Lights, Camera, Action: No. 3/4 Stanford Battles No. 8/12 Duke Tuesday On ESPN
Dec. 15, 2008
No. 3/4 Stanford Cardinal (6-1)
- vs. -
No. 8/12 Duke Blue Devils (6-1)
DURHAM, N.C. - No. 3/4 Stanford (7-1) opens up a nine-day, three-game road trip through the South with Tuesday night's 4:30 p.m. nationally-televised contest against the No. 8/12 Duke Blue Devils (6-2) at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The trip will also feature contests at South Carolina (Friday, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. PT on FSN South) and at defending national champion Tennessee (Sunday, Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2). Tuesday's game will be aired live on ESPN with Pam Ward calling the action and Kara Lawson handling color commentary. The contest can also be heard live on the radio at 90.1 KZSU as well as on the Internet at kzsulive.stanford.edu, with play-by-play man Jake Kelman on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal returned from a two-week hiatus with aplomb Saturday afternoon, reaching the century mark for the first time this season in a 100-62 victory over Fresno State. Kayla Pedersen's 21 points marked the first 20-point game by a Stanford player this season, while Nnemkadi Ogwumike (season-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting), Jeanette Pohlen (season-high 14 points) and Jayne Appel (13 points, 10 rebounds) also reached double digits in points. The Cardinal shot 53.7 percent (36-for-67) from the floor, marking the third straight game in which the team had made over half of its field-goal attempts.
No. 8/12 Duke (6-1) will be returning from a nine-day hiatus come Tuesday's contest against Stanford at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are riding a four-game winning streak, having last defeated Michigan, 60-45, at home on Dec. 7. Under head coach Joanne P. McCallie, in her second season at Duke, the Blue Devils are led on the court by the play of senior duo Chante Black (16.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and Abby Waner (11.0 ppg, 4.29 apg), as well as junior forward Joy Cheek (10.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg).
All-Time Against Duke
Stanford and Duke have met just twice before, splitting the pair of contests. The Cardinal captured the first meeting by a score of 91-76 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 20, 1988, while the Blue Devils took the second meeting, 77-57, at the Nike 'Four In The Fall' at the San Jose Arena on Nov. 14, 1998.
In The National Polls
After Saturday's win, Stanford remained at No. 3 in the Associated Press Poll and is still No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, which will be released Tuesday.
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: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4 - third), fewest turnovers per game (13.1 - fifth), assists per game (18.4 - eighth), points per game (80.3 - ninth), scoring margin (+22.8 - 10th), field-goal percentage (46.5 - 12th), three-pointers per game (7.5 - 19th), rebound margin (+9.4 - 22nd), fewest fouls per game (15.1 - 31st), blocked shots per game (4.9 - 45th) and turnover margin (4.13 - 48th). Individually, Jayne Appel is in the national top 50 of four categories: blocked shots per game (2.3 - 37th) assist-to-turnover ratio (2.00 - 38th), field-goal percentage (53.8 - 40th), free-throw percentage (87.0 - 44th), and rebounds per game (9.4 - 50th).
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 committees 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.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Tuesday night's game at Duke will be Stanford's first national-TV exposure this season, as ESPN will carry the broadcast. It is actually the first of three televised games this week, as Friday's game at South Carolina is set to be carried live on FSN South, and Sunday's game at Tennessee will be shown live on ESPN2. Last year the Cardinal went an impressive 6-1 in ESPN-televised contests.
Anyone concerned that Stanford would show a decent amount of rust after two weeks off was in for quite a surprise this past Saturday afternoon. Not only did the Cardinal reach the century mark for the first time all season in its 100-62 victory over Fresno State, but it also shot 53.7 percent from the field in the win, marking the third consecutive game in which Stanford had made at least half of its shots.
Reliable Touch Inside
Stanford's 'Big Three' inside the paint, junior Jayne Appel, sophomore Kayla Pedersen and freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike, once again took over a game with their play inside this past Saturday against Fresno State. Excluding Pedersen's five three-point attempts in the game, the trio shot a collective 73.1 percent (19-for-26) from inside the arc Saturday, and on the year, boast a collective shooting percentage of 56.2 (109-for-194) from inside the arc. Ogwumike leads that crew with a remarkable 66.7-percent (38-for-57) showing from the floor this season.
Pohlen Grinds Out Another Star Effort
Sophomore guard Jeanette Pohlen turned another of her workwoman-like efforts in Saturday's 100-62 victory over Fresno State, scoring 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting (including 4-of-8 on three-point attempts), grabbing seven rebounds and making three steals. The outing was the fourth in which she scored in double-digit figures, and her hard-nosed play also brought home her third game with at least five rebounds.
Ogwumike Continues To Rise
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, just eight games into her collegiate career, continues to rise not just in the team scoring and rebounding rankings, but also literally above her opposition. Her athleticism in being able to put back shots and alley-oop passes inside confounded the Fresno State defense Saturday, and highlighted a season-best 19-point, 9-for-11 shooting performance. Ogwumike's athleticism in the paint has helped her post her fifth double-digit scoring performance, as well as increasing her team-leading shooting percentage to 66.7 percent (38-for-57).
Adding Depth To The Inside
Another freshman post player, the 6-5 Sarah Boothe, has begun to make her presence felt as of late, averaging 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds a game and shooting 71.4 percent (15-for-21) from the field in Stanford's last three contests. On the year, Boothe's 51.6-percent (16-for-31) showing from the floor is a testament to the depth and consistency of Stanford's inside play on the offensive end.
Junior Jayne Appel, a Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award nominee, continued her steady play and leadership in Saturday's win, posting her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Fresno State. In just 25.9 minutes per game, Appel is still just a shade away from averaging a double-double on the year, currently leading Stanford with 13.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
If senior forward Jillian Harmon looks like she hasn't missed a beat since last season, it is because her competitive season did not end after the Final Four. Harmon went on to join New Zealand's national team, the Tall Ferns, later in April for the Good Luck Beijing Tournament, then continued to train with the Tall Ferns before making her Olympic debut this past summer in Beijing. There, Harmon averaged 11.4 points a game for New Zealand while leading the team with 6.2 rebounds a game. Heading into the upcoming collegiate season, Harmon will look to remain healthy after missing seven games late last year due to a foot injury. Despite battling the ailment, she managed to be named All-Pac-10 honorable mention while averaging 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game.
The Health Report
Forward Jillian Harmon, who was a late scratch from Saturday's game against Fresno State, remains day-to-day with back spasms although she participated in practice Monday. Junior JJ Hones will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in her left knee Nov. 23 against Rutgers and senior Morgan Clyburn will be out of action until at least the Pac-10 season after offseason foot surgery.