No. 2/2 Stanford Travels Deep In The Heart Of Texas To Battle No. 19/17 Baylor Sunday
Nov. 15, 2008
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (1-0)
- at -
No. 19/17 Baylor Bears (1-0)
WACO, Texas - No. 2/2 Stanford (1-0) wraps up the opening weekend of the 2008-09 regular season on the road Sunday afternoon, visiting the No. 19/17 Baylor Bears (1-0) in a 12 p.m. PT contest. The Cardinal look to start the season 2-0 for the second straight year Sunday, and will face its first ranked opponent of the season in the Bears. Sunday's contest can be heard live on the radio at 90.1 KZSU as well as on the Internet at kzsulive.stanford.edu, as Jake Kelman calls the action.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal got its 2008-09 campaign off to a winning start Friday night, battling its way to a bruising 68-55 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Maples Pavilion. Friday's contest marked just the seventh time since 1985-86 that the Cardinal had opened up a season at home, and the win was not only the eighth consecutive season-opening victory for the Cardinal, but also improved Stanford's mark in season openers to 23-11. Kayla Pedersen and Jayne Appel each scored 14 points to pace the team, while Pedersen grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 11 points in her collegiate debut, while Jeanette Pohlen scored nine points in her first career start and Jillian Harmon scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds.
Baylor (1-0) heads into Sunday's game fresh off of a season-opening 90-45 rout of Florida Atlantic Friday night in Waco. Last season, the Bears went 25-7 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, falling there to Pittsburgh. The Bears are led by senior guard Jhasmin Player (seven points, four assists in Friday's win) as well as senior forward Rachel Allison (18 points, 13 rebounds against FAU) and forward Morghan Medlock (14 points, 16 rebounds against FAU).
All-Time Against Baylor
Stanford and Baylor have met only twice before all-time, splitting those two contests. The Cardinal, however, captured the last meeting between the two schools, routing the Bears 87-63 behind a 35-point effort from Candice Wiggins and a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double from Kayla Pedersen on Dec. 16, 2007. That contest was also a meeting of a pair of top-10 teams, as Stanford was ranked fifth in the AP Poll and fourth in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, while Baylor was 10th in each poll.
In The National Polls
Stanford is ranked second in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Polls. The Cardinal received a first-place vote in the AP poll.
Stanford All-Time In Road Openers
Stanford is 7-6 all-time in road openers on the opponent's home court. The Cardinal is currently on a three-game winning streak in such contests, being victorious most recently at Yale in last season's opener on Nov. 9, 2007. That game ended with Stanford reaching the century mark in a 100-44 victory. The last time that the Cardinal lost its road opener on an opponent's court was in the 2000-01 season, when it fell to the Gaels, 75-64, on Nov. 17, 2000 in Moraga.
Appel and Pedersen Earn Preseason National Recognition
Junior center Jayne Appel and sophomore forward Kayla Pedersen have already earned preseason national honors. Both have been tabbed by a pair of national award committess as players to watch in 2008-09. In mid-August the WBCA named the post tandem to the preseason 'Wade Watch' list for the State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year, an award won last season by Stanford's own Candice Wiggins. Appel was then named to the preseason list of 30 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award and the Wooden Award All-American Team in early November. This past Friday, Appel was also named to espn.com's Preseason All-America Second Team, as well.
Quite The Debut
Three of Stanford's four freshmen made their collegiate debuts Friday night against Minnesota, all seeing action off of the bench. 2008 Gatorade High School Player of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike led the trio with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 16 minutes of action, while fellow post Sarah Boothe grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot in nine minutes of play. Guard Lindy La Rocque went 1-for-2 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line for four points in three minutes of action.
Don't Make Us Get Physical
Stanford proved last season that it was a team capable of getting physical and matching its opponents' toughness on the court, and Friday's opener once again showed that the Cardinal are not going to back down to a challenge. Facing a physical Big Ten team in Minnesota, Stanford withstood the Golden Gophers' physical play and dished out some lessons of its own in physical basketball en route to the 68-55 victory. The Cardinal banged its way inside all game, shooting 45.8 percent (27-for-59) from the floor and out-rebounding the Golden Gophers by a 45-33 margin.
Back To Being Ms. Do-It-All
Senior forward Jillian Harmon was back to her all-out hustle and be-everywhere-on-the-court ways in the season opener, scoring seven points, grabbing six rebounds, passing out a pair of assists, making two steals and blocking a pair of shots in 31 minutes of action. Harmon had already established herself as one of Stanford's key 'hustle' players, and her performance Friday shows that she is back in top form after battling foot injuries late last season.
They Were Who Everyone Thought They Were
The frontcourt duo of junior Jayne Appel and sophomore Kayla Pedersen performed as expected in Friday's opener, each scoring 14 points and grabbing a combined 21 rebounds. Pedersen posted her first double-double of the year, pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds, while Appel not only grabbed nine boards but blocked five shots as well. Proving they can move the ball just as well, Appel and Pedersen each passed out three assists, accounting for nearly half of Stanford's 16 total assists on the night.
Solid Gold (-Onwude)
Junior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude got the start at point guard Friday night and deftly ran the Stanford offense in its 68-55 victory over Minnesota. Gold-Onwude also shot 50 percent (2-for-4) from behind the arc while scoring seven points and even pulled down five rebounds in a solid all-around effort.
Feels Good To Be Back
Two Cardinal players who missed a large amount of time last season made their much-anticipated returns to the court Friday night. Forward Michelle Harrison, who went down with a torn ACL in last year's opener at Yale, played four minutes and drained her lone attempt from the field while also grabbing a pair of rebounds and making a steal. Guard Melanie Murphy also made her return after missing all but five games last season with a torn ACL, and saw 11 minutes of action Friday night.
Meet Me In St. Louis
The Cardinal enter the 2008-09 with one goal at the forefront: return to the Final Four. While the team enjoyed the sunshine and coast of Tampa Bay last season, it looks forward to spending this season's final weekend in St. Louis, the 'Gateway To The West.'
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