Back To L.A.: No. 2/2 Stanford Heads South For Pac-10 Tournament
March 10, 2009
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (26-4, 17-1 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Washington State Cougars (11-18, 4-14 Pac-10)
Arizona Wildcats (11-18, 4-14 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford, Pac-10 Regular Season Champion for the ninth straight year, travels back to Los Angeles for the second time in three weeks to go for a sixth Pac-10 Tournament title at USC's Galen Center. As the tournament's top seed for the eighth time in eight editions of the event, the Cardinal receives a bye into the quarterfinals, where it will meet the winner of Thursday's play-in game between No. 8 Washington State and No. 9 Arizona at 5 p.m. Friday evening. Friday's game can be heard live on the radio as well as on the Internet at kzsulive.stanford.edu, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal clinched the top seed at next week's Pac-10 Tournament as well as its ninth consecutive Pac-10 regular-season title with a weekend sweep of Arizona and No. 18/- Arizona State at Maples Pavilion last weekend. Sophomore Jeanette Pohlen was named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week Monday after averaging 20.0 points on 50.0-percent shooting (including 58.3 percent on threes) in the victories and posting a career-high 21 points in the 70-67 decision against Arizona. Jayne Appel dominated inside in Saturday's 77-68 win over Arizona State, scoring 29 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the year.
Scouting Friday's Potential Opponents
Eighth-seeded Washington State and ninth-seeded Arizona bring matching 11-18 overall records as well as 4-14 marks in Pac-10 play into Thursday night's play-in game at 8:15 p.m. Each team boasts playmakers on the floor capable of swinging the momentum in the team's favor, as Washington State head coach June Daugherty has freshmen Jazmine Perkins (13.9 ppg) and April Cook (13.7) in her arsenal, while Arizona's first-year head coach Niya Butts can turn to Pac-10 leading rebounder Ify Ibekwe (15.9 ppg, 11.6 rpg) and Reiko Thomas (10.0 ppg) for production.
All-Time Against Friday's Potential Opponents
Stanford leads the all-time series against Washington State, 48-0, and against Arizona by a 49-12 margin. Stanford is currently on an 11-game winning streak against the Wildcats, and has never lost to the Cougars.
In The National Polls
Stanford remained at No. 2 in both the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll this week after victories over Arizona and Arizona State.
A Look At The National Stat Leaders
Stanford was ranked in the national top 50 in 11 statistical categories through March 8: rebound margin (+12.0 - second), assists per game (18.6 - second), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.22 - second), scoring margin (+20.7 - second), field-goal percentage (47.4 - third), points per game (76.0 - 11th), field-goal percentage defense (35.0 - 12th), blocked shots per game (5.0 - 26th), scoring defense (55.8 - 31st), fewest turnovers per game (15.2 - 33rd) and fewest fouls per game (15.5 - 47th). Individually, Jayne Appel is in the top 50 of two categories: field-goal percentage (62.8 - second) and blocks per game (2.0 - 45th). Jeanette Pohlen is 15th in the nation with a 2.02 assist-to-turnover ratio and 44th with 2.4 three-pointers per game.
Stanford Rankings In The Pac-10
Stanford leads the Pac-10 in ten statistical categories through March 8: scoring (76.0 ppg), scoring margin (+20.3), field-goal percentage (47.4 percent), field-goal percentage defense (35.0 percent), rebounding (43.0 rpg), rebounding defense (31.0 rpg), rebounding margin (+12.0), blocked shots (5.0 per game), assists per game (18.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.22). Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike (63.2 percent) and Jayne Appel (62.8) are 1-2 in field-goal percentage. Appel also leads the conference in blocked shots (1.97 bpg), and is second in rebounding (9.1 rpg) and third in scoring (15.4 ppg). Jeanette Pohlen leads the Pac-10 with 2.4 three-pointers per game and is second with a 2.02 assist-to-turnover ratio.
March Madness, Part I
The 2009 postseason madness begins this weekend with the Pac-10 Tournament from the Galen Center in Los Angeles. Stanford will begin the tournament as the top seed, and will face the Washington State/Arizona winner Friday at 5 p.m. in the quarterfinal round. The other quarterfinal teams on Stanford's side of the bracket are No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Oregon State, who will do battle at 7:15 p.m. Friday night.
