No. 6/6 Stanford Host Arizona, Arizona State In Final Homestand Of Regular Season
Feb. 12, 2008
No. 6/6 Stanford Cardinal (22-3, 11-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Arizona Wildcats (9-14, 3-9 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 6/6 Stanford women's basketball team returns to Maples Pavilion for the final weekend homestand of the regular season. The Cardinal will host the Arizona Wildcats Thursday night at 7 p.m. before Saturday's 1 p.m. extravaganza opposite the Arizona State Sun Devils. Saturday's 'Senior Day' contest, which will be televised on FSN, will be the final home regular-season contest for seniors Candice Wiggins and Cissy Pierce, as well as Stanford's 'Think Pink' game, serving to raise the awareness of and support research in the fight against breast cancer. Both weekend contests will also be available on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford extended its current winning streak to a season-high 10 games last week, capturing a 96-74 non-conference win at Santa Clara before sweeping road conference games at Oregon (72-43) and Oregon State (69-59). The Cardinal got dominant individual efforts from a variety of players, including JJ Hones (career-high 20 points, 5-for-6 on three-pointers at Santa Clara), Candice Wiggins (23.3 points, 4.7 rebounds per game over the three games), Kayla Pedersen (17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over the week, along with 59.4% shooting), and Jayne Appel (11.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 54.2% shooting).
The Wildcats (9-14, 3-9 Pac-10) head into Thursday night's contest having dropped 10 of their last 13 contests. helmed by Joan Bonvicini, Arizona is led on the court by the play of Ashley Whisonant (16.3 ppg, 4.57 apg) and Amina Njonkou (13.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg).
All-Time Against Arizona
Stanford holds a 46-12 advantage in the all-time series against the Wildcats, and is currently on a 10-game winning streak in the series. The Cardinal captured the first meeting of the two schools this season, collecting an 89-64 decision on Jan. 17 at the McKale Center in Tucson.
The Cardinal In The Polls
Despite three wins last week, Stanford reamined in the No. 6 spot 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. 10, including: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24 - fifth), fewest turnovers per game (13.6 - fifth), scoring margin (+18.7 - eighth), scoring offense (76.1 - 11th), rebounding margin (+8.1 - 13th), assists per game (16.88 - 14th), FG percentage (46.3% - 15th), blocks per game (127 - 5.08 - 20th), FG percentage defense (36.2% - 23rd), scoring defense (57.4 - 33rd), and fewest fouls per game (15.2 - 42nd). Individually, Jayne Appel's 57.2 FG percentage is 15th in the nation, and her 2.36 blocks per game are 26th. Candice Wiggins stands 16th with 19.2 points per game, and 44th in the nation with a 1.81 assist-to-turnover ratio.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Feb. 10, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (76.1 ppg), scoring margin (+18.7), FG percentage (46.3%), blocked shots (127 - 5.08 per game), turnover margin (+3.44), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24). The Cardinal also sits second in opponents' points per game (57.4 ppg), opponents' FG percentage (36.2%), assists per game (16.88), rebounding (41.2 rpg), and rebounding margin (+8.1). Individually, Candice Wiggins leads the conference in scoring (19.2 ppg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.81), and is second in free-throw percentage (83.2%). Jayne Appel leads the loop in field-goal percentage (57.2%) and blocks (59 - 2.36 per game), is second rebounding (8.9 rpg), and sixth in scoring (14.6 ppg). Kayla Pedersen is third in rebounding (8.4 rpg).
Breaking Her Own Record
In a season which has seen many Stanford records fall, sophomore center Jayne Appel is getting into the mix, joining Candice Wiggins as a record-breaker this season. With 59 blocked shots through the first 25 games of this season, Appel stands just three away from breaking her own Stanford single-season record of 61, set as a freshman a year ago.
Turn It Up To 11?
Stanford's 69-59 victory over Oregon State Saturday night extended the Cardinal's current winning streak to 10 games, marking a new season high. The victory also marked 2007-08 as the third season out of the past four in which the Cardinal have put together a double-digit winning streak.
Torching The Hosts
Senior guard Candice Wiggins lit up three opposing scoreboards last week, reeling off 70 points in road victories at Santa Clara (20 points), Oregon (25 points), and Oregon State (25 points) thanks to a 48.2% shooting effort (27-for-56) over the three games.
Closing In On ANOTHER Scoring Record
Candice Wiggins continued her successful final season last week, leading or sharing the team lead in scoring in all three road victories. Yet, the big story is her assault on the Stanford and Pac-10 record books. Against USC on Jan. 31, 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 nine games remaining? Lisa Leslie's Pac-10 career record of 2,414 career points.
Taking And Rejecting
The Stanford defense's versatility is a significant reason for the team's success this season. While the rebounding has been its usual dominant force (41.2 rebounds a game), the team's block and steal numbers are unique in terms of variety. Jayne Appel (59 blocks), Morgan Clyburn (16), Kayla Pedersen (16), and Candice Wiggins (13) all have blocked at least 10 shots, while in the steals category, five different Cardinal players have made at least 20 thefts.
