No. 6 Stanford Advances to Pac-10 Tournament Semifinals
March 8, 2008
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Jayne Appel made all eight of her field-goal tries on the way to 19 points and also had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, leading No. 6 Stanford past Oregon State 64-41 on Saturday in the second round of the Pac-10 tournament.
Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Kayla Pedersen added 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting and grabbed seven boards. Conference Player of the Year Candice Wiggins contributed 11 points and five assists and even got to rest for spurts in top-seeded Stanford's 16th straight victory.
The Cardinal (28-3), who haven't lost since Jan. 6 at Southern California, will play in Sunday's second semifinal against the winner of Saturday's late quarterfinal matchup between rivals USC and UCLA.
J.J. Hones dished out six assists in her first Pac-10 tournament game after the sophomore guard missed about the final six weeks last season following knee surgery.
Brittney Davis scored 18 points to lead eighth-seeded and overmatched Oregon State (11-19), which shot 31 percent and was outrebounded 37-27.
Wiggins, who became the conference's career leading scorer last weekend at Washington State by passing Lisa Leslie. Wiggins' accomplishment was recognized with an announcement and then a standing ovation for the senior star before introductions and she smiled while continuing to warm up for the game.
Wiggins earned her third Pac-10 Player of the Year title this past week, while coach Tara VanDerveer was voted Coach of the Year and Pedersen earned top freshman honors.
Stanford has won eight straight Pac-10 regular-season titles but Wiggins' won't consider her career complete unless she helps end the Cardinal's 10-year Final Four drought. They haven't been since 1997.
Stanford used a 7-0 spurt after halftime to further put the game out of reach and has now won 16 in a row since dropping its first two conference games in Los Angeles to USC and UCLA in early January.
Junior forward Jillian Harmon was back in uniform for Stanford but didn't play for the seventh straight game because of a stress reaction in her right foot. VanDerveer hasn't ruled out using Harmon during the tournament. Her presence would provide the Cardinal with further depth.
The Cardinal made seven of their first nine shots, jumped to a 17-11 lead and got eight early points from Appel. Oregon State pulled within 22-16 but was then held scoreless for 6:06 following a basket by Davis with 7:31 remaining in the half, helping Stanford to a 34-18 lead at the break. The teams combined to take five first-half free throws.
The Cardinal hold a 41-6 advantage in the all-time series.