Back In Action: No. 3/4 Stanford Hosts Fresno State Saturday Afternoon
Dec. 9, 2008
No. 3/4 Stanford Cardinal (6-1)
- vs. -
Fresno State Bulldogs (5-2)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 3/4 Stanford (6-1) returns from its two-week break Saturday afternoon, Dec. 13, to host the Fresno State Bulldogs (5-2) for a 2 p.m. contest at Maples Pavilion. The contest is the first of just two homes games for the Cardinal in December, and precedes Stanford's departure for an eight-day road trip through the southeastern United States. Saturday's game can be heard live on the radio at 90.1 KZSU as well as on the Internet at kzsulive.stanford.edu with Mark Friese handling the play-by-play duties.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal swept to three victories two weekends ago at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic hosted by the University of Hawai'i. In the weekend opener, Stanford faced a tough test from No. 19/23 Purdue but prevailed, 78-70 in overtime thanks in part to Jayne Appel's 26 points and 16 rebounds. The rest of the weekend would go much smoother for the Cardinal, as it thumped No. 25/22 Iowa State, 83-45, and routed the host Rainbow Wahine 83-54 Sunday afternoon. Appel's 16.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over the weekend led to her being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Kayla Pedersen was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Scouting Fresno State
Fresno State (5-2), the defending WAC champion, will roll into Stanford for its second game of the week Saturday after playing Tuesday night at home against CS Northridge. The Bulldogs upset then-No. 22 TCU on Dec. 4, and under sixth-year head coach Adrian Wiggins are led on the court by Bailey Amundsen (13.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg), Jaleesa Ross (12.7 ppg, 39.2 percent on three-point field goals) and Hayley Munro (10.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg).
All-Time Against Fresno State
Stanford leads the all-time series 16-6 against Fresno State heading into Saturday's meeting. While the Cardinal has been victorious in the past four contests against the Bulldogs, Saturday's game will be just the third meeting of the teams since Nov. 29, 1988. The Cardinal won the last meeting 80-52 in Fresno on Jan. 2, 2007.
In The National Polls
Despite being idle the past two weeks, Stanford still moved up in the national polls. The Cardinal ascended two spots to No. 3 in the Associated Press Poll and jumped a spot to No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll.
A Look At The National Stat Leaders
Stanford finds itself ranked in the national top 50 in various statistical categories through the games of Dec. 7. The Cardinal figures that sit in the top 50 are: fewest turnovers per game (12.7 - third), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.37 - fourth), assists per game (17.4 - 15th), scoring margin (+20.6 - 16th), points per game (77.4 - 18th), three-pointers per game (7.4 - 19th), fewest fouls per game (15.1 - 24th), field-goal percentage (45.4 - 28th), rebound margin (+7.9 - 30th), blocked shots per game (5.0 - 39th) and turnover margin (4.71 - 42nd). Individually, Jayne Appel is in the national top 50 of three categories: field-goal percentage (54.2 - 38th), blocked shots per game (2.1 - 42nd) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.91 - 49th).
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. Appel was also named to espn.com's Preseason All-America Second Team, as well.
More Wins In Hawai'i
Stanford's 3-0 run at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic extended the Cardinal's winning streak to 14 in games played in the 50th State. In fact, those 14 wins give Stanford a perfect 14-0 mark when playing in Hawai'i at the Rainbow Wahine's annual tournament. The Cardinal's first trip to the tournament came in 1981-82, when Stanford claimed victories over Alaska-Anchorage and San Francisco State on Dec. 19 and 20, 1981.
Appel Named MVP, Pedersen To All-Tournament Team In Hawai'i
The post tandem of Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen had their fine collective weekend in Hawai'i capped off with honors from the media voters at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic. Appel, after averaging 16.0 points and 8.3 rebounds over the three games of the tournament, was named the draw's Most Valuable Player, while Pedersen was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a game. Each player also shot well from the field, with Appel going 21-for-34 (61.8 percent) from the floor and Pedersen going 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) from the floor.
Stanford's shooting over the three games of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic (99-for-207 for 47.8 percent) helped raise the Cardinal's team shooting percentage to 45.4 percent overall (203-for-447). A lot of the credit for the rise in accuracy goes to players such as Nnemkadi Ogwumike (63.0 percent from the floor), Jayne Appel (54.2 percent), Sarah Boothe (51.9 percent) and Jillian Harmon (49.0 percent, and 53.8 percent from behind the arc).
Harmon Hittin' From The Outside
Stanford has benefitted from the improved outside shooting of senior Jillian Harmon, who went 7-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-5 from behind the arc in the 83-54 win over Hawai'i on Nov. 30. After going 0-for-11 on three-point attempts last season, Harmon continued working on her outside shot while competing internationally for New Zealand during the spring and summer of 2008 and has become yet another of Stanford's reliable outside options. On the year, Harmon is shooting 49.0 percent (24-for-49) from the floor, including 53.8 percent from three-point range (7-for-13).
Spreading The Wealth
Heading into this season, Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer talked about getting a well-rounded scoring effort from her roster, and her charges have proved her words to be true. In each of the three Cardinal games in Hawai'i, four Stanford players scored in double digits, while eight individual Cardinal players recorded at least one double-digit scoring effort on the weekend. In all, Stanford boasts four active players who are averaging at least 10.0 points a game this season: Jayne Appel (13.3 ppg), Kayla Pedersen (10.9), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (10.3) and Jillian Harmon (10.0). JJ Hones, out for the year with a torn left ACL, averaged 10.5 points in her two games this season.
In another act of unselfishness, the Cardinal passed out 58 assists in the three games in Hawai'i, led by Melanie Murphy (12 assists), Jeanette Pohlen (10), Jayne Appel (nine) and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (seven).