Back To Work: No. 2/2 Stanford Returns From Exam Layoff To take On DePaul Sunday
Dec. 8, 2009
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (6-0)
- vs. -
DePaul Blue Demons (7-2)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford returns from its two-week finals break Sunday, Dec. 13 as it hosts DePaul in a 2 p.m. contest. The contest opens a three-game week at Maples Pavilion, as the Cardinal will also welcome No. 7/10 Duke on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. before hosting No. 4/3 Tennessee Saturday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. Sunday's contest will be broadcast on 90.1 KZSU with Kevin Danna on the call and Taylor McAdam handling color commentary.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal reached triple digits in the scoring column for the first time this season back on Nov. 29, out-running and out-gunning Gonzaga in a 105-74 victory. Junior forward Kayla Pedersen earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Nov. 30 as she averaged 24.0 points and 9.5 rebounds over Stanford's wins over Utah and Gonzaga, while also shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line. Against the Zags, Pedersen netted a career-high 30 points and also became the 30th player in Stanford history to reach the 1,000 career point threshold. Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike also posted a career high against Gonzaga with 29 points and 13 rebounds, while Jayne Appel, despite battling flu-like symptoms, posted another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
DePaul (7-2) returns to action Sunday afternoon for the first time in a week since defeating Loyola, 73-30, on Dec. 6. The Blue Demons, with Doug Bruno in his 24th year at the helm, were ranked in the Top 25 until this week, when a 79-68 loss at UW-Green Bay on Dec. 2 dropped the Blue Demons out of the polls. DePaul, which lost leading scorer Deirdre Naughton (14.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) for the year due to an ACL tear, are now led by four players averaging double figures in scoring: Keisha Hampton (12.8 ppg), Sam Quigley (10.8), Anna Martin (10.7) and Felicia Chester (10.6).
All-Time Against DePaul
Sunday's contest will be the first-ever meeting between Stanford and DePaul. The two teams narrowly missed going head-to-head last year in the NCAA Tournament, as the schools were drawn for a potential second-round contest, but that did not materialize when DePaul was defeated in the first round by San Diego State.
A Look At The National Rankings
Following a 6-0 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.
National Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 6, Stanford is ranked in the top five nationally in the following statistical categories: rebound margin (+17.5 - second), scoring margin (+28.7 - third), fouls per game (12.5 - third), assists (19.50 apg - fourth), scoring (85.0 - fifth) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27 - fifth). Individually, Kayla Pedersen is 17th in the nation with 20.5 point per game, Nnemkadi is tenth with a 62.9 shooting percentage, and JJ Hones is 19th with a 2.56 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 6, Stanford leads the conference in nine statistical categories: scoring margin (+28.7), field-goal percentage (47.3), free-throw percentage (73.2), rebounding (48.0 rpg), rebounding defense (30.5 rpg), rebounding margin (+17.5), assists (19.50 apg), assist-to-turnover margin (1.27) and offensive rebounding percentage (51.3).
Individually, Kayla Pedersen leads the Pac-10 with 20.5 points per game and Nnemkadi Ogwumike is second with 19.5. Jayne Appel is third in the Pac-10 with 9.5 rebounds per game, while Ogwumike is fifth with 9.2 and Pedersen is sixth with 8.8. Ogwumike is second in the Pac-10 with a 62.9 shooting mark from the field, and Jeanette Pohlen is second with 4.67 assists per game and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.15. JJ Hones leads the conference with a 2.56 assist-to-turnover figure.
Stanford's 1-2 Punch
Six games into the 2009-10 season, Stanford has unleashed a devastating combination on opponents in the form of forwards Kayla Pedersen and Nnemkadi Ogwumike. While the pair was on the radar of opponents and pundits nationwide to start the year, it can be argued that they've exceeded early expectations so far as Pedersen and Ogwumike are 1-2 on the Pac-10 scoring list with 20.5 and 19.5 points per game, respectively. The duo is also shooting a combined 55.7 percent from the field this season and accounts for 18.0 rebounds per game, 37.5 percent of Stanford's per-game haul (48.0 team rpg).
Appel Just One Rebound Away From A Grand
Senior center Jayne Appel, a consensus preseason All-American in 2009-10, is on the cusp of a rare milestone in Stanford women's basketball history. Entering Sunday's game against DePaul, Appel stands at 999 career rebounds, third on the school's all-time list. With one more rebound, 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.
Protecting The Rim
One stat that feeds into Stanford's 85.0 points per game is the Cardnial's average of 19.5 offensive rebounds per game. To get second chances for a team shooting 47.3 percent through the first six games only results in more points as well as denying the opponent additional possessions. The Cardinal boasts its 'Big Three' of Jayne Appel (21 o-boards), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (21) and Kayla Pedersen (23) as an almost impregnable line surrounding its hoop.
The Conductors Of The Offense
While Stanford's 'Big Three' has received plenty of attention so far this season, it can't be overlooked that the Cardinal offense is being masterfully conducted by returning point guard JJ Hones and junior Jeanette Pohlen. Together, the duo has combined to pass out 51 assists and are the keys to Stanford's conference-leading 19.50 assists per game. Hones has also staked herself atop the conference rankings with a 2.56 assist-to-turnover ratio, as she has committed only nine turnovers against 23 assists.
What Doesn't She Do?
Junior guard Jeanette Pohlen has followed up her breakout sophomore year with an even better demonstration of her versatility through the Cardinal's first six games this season. While averaging 12.0 points per game, Pohlen leads Stanford with 28 assists as well as a 46.9-percent three-point shooting mark, is shooting 50.0 percent overall from the field, and is even grabbing 4.7 rebounds a game from her guard spot. Additionally, Pohlen is wreaking havoc in the defensive backcourt, leading Stanford with 13 steals.
A Good Start Goes A Long Way
Stanford's 105-74 victory over Gonzaga in its most recent contest on Nov. 29 showcased a quality that the Cardinal has tightly embraced in its formula for victory: the fast start. The Cardinal scored 59 points in the opening half of the contest, its season high, and it also marked the third time in six games that Stanford had reached the 50-point mark by halftime. On the year, Stanford has outscored its opponents 267-152 (+115) in the first half, a huge factor in the Cardinal's +28.7 scoring margin as well as its four victories this season of more than 20 points.
Just Another Headache For Opponents
Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike has provided opponents yet another matchup headache so far this season, building even more off of her fine rookie campaign. Through the first six games of the season, Ogwumike, last year's top shooter in the conference, is second in the Pac-10 with a 62.9 shooting percentage as well as with 19.5 points per game. Additionally, Ogwumike's 9.2 rebounds a game ranks fifth in the loop, while she has grabbed 21 offensive rebounds, tied for second-most on the squad.