Hollywood Comeback: No. 3/2 Stanford Visits UCLA And USC This Weekend
Feb. 24, 2009
No. 3/2 Stanford Cardinal (22-4, 13-1)
- vs. -
UCLA Bruins (16-9, 7-7 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - It will be a weekend for exorcising past demons as No. 3/2 Stanford travels to Los Angeles to battle the UCLA Bruins and USC Women of Troy. Last year, the Cardinal suffered a sweep in the City of Angels, and this season will look to return the favor and stay tied for the Pac-10 lead with California. Friday's game at UCLA is set for a 7 p.m. tip, while Sunday's game at USC will get under way at 12 p.m. Both games can be heard live on 90.1 KZSU and on the Internet at kzsulive.stanford.edu, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal racked up its ninth straight victory Saturday, completing a weekend sweep with a 68-49 victory over Oregon. Freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike turned in one of her best weekends of the season against Oregon State and Oregon, leading the Cardinal with 14.0 points per game and a 75.0-percent (12-for-16) performance from the field. She also grabbed 5.5 rebounds a game. Jayne Appel scored 15 points and blocked four shots in Thursday's 72-43 victory over Oregon State, and Saturday, it was the Stanford freshmen who stole the show, with Ogwumike scoring 13 points, Sarah Boothe scoring 11 on 5-for-7 shooting, and guard Lindy La Rocque adding nine points and four rebounds to the winning cause.
The UCLA Bruins (16-9, 7-7 Pac-10) have lost five of their last seven heading into Friday night's contest, including a split of last weekend's action in Washington. The Bruins were upset, 59-49, by Washington before rebounding to defeat Washington State, 65-50. With first-year head coach Nikki Caldwell at the helm, UCLA is led on the court by the play of Doreena Campbell (13.7 ppg, 3.75 apg) and Erica Tukiainen (8.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg).
All-Time Against UCLA
Stanford leads the all-time series against UCLA, 41-22. The Bruins have had the most success against the Cardinal than the rest of the Pac-10 in the past few years, winning three of the last eight meetings since the beginning of the 2005-06 season. Yet since Stanford dropped a 69-56 decision at Pauley Pavilion last year, the Cardinal has won the past three meetings with UCLA, including a 68-51 victory on Feb. 1 at Maples Pavilion.
In The National Polls
After the weekend sweep of Oregon State and Oregon, Stanford rose to No. 3 in the Associated Press Poll and to No. 2 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll this week.
A Look At The National Stat Leaders
Stanford was ranked in the national top 50 in 10 statistical categories through Feb. 22: rebound margin (+12.6 - first), assists per game (18.7 - second), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27 - second), scoring margin (+22.1 - second), field-goal percentage (46.8 - fourth), field-goal percentage defense (33.7 - fourth), points per game (76.2 - 10th), scoring defense (54.1 - 18th), fewest turnovers per game (14.7 - 21st) and blocked shots per game (5.0 - 23rd). Individually, Jayne Appel is in the top 50 of three categories: field-goal percentage (62.9 - second), blocks per game (2.0 - 44th) and rebounds per game (9.1 - 48th). Jeanette Pohlen is seventh in the nation with a 2.28 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Stanford Rankings In The Pac-10
Stanford leads the Pac-10 in nine statistical categories through Feb. 22: scoring (76.2 ppg), scoring margin (+22.1), field-goal percentage (46.8 percent), field-goal percentage defense (33.7 percent), rebounding (43.8 rpg), rebounding margin (+12.6), blocked shots (5.0 per game), assists per game (18.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27). Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike (63.1 percent) and Jayne Appel (62.9) are one-two in field-goal percentage. Appel leads the conference in blocked shots (2.00 bpg), and is second in rebounding (9.1 rpg) and third in scoring (15.2 ppg). Jeanette Pohlen leads the Pac-10 with a 2.28 assist-to-turnover ratio and is tied for first with 2.3 three-pointers per game.
