No. 2/2 Stanford Plays Final Home Games Of 2008-09 This Weekend
March 3, 2009
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (24-4, 15-1 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Arizona Wildcats (11-16, 4-12 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford returns home for its final home games of the 2008-09 season, hosting Arizona and No. 18/- Arizona State for the final weekend of regular-season Pac-10 play. The Cardinal opens the weekend Thursday night with a 7 p.m. contest against the Wildcats, then closes things out with Senior Day Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against the Sun Devils. Saturday's game will also be televised live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Both games can be heard live on 90.1 KZSU and on the Internet at kzsulive.stanford.edu, with seniors Jake Kelman (play-by-play) and Andrew Shen (color) calling their final Cardinal home games.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal ran its winning streak to 11 games by redeeming itself with a sweep of UCLA and USC in Los Angeles last weekend. Kayla Pedersen was on fire the entire weekend, hitting 7-of-12 three-point attempts and averaging 20.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two games. Jillian Harmon became the 29th player in Stanford history to score 1,000 career points Friday at UCLA, and Jayne Appel blocked four shots over the weekend to match Val Whiting's career record of 201 blocks. Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds Sunday against USC while shooting 62.5 percent for the weekend.
The Arizona Wildcats (11-16, 4-12 Pac-10) begin the month of March at Maples Pavilion Thursday after going 3-4 in February. Last weekend, without leading scorer Ify Ibekwe (15.6 ppg, 11.5 rpg), the Wildcats split its trip up to Washington, falling Thursday to Washington State then rebounding to defeat Washington, 72-62. With Niya Butts in her first season at the helm of Arizona, the Wildcats are led on the court by Reiko Thomas (10.0 ppog, 3.3 rpg), Courtney Clements (9.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and Amina Njonkou (9.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg).
All-Time Against Arizona
Stanford leads the all-time series against Arizona, 48-12, and has won 11 in a row against the Wildcats. The last setback suffered by the Cardinal against the Wildcats occurred on Feb. 5, 2004, an 88-83 loss in Tucson. Stanford captured the first meeting of the season, 70-61, in Tucson on Jan. 4.
In The National Polls
After the weekend sweep of UCLA and USC, Stanford rose to No. 2 in the Associated Press Poll and remained at 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 March 1: rebound margin (+12.3 - first), assists per game (18.7 - second), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23 - second), scoring margin (+21.3 - second), field-goal percentage (47.4 - fourth), field-goal percentage defense (34.2 - fifth), points per game (76.2 - 10th), scoring defense (54.9 - 23rd), blocked shots per game (5.1 - 24th) and fewest turnovers per game (15.2 - 32nd). Individually, Jayne Appel is in the top 50 of two categories: field-goal percentage (63.0 - second) and blocks per game (2.0 - 45th). Jeanette Pohlen is 15th in the nation with a 2.06 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Stanford Rankings In The Pac-10
Stanford leads the Pac-10 in nine statistical categories through March 1: scoring (76.2 ppg), scoring margin (+21.3), field-goal percentage (47.4 percent), field-goal percentage defense (34.2 percent), rebounding (43.3 rpg), rebounding margin (+12.3), blocked shots (5.1 per game), assists per game (18.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23). Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Jayne Appel are tied for the conference lead in field-goal percentage at 63.0 percent. Appel also leads the conference in blocked shots (2.00 bpg), and is second in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and third in scoring (15.2 ppg). Jeanette Pohlen is tied for the Pac-10 lead with 2.3 three-pointers per game and is second with a 2.06 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Pedersen Claims First Pac-10 Player Of The Week Honor
Sophomore forward Kayla Pedersen had a weekend of firsts in Los Angeles, such as her first back-to-back 20-point games and first game with four three-pointers, but received the best first Monday, nabbing U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. The honor is the first of Pedersen's career, and on the year is the fifth time a Stanford player has taken home the award.
All Alone At The Top
Thanks to the events of this past weekend, Stanford sits all by itself atop the Pac-10 standings. Stanford's road sweep of UCLA and USC improved the team's record to 15-1 in conference play, but it was another game in Los Angeles that changed everything. UCLA's 71-56 upset of California, which shared the top spot with Stanford heading into the weekend, opened the door for the Cardinal to take sole possession of first place with just two games to play.
Arizona Schools Stand In The Way
The only teams standing in the way of Stanford and its ninth consecutive regular-season Pac-10 title are the teams the Cardinal opened the conference slate against, Arizona and Arizona State. Stanford will clinch at least a share of the title with one victory this weekend, and should the Cardinal sweep the weekend, it will capture the title outright.
It didn't take eagle-eye vision to see that Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen made Stanford fans smile with the way they dominated the action inside last weekend. Each player scored 20 points in Sunday's victory at USC, marking the first time since Candice Wiggins scored 41 points and JJ Hones 23 in last year's regional final against Maryland. Overall, Appel and Pedersen led an inside effort that accounted for 48 points in the paint Sunday.
Harmon Joins Some 'Grand' Company
When she banked home a jumper off the glass with 17:22 remaining in Friday's game at UCLA, senior Jillian Harmon became the 29th player in Stanford history to score 1,000 career points. Harmon entered the weekend at 992 career points, and after scoring 19 points over the wins at UCLA and USC, moved past Bethany Donaphin (1,010 career points) into 28th place on the all-time list with 1,011 career points.
Appel Set To Top A Record
Jayne Appel enters Thursday's game against Arizona needing just one blocked shot to break Val Whiting's career record of 201. Appel rejected four shots last weekend in Los Angeles to equal Whiting's mark. On the season record list, Appel holds the top two spots (84 last year and 61 in 2006-07) and her current 2008-09 tally of 56 is just two away from Cori Enghusen's third-place mark of 58.
Runnin' And Gunnin' At Galen
Stanford broke the 80-point barrier in Sunday's 85-74 win at USC for the first time since beating the Women of Troy 81-53 at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 29. What played a major role in that point total was the Cardinal's season-best 58.6-percent (34-for-58) performance from the field. Stanford's four post players, Jayne Appel, Kayla Pedersen, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Sarah Boothe, combined to shoot 77.1 percent (27-for-35) in the contest, with Appel going a perfect 7-for-7.
Pohlen's Bombing Her Way Up The List
Behind a career high-matching four three-pointers in Friday's victory at UCLA, guard Jeanette Pohlen increased her season total to 64, putting her within range of Krista Rappahahn's 2005-06 single-season mark of 91 triples. With two regular-season games remaining, as well as the opportunity to play three more in the Pac-10 Tournament and up to six more in the NCAA Tournament, Pohlen, who is averaging 2.3 three-pointers a game, could easily put herself in position to break the record.
Pedersen Finds Her Range
With Stanford combining to hit 15 three-pointers last weekend, a lot of that production came courtesy of Kayla Pedersen, who went 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) from behind the arc, including a career-best four three-pointers Sunday at USC.
Two More For An Unblemished Home Record
Heading into this weekend's final two home games, March 5 against Arizona and March 7 against No. 24/- Arizona State, Stanford is looking for two more wins to clinch a perfect 14-0 home record in 2008-09. The record 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.
The Health Report
Guard Jeanette Pohlen left Sunday's game at USC late in the first half after taking an elbow to the eye, but she has been cleared to return to action Thursday against Arizona. 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 Friday's game, Appel now boasts career totals of 1,447 points (14th overall), 845 rebounds (fifth) and 201 blocked shots (T-first). Appel's tally of blocks is currently just one away from tying Val Whiting's all-time record of 201, and it is seventh on the all-time Pac-10 list.