No. 2/2 Stanford Opens Five-Game Homestand With Friday Matinee Against Utah
Nov. 24, 2009
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (4-0)
- vs. -
Utah Utes (1-2)
STANFORD, Calif. - This week the No. 2/2 Stanford women's basketball team will be on campus for Thanksgiving for the first time since 2005, as it opens a five-game home stand over the holiday weekend. The action at Maples Pavilion starts with a Friday afternoon matinee on Nov. 27 set for 1 p.m. against the Utah Utes, then concludes Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Last Time Out
Stanford made it four in a row to start the 2009-10 season with a pair of wins last week at home against Pepperdine and on the road at UC Davis. In fact, it marks the first time since the 2004-05 season that Stanford has opened a new campaign with four straight wins. The Cardinal opened its new home slate last Thursday with a 99-50 victory over Pepperdine as Kayla Pedersen (22 points on 8-of-11 shooting) and Jeanette Pohlen (20 points on 8-of-11 shooting) led five Stanford players scoring in double figures. Sunday at UC Davis, Pedersen posted a double-double with 17 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, while Jayne Appel added 18 points and nine boards to the winning effort. On the week, Stanford shot a combined 56.7 percent from the field (68-for-120) and hit 17 three-pointers.
Utah (1-2) will spend Thanksgiving in the Golden State as it opens a two-game Bay Area trip with Friday's contest at Maples Pavilion. Last Saturday, the Utes dropped a 69-33 decision to UCLA in San Diego. With head coach Elaine Elliott in her 27th year at the Utah helm, the Utes are led on the court by the play of Kalee Whipple (14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Taryn Wicijowski (10.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg).
All-Time Against Utah
Stanford is a perfect 10-0 in the all-time series against Utah, while Friday's meeting will be the fifth in the past six seasons. The last time these two schools met, it took a full 40 minutes of regulation as well as two overtime periods to settle the matter in Stanford's 81-77 victory. Melanie Murphy saved the Cardinal from an upset with a game-tying three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation, and from there it took an additional two overtimes for Stanford to finally put away the Utes. Jayne Appel recorded a then-career high of 30 points in that contest while her haul of 20 rebounds remains her career best.
A Look At The National Rankings
Following a 4-0 start to the 2009-10 season, Stanford remained in the No. 2 spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN national polls this week.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
After the season's opening weekend, Stanford sits in the top three of 15 team statistical categories. The Cardinal leads or shares the lead in the conference in scoring (86.2 ppg), scoring margin (+30.5), field-goal percentage (49.6), rebounding margin (+17.0), assists (19.8 apg), and offensive rebound percentage (52.1). Stanford is second or tied for second in rebounding (48.0), rebounding defense (31.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2), and is third or tied for third in scoring defense (55.8), three-point field goal percentage (36.8), three-point field goal percentage defense (23.8), blocked shots per game (5.0), offensive rebounds (19.0) and defensive rebounds (29.0).
Individually, Kayla Pedersen (18.8 ppg) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (17.8 ppg) are third and fourth, respectively, in the Pac-10 scoring rankings. Jayne Appel is eighth with 16.5 ppg. Appel is third in the Pac-10 with 10.3 rebounds per game, while Ogwumike and Pedersen are tied for seventh with 8.5 per game. Ogwumike (67.5 - third) and Appel (61.5 - fifth) are each in the top five in shooting percentage, and Jeanette Pohlen leads the loop with 5.50 assists per game and is fourth with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.75. Appel leads the conference with 2.5 blocks per game, and Pedersen (52.2 percent) and Pohlen (45.0) are fourth and fifth in three-point shooting percentage.
Four For Four
Sunday's 76-51 victory at UC Davis improved Stanford's record early on in 2009-10 to a perfect 4-0, marking the first time since the 2004-05 season that the Cardinal has opened a season with at least four straight wins. That 2004-05 squad began the year with an eight-game winning streak which came to an end on Dec. 21, 2004 against No. 9/10 Tennessee in Knoxville. Stanford's longest winning streak to open a campaign is 20 games, achieved by the 1989-90 squad.
Pedersen Notches First Double-Double
Forward Kayla Pedersen continued her strong play early on in the season, posting her first double-double of the season Sunday with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the 76-51 win at UC Davis. The effort completed a solid week for Pedersen, as the junior from Fountain Hills, Ariz. averaged 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting a combined 58.3 percent (14-for-24) from the field in Stanford's victories over Pepperdine and UC Davis.
Two Games, Same Line
Senior center and preseason All-American Jayne Appel put up identical totals of 18 points and nine rebounds in Stanford's two wins last week, while her shooting totals for both contests differed by only one shot attempt. Appel shot 7-for-9 from the field in Thursday's 99-50 win against Pepperdine, then went 7-for-10 at UC Davis three days later. The efforts from the Pleasant Hill native kept her as the only Stanford player currently averaging a double-double, with 16.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. She is also shooting 63.2 percent from the field.
Hones Heatin' Up
Point guard JJ Hones has continued to heat up from outside the arc in her return to action this season. Despite not having played a regular-season game since last Nov. 23, Hones has quickly found her stride in 2009-10, averaging 10.5 points a game and shooting 42.9 percent (12-for-28) from behind the arc. Last week Hones went4-for-9 from behind the arc and averaged 10.5 points off the bench over Stanford's victories over Pepperdine and UC Davis.
No Second Chances
Stanford has been able to ratchet up the pressure on its opponents this season thanks to its size advantage that gives the Cardinal the edge in rebounding. Through the season's first four games, Stanford has out-rebounded its opponents by a 192-124 margin, with 116 of those boards coming on the defensive end. Behind the work of Jayne Appel (10.3 rpg), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (8.5 rpg) and Kayla Pedersen (8.5 rpg) on the boards, Stanford has been able to limit second chances for its opponents on offense and make each missed opportunity hurt that much more.
That's A Blue-Collar Line
Jeanette Pohlen, a preseason candidate for both the Wade Trophy Player of the Year award and the John R. Wooden Award, powered the Cardinal Sunday at UC Davis with one of her typical all-around efforts. Pohlen hit a couple of threes and scored eight points while also crashing the boards for six rebounds (five of those coming on the offensive end), passing out four assists and making two steals on the defensive end.
Setting Things Up
The Stanford offense, while dazzling with its high-scoring effects, has also been racking up the stats in another important category: assists. Through the season's first four contests, the Cardinal has passed out 79 assists for an average of 19.75 per game. The selfless efforts of the squad in finding the open teammate has been paced by three of its guards, Jeanette Pohlen (team-leading 22 assists), JJ Hones (11 assists) and Melanie Murphy (nine assists), as well as Jayne Appel, recognized as one of the finest passing post players in the nation. Through Sunday's game at UC Davis Appel is second on the team with 12 assists.