All-Time At The Pac-10 Tournament
Stanford is 19-2 overall in Pac-10 Tournament contests and has won five of the seven tournaments since the inaugural event in 2002. The Cardinal has played in the championship game of all seven tournaments, falling only in 2002 (70-63 to Arizona State) and 2006 (85-76 in overtime to UCLA). In addition, the Cardinal has produced the Pac-10 Tournament's Most Outstanding Player six times, with Nicole Powell (2002-04) and Candice Wiggins (2005, 2007-08) each capturing the honor three times.
Pohlen Claims First Pac-10 Player Of The Week Honor
Sophomore guard Jeanette Pohlen kept the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week award on The Farm for a second straight week Monday, following Kayla Pedersen's recognition two Mondays ago. Pohlen earned the honor thanks to a weekend in which she averaged 20.0 points per game and shot 54.6 percent from the field, including 58.3 percent on three-point attempts. She also scored a career-high 21 points in Thursday's win over Arizona before going for 19 Saturday against Arizona State. The honor is the first of Pohlen's career, and on the year is the sixth time a Stanford player has taken home the award.
Title No. 9 All To Themselves
Stanford, the preseason pick of both the media and the Pac-10 coaches to win the regular-season title, did just that last weekend, clinching the crown outright for the team's ninth straight title. Out of its 18 Pac-10 regular-season titles, Stanford has won 15 of those outright, including the past five. The Cardinal shared the title only in 1990 (with Washington), 2001 (with Washington and Arizona State), and 2004 (with Arizona).
The No. 1 Seed Is In Hand (Again)
Last Thursday night's 70-67 victory over Arizona clinched the top seed at next week's Pac-10 Tournament for Stanford. In fact, Stanford has now owned the No. 1 seed at all eight editions of the Pac-10 Tournament since its inception in 2002.
Appel Makes Her Big Statement
Heading into the final regular-season game last Saturday against Arizona State, center Jayne Appel wanted to make a statement to everyone that she should be the choice for Pac-10 Player of the Year. Following the game, there was no doubt that she had, scoring a season-high 29 points on 13-for-20 shooting against the 18th-ranked Sun Devils and grabbing 10 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season. That performance helped her end the Pac-10 regular season in the top three of four statistical categories: blocks (1.97 bpg-first), rebounding (9.1 rpg-second), shooting percentage (62.8-second) and scoring (15.4-third).
VanDerveer On The Doorstep To Another Milestone
Head coach Tara VanDerveer, the fifth-winningest women's basketball coach in Division I history with 750 victories heading into this weekend, is on the doorstep of yet another victory milestone, needing just a pair of wins to notch her 600th victory as Stanford head coach. Once VanDerveer gets that victory under her belt, it will make her the 10th head coach in Division I history to achieve 600 wins at a single institution.
Pohlen Turns In A Career Weekend
Jeanette Pohlen turned in a career-best weekend in the wins over Arizona and Arizona State, scoring a combined 40 points (20.0 per game) on 12-for-22 shooting (54.6 percent) including a 7-for-12 mark (58.3 percent) from behind the arc. Pohlen scored a career-best 21 points and matched a career-high with five triples against Arizona, then closed the weekend with a 19-point, five-rebound, five-assist effort Saturday against Arizona State.
Avoiding The Jinx
Forward Kayla Pedersen has built nicely off of her Pac-10 Freshman of the Year campaign of a year ago, averaging 11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds as a sophomore in 2008-09. This year, Pedersen has transitioned into playing more at the '3' position, and lately her extra work has paid off from the outside as she has shot 59.5 percent (25-for-42) from the field and 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from behind the arc over the last four games. Also in that span, Pedersen averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
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 Friday's game, Appel now boasts career totals of 1,485 points (13th overall), 866 rebounds (fourth) and 204 blocked shots (first). Appel became Stanford's all-time leader in blocks on March 5 against Arizona, breaking Val Whiting's all-time record of 201, and she is currently sixth on the all-time Pac-10 list.