Stanford Completes Memorable 2008-09 Season

April 17, 2009

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    STANFORD, Calif. - The 2008-09 Stanford women's basketball team concluded a successful season that saw it ring up a 33-5 overall record (the eighth 30-win season in program history), make its eighth appearance in the Final Four, and capture the 18th Pac-10 regular-season title in school history. The Cardinal's 17-1 conference mark was once again tops in the standings, and Stanford captured the double for the sixth time in the last eight years, winning the Pac-10 Tournament on top of its regular-season crown.

    A Season Of Achievements
    This past season saw numerous memorable moments and plenty of record-breaking performances. The 2008-09 Stanford squad chiseled its place in history as the best rebounding team in school history, grabbing a school-record 1,663 rebounds and possessing a rebounding margin of +13.2 for the year. Individually, Jayne Appel became Stanford's eighth different State Farm (formerly Kodak) Coaches' All-American, as well as the school's 13th Pac-10 Player of the Year. She also broke the school single-game scoring mark with 46 points in the Berkeley Regional Final against Iowa State, and took over the school's all-time mark with 215 blocked shots and the single-season rebounding mark with 349 on the year.

    In The National Polls
    Stanford came in at No. 2 in the final regular-season edition of the Associated Press Poll and at No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll.

    A Look At The National Stat Leaders
    Stanford finished the year ranked in the national top 50 in 11 statistical categories: rebound margin (+13.2 - first), assists per game (18.8 - second), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.26 - second), scoring margin (+20.3 - second), field-goal percentage (47.3 - second), points per game (76.1 - 10th), field-goal percentage defense (35.2 - 13th), scoring defense (55.8 - 29th), fewest turnovers per game (15.0 - 31st), blocked shots per game (4.7 - 34th) and fewest fouls per game (15.4 - 43rd). Individually, Jayne Appel finished in the top 50 of two categories: field-goal percentage (60.2 - seventh) and rebounding (9.2 - 47th). Jeanette Pohlen finished 38th in the nation with a 1.72 assist-to-turnover ratio.

    Stanford Rankings In The Pac-10
    Stanford finished the year leading the Pac-10 in ten statistical categories: scoring (76.1 ppg), scoring margin (+20.3), field-goal percentage (47.3 percent), field-goal percentage defense (35.2 percent), rebounding (43.8 rpg), rebounding defense (30.5 rpg), rebounding margin (+13.2), blocked shots (4.7 per game), assists per game (18.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.26). Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike (62.9 percent) and Jayne Appel (60.2) are 1-2 in field-goal percentage. Appel also led the conference in blocked shots (1.84 bpg), and finished second in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg). Jeanette Pohlen finished second in the Pac-10 with 2.2 three-pointers per game and a 1.72 assist-to-turnover ratio.

    Stanford On National And Conference Teams
    The Cardinal was well-represented on the all-tournament teams on both the national and conference level this season. First, at the Pac-10 Tournament, sophomore Kayla Pedersen was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player while Jillian Harmon and Nnemkadi Ogwumike earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. In the Berkeley Regional, junior center Jayne Appel dominated the action en route to being named the regional's Most Valuable Player. She was joined on the All-Regional Team by Harmon and sophomore guard Jeanette Pohlen.

    Stanford In The NCAA Tournament
    Stanford ran its all-time record to 56-21 in the NCAA Tournament after reaching the Final Four in its 23rd appearance this season. The Cardinal's first NCAA Tournament was in 1981-82, when it fell 82-48 to Maryland in opening-round action at College Park, Md. Since then, the Cardinal disappeared from the postseason until 1987-88, which began a streak of 22 consecutive appearances in the Big Dance. Over that run, Stanford has captured a pair of national titles (1990, `92), been to the Final Four eight times (1990-92, `95-'97, 2008-09), reached 13 Elite Eights, and 16 Sweet Sixteens. Stanford has also reached the Regional Final five times over the past six seasons.

    Final Four Once Again
    The Cardinal reached the Final Four for the eighth time in program history in 2008-09, the fourth-most appearances among all college programs. Stanford got to St. Louis this past season after earning a No. 2 seed in the Berkeley Region with a 29-4 record. The journey started in San Diego, with victories in the first and second rounds over UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State, then returned to the Bay Area for the regional in Berkeley. There, the Cardinal punched its ticket to St. Louis with victories over Ohio State and Iowa State.

    Another 30-Win Season
    Stanford's 33-5 record in 2008-09 marked the eighth 30-win season in school history as well as the first time that the program had put together back-to-back 30-win seasons following last year's 35-4 mark.

    End-Of-Season Awards Handed Out At Banquet
    Stanford held its End-of-the-season awards banquet on Wednesday night, April 15, at the Faculty Club on the Stanford campus. There, the team, family and fans enjoyed the memories of the successful season before the team awards were announced. Jayne Appel was named the team's Most Outstanding Player, Jillian Harmon was named the team's Most Outstanding Defensive Player, while Jeanette Pohlen took home the Most Improved Player award. In a tongue-in-cheek tradition, freshman Sarah Boothe was awarded the Lizard Lung award at the end of the banquet.

    Jayne Appel Has A Year To Remember
    The 2008-09 season put together by Jayne Appel was memorable not only for the single-season records it broke or approached, but also for how it continued to establish Appel as a fixture in Stanford's all-time record book. Appel broke Nicole Powell's single-season record for rebounds by grabbing 349 on the year, blocked 70 shots (second-best), shot 60.2 percent from the field (fifth-best) and averaged 9.2 rebounds per game (tied for seventh-best). These stats helped Appel be named Pac-10 Player of the Year as well as to the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team.

