No. 2/2 Stanford Closes Holiday Weekend With Battle Against Gonzaga
Nov. 28, 2009
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (5-0)
- vs. -
Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-1)
STANFORD, Calif. - The month of November comes to a close for the No. 2/2 Stanford women's basketball team Sunday afternoon, as the Cardinal host the Gonzaga Bulldogs for a 2 p.m. tip at Maples Pavilion. Sunday's contest will also be the last before the Cardinal takes its two-week finals break. The Cardinal-Bulldogs tilt will be broadcast on 90.1 KZSU with Wyndam Makowsky on the call and Taylor McAdam handling color commentary.
Last Time Out
Stanford kept its record perfect in 2009-10, improving to 5-0 with a 60-41 victory over Utah in a Friday matinee at Maples Pavilion. With Jayne Appel suffering the effects of the flu, Kayla Pedersen and Nnemkadi Ogwumike stepped up to control things inside the paint for the Cardinal, combining for 35 points and 20 rebounds. Pedersen led all players with her second double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while Ogwumike went for 17 points and eight rebounds. Appel, despite being limited by the flu, grabbed six rebounds in just 21 minutes of action to help contribute to Stanford's 47-27 rebounding advantage over Utah. The Cardinal defense also played well, limiting the Utes to just 37.8 percent shooting in the contest and making six steals.
Gonzaga (4-1) swings south for a quick one-game trip to the Bay Area for Sunday's contest. The Bulldogs, ranked second in the Mid-Major Top 10 by ESPN.com's Graham Hays, head into Sunday's game with two Pac-10 pelts to its name, having registered home victories over USC (70-58) and Washington (81-52) already this season. Head coach Kelly Graves, in his 10th season at the Gonzaga helm, guides a team led by point guard Courtney Vandersloot (12.4 ppg, 9.8 apg), forward Heather Bowman (14.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and guard/forward Katelan Redmon (12.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg).
All-Time Against Gonzaga
Sunday's contest will be the first-ever meeting between Stanford and Gonzaga.
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 earlier 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.
Pedersen On The Cusp
Kayla Pedersen not only led Stanford with her second double-double of the season (18 points, 12 rebounds) in Friday's 60-41 win over Utah, but also put herself on the cusp of a memorable career achievement. Pedersen's 18 points in Friday's win brought her career total to 995 points, leaving her just five shy of becoming the 30th member of Stanford's 1,000-Point Club.
Defense Steps Up
With field goals at a premium Friday, the Stanford defense played an even more crucial role in the victory. The Cardinal defense limited Utah to just 17 field goals and a 37.8 shooting percentage in the contest, including a paltry 4-for-20 (25.0%) and just 11 points in the first half. Utah's 41 points was a season low for a Stanford opponent, and the stifling Cardinal defense set the tone right away by not allowing the Utes to attempt a field goal until 2:55 had elapsed in the game.
Taking Advantage Of Free Points
Stanford displayed a better shooting touch from the free-throw line Friday, going 13-for-18 on freebies in the 60-41 win over Utah. The Cardinal entered the game shooting just 69.1 percent from the charity stripe, but got stronger efforts and did a better job of taking advantage of the free points as Nnemkadi Ogwumike went 7-for-8 from the line and Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen combined to go 5-for-6.
Ogwumike Continues To Excel
Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike was another of Stanford's front-liners to step up Friday while All-American Jayne Appel was at less than 100 percent due to the flu, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds while shooting 5-for-11 from the field. Ogwumike's effort on the boards was also a difference maker, as five of her eight rebounds came off the offensive glass, creating second opportunities for points for the Cardinal. Another area in which Ogwumike excelled was in her free-throw shooting, going 7-for-8 from the line in the victory over Utah.
Protecting The Ball
Another statistical category in which Stanford has posted strong numbers is the assist-to-turnover ratio. Through the first five games of the season, the Cardinal has committed only 77 turnovers, including just 23 over the past two games. The Cardinal has also passed out a total of 93 assists, giving it a team assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.21 over the first month of the campaign.
Wiping Up The Offensive Glass
Once again on Friday, Stanford dominated in the rebounding battle, out-boarding Utah by a 47-27 margin in the 60-41 victory. While the Cardinal controlled both ends of the floor, what was striking was that 22 of its 47 rebounds in the contest came off of the offensive glass. On the defensive end, Stanford also allowed Utah only four offensive rebounds, greatly limiting second-chance opportunities for the Utes. On the year, 98 of Stanford's 239 rebounds have come on the offensive end, an impressive 41 percent ratio.
Appel Approaches A Milestone
Senior center Jayne Appel, a consensus preseason All-American in 2009-10, is on the verge of a rare milestone in Stanford women's basketball history. Entering Sunday's game against Gonzaga, Appel stands at 989 career rebounds, and is third on the school's all-time list. With 11 more rebounds, Appel will become just the third player in program history to reach the 1,000-rebound mark in a career, joining Nicole Powell (1,143) and Val Whiting (1,134). And with the season being only one month, old, Appel has put herself in prime position to become Stanford's all-time leading rebounder by season's end.