The Freshmen Step Up
Trailing 10-6 just under seven minutes into Saturday's contest against Oregon, head coach Tara VanDerveer turned to a lineup of redshirt sophomores Michelle Harrison and Melanie Murphy, and freshmen Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Sarah Boothe, and Lindy La Rocque to jump-start the Cardinal offense. The group did just that, as the trio of rookies accounted for Stanford's next 19 points in what was a 25-2 run that turned the game into a 31-12 rout with 2:07 to play in the half.
Extending The Home Streak
Saturday's 68-49 victory over Oregon kept Stanford's home winning streak intact and stretched it to 27 games, making it the fourth-longest in program history. The current streak is now seven away from the third-longest, a 34-game run that lasted from Feb. 21, 1991 to Dec. 3, 1993.
Two More For An Unblemished Home Record
Following this weekend's home sweep of the Oregon schools, Stanford now has only two more home games remaining on the ledger: March 5 against Arizona and March 7 against No. 24/- Arizona State. With a home record of 12-0 at this point of the season, if the Cardinal was to win those final two home games and finish a perfect 14-0, it would mark the 10th undefeated home season in Stanford history. Paired with last season's 15-0 mark, it would also be the fifth time that Stanford turned in back-to-back undefeated home seasons.
Harmon's Closing In On A Grand
Senior forward Jillian Harmon has been closing in on becoming the 29th player in Stanford women's basketball history to reach the 1,000 career point mark. Through the Feb. 21 game against Oregon, Harmon stands at 992 career points, and needs just eight points Friday at UCLA to reach the millennium mark.
Ogwumike Leads The Way
Freshman forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike continued her fine debut season this past weekend, leading the Cardinal in scoring in both contests. Thursday, Ogwumike went 6-for-7 from the field, scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds. She followed that up with a 6-for-9 shooting effort for 13 points Saturday against Oregon, pulling down six rebounds as well. On the weekend, the Cypress, Texas native shot 75.0 percent (12-for-16) and averaged 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Bringing The Energy
Another Cardinal freshman, guard Lindy La Rocque, continues winning over the Maples Pavilion crowd with her energy and hustle on the court. La Rocque averaged 19.0 minutes a game over the weekend, and in that time she scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds while also relentlessly pestering the Beaver and Duck attacks. Her efforts on the defensive end were highlighted Saturday, when La Rocque, following a layup by Sarah Boothe, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and quickly fed Nnemkadi Ogwumike for another layup to kick-start what would become a 25-0 Stanford run that erased a 12-6 deficit.
Boothe Batters Her Way to The Hole
Another key contributor to Stanford's success last weekend was yet another freshman, forward/center Sarah Boothe. The Gurnee, Ill. native scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in Thursday's win over Oregon State, but her most key effort came two days later. Coming on with a young crew and Stanford down 10-6 seven minutes into the game against Oregon, Boothe helped spur the ensuing 25-2 run over the next 11:15 by scoring nine of the Cardinal's first 13 points of the run.
Game In And Game Out
Sophomore forward Kayla Pedersen continued to churn out her usual consistent stat lines this past weekend, providing the Cardinal with a steady and productive presence in the lineup. Over the weekend's pair of victories, Pedersen averaged 7.5 points and 8.5 rebounds over 21.5 minutes a game. Yet Pedersen's contributions were not just in the scoring column and on the boards, as she blocked a shot and made four steals over the two contests on the defensive end.
The Health Report
Reserve guard Hannah Donaghe tore her ACL during practice on Feb. 18 and will miss the rest of the season. JJ Hones will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in her left knee Nov. 23 against Rutgers. Morgan Clyburn is also out for the season after undergoing offseason foot surgery.
Movin' On Up The Career List
Jayne Appel continued her climb up the Stanford career record books last week, as her scoring, rebounding, and blocked shot totals continued to ascend. Following Saturday's game, Appel now boasts career totals of 1,417 points (15th overall), 830 rebounds (fifth) and 197 blocked shots (second). Appel's tally of blocks is currently just four away from tying Val Whiting's all-time record of 201, and it is seventh on the all-time Pac-10 list.