despite carving out her reputation thus far with her solid play in the paint and on the boards, freshman forward Kayla Pedersen stepped outside and showed off her long-range capability Tuesday at Santa Clara. The post hit two of her three attempts from beyond the arc en route to another productive night with 15 points and eight rebounds against the Broncos.
This weekend's swing through Oregon marks the return of a pair of favorite daughters, as Lake Oswego native Jillian Harmon and Beaverton native JJ Hones come back to their old stomping grounds. Against the Oregon schools at Maples Pavilion earlier this season, Harmon averaged 7.5 rebounds a game, with her weekend highlighted by a 15-point, nine-rebound effort against the Ducks. Hones, meanwhile, played a significant role off the bench for the Cardinal that weekend, passing out three assists in each game, and scoring eight points against Oregon State.
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 last 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.
Served Up Nice And Cold
Last weekend's 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.
Non-Conference Season = Great Success!
Tuesday's win at Santa Clara marked the conclusion of Stanford's non-conference slate during the regular season. In 12 non-conference games this year, the Cardinal posted an impressive 11-1 mark, its best since going 9-1 in regular-season non-conference play during the 2004-05 season. In this decade, the Cardinal have now suffered just one regular-season non-conference loss four times, with the lone loss in three of those years (2001-02, 2002-03, and 2004-05) coming to Tennessee.
Sending It Home
Jayne Appel, despite scoring only seven points Tuesday night at Santa Clara, nonetheless improved her Pac-10-leading field goal percentage to 58.0% with her perfect 3-for-3 showing from the field. Appel's accuracy has seen a dramatic spike over the last month, as she has shot at least 57.1% in eight of her past nine games.
Within Striking Distance
Stanford's victories over USC and UCLA last weekend 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.
Solid Gold (-Onwude)
Sophomore guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude continued her successful return season with a fine effort at Santa Clara, scoring eight points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out five assists in the Cardinal victory. After missing all of last season with a torn ACL, Gold-Onwude has loosed a year's worth of anticipation on the court, and, working alongside fellow point guard JJ Hones, is a big reason for Stanford's conference-best team output of 17.04 assists per game.
The superstitious types among Cardinal fans probably went into Tuesday night's contest with a strange feeling in the pits of their stomachs, as regular KZSU play-by-play man Jake Kelman missed just his third road contest of the season. Kelman, a junior at Stanford in his third season at the mic for the women's squad, had previously been unable to travel to Los Angeles with the team in early January, where the Cardinal was swept by UCLA and USC. Despite having to miss Tuesday's game due to the demands of Stanford academics, Kelman was vindicated when Stanford was able to grab the road win over Santa Clara despite his absence.
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 18.8 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' 2,273 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 249 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 636 career attempts. At the charity stripe, Wiggins is the Stanford all-time leader with her 496 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 82.5% success rate, just under two percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%. Finally, on the defensive end, Wiggins' 245 career steals through Feb. 3 leaves her fifth on Stanford's all-time list, just 35 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.