    On the career level, Appel increased her rebounding number to 942, placing her third on the Cardinal's all-time list, just 201 behind Powell's top mark of 1,143. Appel's 613 points in 2008-09 also increased her career total to 1,635 points, seventh all-time. With 365 more points and 58 more rebounds next season, Appel will join Powell and Val Whiting as the only players in Stanford history to have scored 2,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds in their career.

    After three years in the Cardinal and White, Appel's shooting percentage of 57.9 ranks second all-time, just 0.9 percent behind Jeanne Ruark-Hoff's mark of 58.6. Appel's 70 blocked shots in 2008-09 also pushed her ahead of Whiting as Stanford's all-time leading shot-blocker, ending the year with 215 career blocks, 14 better than Whiting's mark of 201.

    Additionally, Appel set Stanford's new single-game scoring record on March 30 in the Berkeley Regional Final against Iowa State, scoring 46 points to break the previous mark of 44 shared by Candice Wiggins and Kate Starbird.

    Best Rebounding Team
    In terms of team rebounding, the 2008-09 Stanford squad established itself as arguably the best rebounding team in school history. Through the season's 38 contests, the Cardinal grabbed a single-season record 1,663 rebounds, an average of 43.8 per game, the third-best average in school history. Finally, the team's rebounding margin of +13.2 became the top mark in school history.

    Ending Her Stanford Career Strong
    Senior guard/forward Jillian Harmon brought her memorable Stanford career to a close in 2008-09 with one of her finest statistical seasons. Harmon's 9.6 points per game, 98 assists and 52 steals were all career bests, while her 47.7 percent shooting from the field was the second-best mark of her four-year career. Harmon's usual hard-nosed, hustling style of play helped her become Stanford's 29th 1,000-point scorer and earned her a spot on the All-Pac-10 Second Team and All-Defensive Team at the end of the regular season.

    Pohlen Picks Up The Numbers
    Sophomore point guard Jeanette Pohlen became on of Stanford's breakout stars in 2008-09, improving upon every facet of her game. After averaging just under five points a game as a freshman, Pohlen more than doubled that to 10.7 points a game in 2008-09, and hit a total of 83 three-pointers, the fourth-best single-season mark in Stanford's record book. The Brea native was Stanford's workhorse, averaging a team-high 31.9 minutes per game, and for her efforts was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team.

    Consistent As Always
    Sophomore forward Kayla Pedersen is a fan of letting her game do her talking, and it definitely said a lot in 2008-09 as the reigning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year adjusted to a new role as the team's small forward and still managed to post totals of 10.8 points per game (second on the team), 7.8 rebounds per game (second), 21 blocks (second) and 34 three-pointers (third). Despite having to play more on the perimeter, Pedersen still shot 43.3 percent from the field, and on defense was also a force, making 35 steals. Pedersen's play earned her a spot on the All-Pac-10 Third Team, and in the Pac-10 Tournament she averaged 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game to take home the tournament MVP award.

    Another Fab Frosh
    Freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike came to Stanford in 2008-09 much-hyped, and she delivered on that hype with a solid rookie campaign on The Farm. Appearing in all 38 games, Ogwumike led the team and the Pac-10 with a 62.9 shooting percentage while averaging 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds. The freshman from Cypress, Texas also posted six double-doubles on the year, including a career day of 27 points and 13 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament Second Round against San Diego State. Ogwumike was also named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.

    More Rookie Contributions
    Two more freshmen made their marks on the Cardinal's fortunes in 2008-09 as Sarah Boothe (Gurnee, Ill.) and Lindy La Rocque (Las Vegas, Nev.) carved out niches of their own. Boothe, a 6-5 center who saw action in all 38 games, shot 51.9 percent from the field while averaging 5.0 points a game, and blocked 20 shots on the defensive end. La Rocque, meanwhile, a long-range bomber who played in 37 games and made one start, took 119 three-pointers in 2008-09, making 37 of them, the second-best mark on the team. She also contributed on the perimeter with 39 assists and 18 steals on the year.

    Dropping The Hammer
    A sign of Stanford's domination of many of its opponents in 2008-09 is the margin of victory in many of the Cardinal's victories. Stanford boasted a scoring margin of +20.3 points over the course of the year, fifth-best all-time in school history. In fact, out of Stanford's 33 victories, only 12 did not come by at least 20 points. The Cardinal's biggest win of the season set numerous records, as on Jan. 8, 2009, Stanford's 112-35 victory over the Washington Huskies marked the largest margin of victory (77 points) in both school and Pac-10 history.

    VanDerveer Reaches Another Milestone In 2008-09
    Head coach Tara VanDerveer, the fifth-winningest women's basketball coach in Division I history with 757 victories through the end of the 2008-09 season, and the Pac-10 and Region 8 Coach of the Year, reached yet another milestone in her storied career, notching her 600th victory as Stanford head coach on March 14 against UCLA in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals. The victory made her the 10th head coach in Division I history to achieve 600 wins at a single institution.

    At the end of the 2008-09 season, VanDerveer boasts an overall record of 757-193 over 30 years as a head coach, and a 605-142 mark in 23 years at the helm of the Stanford program.

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