'Battle Of The Bay III' Sees No. 6/7 Stanford Battle No. 10/9 California In Pac-10 Tournament Title Game
March 9, 2008
No. 6/7 Stanford Cardinal (29-3, 16-2 Pac-10)
- vs. -
No. 10/9 California Golden Bears (26-5, 15-3 Pac-10)
SAN JOSE, Calif. - It will be 'Battle of the Bay III' Monday night as No. 6/7 Stanford engages in battle with No. 10/9 California in the Pac-10 Tournament Championship Game. The Cardinal will be seeking its fifth Pac-10 Tournament title, while the Golden Bears will be on the hunt for their first. Monday's contest will be televised live on FSN Bay Area, with Jim Watson on play-by-play and Mary Murphy on color, as well as being broadcast on 90.1 KZSU, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties and Andrew Shen on color.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford cruised into the title game of the Pac-10 Tournament with Sunday's 75-48 semifinal rout of UCLA. All 11 healthy Cardinal players scored in the victory, paced by four players posting double-figure performances. Jayne Appel led the way with 14 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and blocking four shots. Candice Wiggins scored 13 points and also pulled down seven rebounds, while JJ Hones, (12 points and six assists) and Jeanette Pohlen (10 points) rounded out Cardinal players scoring at least 10 points. Other noteworthy performances were turned in by Kayla Pedersen (eight points, six rebounds) and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (seven rebounds) as the Cardinal rolled to victory.
The Golden Bears (26-5, 15-3 Pac-10) entered the Pac-10 Tournament as the second seed, and has reached the title game for the first time in its history. California rebounded from splitting its final four regular-season contests, which included a 60-58 loss at home to Stanford, to earn tournament victories over Oregon and Arizona State. Helmed by Joanne Boyle, the Golden Bears are paced on the court by the play of posts Ashley Walker (15.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Devanei Hampton (14.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg), along with point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (11.8 ppg, 2.58 apg).
All-Time Against California
Stanford leads the all-time series against California, 49-16. Stanford has won 31 of the last 33 meetings between the two schools, and swept this year's regular-season meetings. The Cardinal cruised to a 72-52 win at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 26, then captured a tight 60-58 decision in Berkeley on Feb. 23. Monday's meeting will mark the fourth time the two schools have met in the Pac-10 Tournament, with Stanford holding the overall edge, 3-0. Each of those Stanford victories came in the tournament's first round.
Stanford At The Pac-10 Tournament
Heading into Monday night's semifinal contest, Stanford brings an 18-2 record and four titles into the seventh edition of the Pac-10 Tournament. The Cardinal captured the tournament championship three consecutive years, from 2003-05, then once more in 2007. After falling to Arizona State in the final of the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament, the Cardinal went on an 11-game tournament winning streak that lasted until the 2006 title game, in which UCLA dethroned Stanford, 85-76.
Monopoly On The Post-Tournament Award
The Cardinal have enjoyed a healthy domination of not just the action on the court, but also of the spoils awarded after the tournament. Out of the previous six Pac-10 Tournaments, a two Stanford players have combined to win five of the Most Outstanding Player honors awarded. Nicole Powell captured the honor in each of the first three tournaments from 2002-04, while Candice Wiggins earned the glory in 2005 and 2007, and will go for her third this weekend.
Getting Everyone Involved
All 11 Stanford players that suited up for Sunday's semifinal victory over UCLA got on the scoreboard, displaying the team's offensive prowess. Jayne Appel led the way with 14 points, as four players scored in double figures, including Candice Wiggins (13 points), JJ Hones (12), and Jeanette Pohlen (10).
Quick Hands On D
The Cardinal also flashed its defensive pedigree Sunday against UCLA, holding the Bruins to 45 points, marking the tenth time this season that Stanford held an opponent to under 50 points. The defense's quick hands also made 15 steals against UCLA, marking a new season high for the Cardinal.
Forward Jillian Harmon made her return to the court Sunday, playing five minutes after missing the past seven games due to a stress reaction in her foot. Harmon made the most of her five minutes of action, going 2-for-3 from the floor for four points, and making a pair of key steals.
Wiggins Reels In More Honors
National postseason recognition has already begun finding its way to Candice Wiggins, as the senior guard was named to Sports Illustrated's All-America First Team and was also selected as a finalist for the prestigious Naismith Award, given to the top collegiate women's basketball player in the nation.
One For The Thumb
Using the analogy of championship rings, the Cardinal will be attempting to win 'one for the thumb' Monday night against California. Stanford has already won four of the first six Pac-10 Tournament titles, and has now reached the title game in all seven editions of the tournament. The only other teams to win the conference tournament are Arizona State (2002) and UCLA (2006).
Team Rebounding Effort
Not only did the Cardinal exhibit a well-rounded scoring effort Sunday against UCLA, but it also turned in a well-rounded effort on the glass. All 11 healthy Stanford players grabbed at least one rebound in the contest, as the Cardinal out-rebounded the Bruins 49-40. Stanford was led by the trio of Jayne Appel, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, and Candice Wiggins, who each grabbed seven boards.
Controlling The Paint
One of the various categories in which Stanford was able to dominate UCLA was the points in the paint line. The Cardinal outscored the Bruins by a whopping 38-16 margin in the paint, highlighted by the 14 points from Jayne Appel and eight points from Kayla Pedersen.
Stanford Dominates Pac-10 Honors
The Pac-10 announced its season awards last Thursday, and it was no surprise that Stanford dominated many of the honors. The Cardinal captured three of the four season awards, as Candice Wiggins became the first player to ever win three Pac-10 Player of the Year awards, Kayla Pedersen went home with the Freshman of the Year award, and Tara VanDerveer garnered her ninth Coach of the Year honor. Additionally, Wiggins and sophomore Jayne Appel were named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, Pedersen was named to the third team, and Jillian Harmon and JJ Hones received honorable mention nods. Pedersen also earned a spot on the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, while fellow rookie Jeanette Pohlen was named honorable mention. Appel, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Harmon, and Wiggins rounded things out by being named Pac-10 Defensive Team honorable mention.