Running Over The 'Pac'
Stanford has done a fine job of putting a pair of conference losses in early January behind it and getting back to the task at hand of plowing through Pac-10 competition. In its 11 conference victories this season, the Cardinal have won 10 of those by at least 10 points, including four wins by at least 30 points, and eight by at least 20 points. Stanford's average margin of victory in conference play currently stands at 21.2 points.
'Double-Doubling' The Fun
Standout posts Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen played key roles in Stanford's 69-59 win at Oregon State Saturday night, each posting a double-double. Appel's 12 points and 11 rebounds, along with Pedersen's 21 points and 11 rebounds, marked the second time this year that the imposing duo has notched double-doubles in the same contest. The first such occasion was Nov. 11 at Rutgers, as Appel put up 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Pedersen recorded 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Keeping Points To A Minimum
For those wondering why the Cardinal offense is able to jump out to such large leads early in contests, as well as limit opponents to such low point totals, one can point to the tenacity of the defense. 14 times through this season's 25 games the Stanford defense has limited opponents to 59 points or lower, and seven times it has held an opponent under the 50-point threshold.
Success In Oregon
The weekend wins over Oregon and Oregon State marked the third consecutive season in which the Cardinal has swept its annual trip to Oregon. Yet it will take many more sweeps through Oregon to match the Cardinal's current best winning streak on a conference road weekend, as Stanford has won its last 14 trips up the road to Berkeley.
Winning The Battle Of The Boards
Last weekend against Oregon and Oregon State, Stanford out-rebounded its foe for the 20th and 21st times this season. Stanford's +8.1 rebounding margin over its opponents, good for 13th in the nation, is a big part of the team's 22-3 record, as the Cardinal are 19-2 on the year when collecting more boards than its opponent.
Back In The Starting Five
With Jillian Harmon's foot injury keeping her out of action Saturday at Oregon State, redshirt sophomore guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude made her return to the starting lineup and did so with aplomb. In 26 minutes of action, Gold-Onwude's solid all-around effort included nine points on 3-of-7 shooting (going 2-for-2 from behind the arc), six rebounds and three assists.
Cardinal Or Black? Doesn't Matter!
The Cardinal packed its black road uniforms for last weekend's trip through Oregon, coming home with two more wins for the first-year jersey. The victories improve Stanford's road record to 5-2 when sporting the black threads, compared to a 6-1 mark in the traditional Cardinal garb.
Playing To Type
Junior forward Morgan Clyburn has been excelling in her reserve role for the Cardinal this season, currently sitting tied for second on the team with 16 blocked shots and shooting a respectable 44.7% (17-for-38) from the floor. Despite averaging only 9.2 minutes a game, Clyburn not only provides an opportunity for starting posts Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen to gab a few minutes of valuable rest, but also produces defensive stops and even the occasional bucket to supplement the team effort.
Within Striking Distance
Stanford's victories over Oregon and Oregon State last weekend kept it in prime position to build upon its streak of seven Pac-10 regular-season titles. California, the current Pac-10 leader, also swept its Oregon slate, 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 through this weekend to set up Feb. 23's televised showdown for all the marbles 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 18.9 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' 2,323 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 254 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 652 career attempts. At the charity stripe, Wiggins is the Stanford all-time leader with her 501 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.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 297-32 (.903) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 184-12 (.939) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 94 of its last 101 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 11-0 at home in 2007-08, and has won nine of those games by at least 20 points. Through last Saturday's win over UCLA, Stanford boasts an average margin of victory of 27.8 points in its home games this season.
Non-Conference Season = Great Success!
Feb. 5'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.
Stanford has a tendency to rebound nicely from losses, even ones that come back-to-back. 10 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.
To Be The Best, You've Got To Beat The Best
Jan. 26'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).Paying Back The Native StateArizona native Kayla Pedersen turned in a solid weekend against the Pac-10 schools of her home state in January, averaging 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds, including matching her season-high with 22 points at Arizona.
Retiring The Numbers
So far this season, freshmen Jeanette Pohlen and Kayla Pedersen have each had the honor of seeing their respective high school retire their prep number. At Brea Olinda High, 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), and 2007's Ms. California Basketball. In Mesa, Ariz., Pedersen's alma mater, Red Mountain High, raised her No. 14 jersey to the rafters in testament to a career which saw Pedersen be twice named Gatorade Player of the Year, lead RMHS to the 5A-DI state title in 2007, and set school career records with 2,611 points (also state 5A record), 1,444 rebounds, 434 assists, and 304 blocks.
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. Forward Jillian Harmon left Feb. 7's game at Oregon early in the second half due to a stress reaction in her foot, and could miss up to 2-4 weeks of action. Freshman Ashley Cimino, who missed the first 15 games of the season due to a lingering back injury, made her collegiate debut Jan. 10 against Oregon State, but sat out Thursday's game at Oregon as well. Sophomores Michelle Harrison and Melanie Murphy were lost for the year with torn ACLs suffered on Nov. 11 at Yale, and Nov. 24 against Old Dominion, respectively.