No. 2/2 Stanford Opens Pac-10 Season Saturday With Battle Of The Bay Against California
Dec. 31, 2009
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (10-1)
- vs. -
California Golden Bears (6-5)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford opens the New Year with its 2010 Pac-10 opener Saturday afternoon, returning to Maples Pavilion where it will host cross-bay rival the California Golden Bears in a 12 p.m. tip. Saturday's contest will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net and locally on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, with Jim Watson on play-by-play and Mary Murphy on color commentary. The game will also be available on 90.1 KZSU with Chris Fitzgerald calling the action.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal returned from its holiday break and completed the regular-season non-conference slate with a 68-46 road victory over Fresno State. Senior center Jayne Appel posted season highs with 20 points and 18 rebounds in the contest, while forward Kayla Pedersen posted a double-double of her own with 14 points and 11 rebounds and fellow forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike grabbed 11 rebounds to go with her eight points. Stanford, which used a 30-2 second-half run to blow open a one-point game, out-rebounded Fresno State by a 53-29 margin. The Cardinal also used its size to block seven shots in the game. Freshman Joslyn Tinkle had the best game of her young career to date, going 4-of-6 from the field for a season-high nine points.
California (6-5) enters Pac-10 play having dropped three of its last five, and has won consecutive games only once, when it opened the campaign with victories over Idaho State and Saint Mary's on Nov. 15 and 17. The Golden Bears split a pair of games in San Diego earlier this week, falling 81-69 to Boston College before defeating Nevada, 85-60. With head coach Joanne Boyle in her fifth year at the helm in Berkeley, the Golden Bears are led on the court by senior point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and forward DeNesha Stallworth (13.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg).
All-Time Against California
Stanford leads the all-time series against California, 51-17, and has won 33 of the past 36 meetings since the 1993-94 season. The teams split their two meetings last year, with California defeating Stanford, 57-54 in Berkeley before the Cardinal returned the favor with a 58-41 win at Maples Pavilion. Saturday's meeting is also the first since Feb. 11, 2006 in which at least one of the teams was not ranked in either national Top-25 poll.
A Look At The National Rankings
Despite falling 80-68 at No. 1/1 Connecticut last Wednesday, Stanford remained No. 2 in this week's Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Polls.
National Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 20, Stanford was ranked in the national top 10 in the following categories: rebound margin (+13.4 - second), fouls per game (12.7 - third), scoring (82.7 - fourth), scoring margin (+26.6 - fourth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21 - sixth), assists (18.56 apg - seventh) and field-goal percentage (47.7 - 10th). Nnemkadi Ogwumike was fourth with a 63.6 shooting percentage.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 30, Stanford leads the conference in seven statistical categories: scoring margin (+22.6), field-goal percentage (47.3), free-throw percentage (74.2), rebounding (45.2 rpg), rebounding margin (+11.9), blocked shots (4.73 bpg) and assist-to-turnover margin (1.17).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen are 1-2 in the the Pac-10 with 18.3 and 18.2 points per game, respectively. Jayne Appel is tied for second with 10.0 rebounds per game, Ogwumike is fourth with 8.8 and Pedersen is sixth with 8.5. Ogwumike is second with a 64.1 shooting mark from the field. Jeanette Pohlen is leads the conference with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.88 and is second with 4.27 assists per game. JJ Hones is second in the Pac-10 with a 1.84 assist-to-turnover figure.
Successful Non-Conference Showing
Stanford ended its regular-season non-conference slate with Wednesday night's 68-46 victory at Fresno State, improving its record in those games to 10-1. The Cardinal's impressive non-conference showing includes victories over top-10 teams such as Duke and Tennessee as well as wins over NCAA Tournament regulars Gonzaga and Rutgers. Stanford's 10-1 record marks the second time in three years that the Cardinal has lost only once in non-conference play, and two years ago, in 2007-08, just as with this 2009-10 season, that one loss came against Connecticut.
Answering With A Win
The last time that Stanford had lost back-to-back games was on Jan. 4 and 6, 2008, when it dropped decisions at UCLA and USC. Since that time, the Cardinal has answered each of its seven losses since then with a victory. Wednesday ngiht in Fresno was more of the same, as the Cardinal responded from its Dec. 23 loss at Connecticut with a 68-46 win over the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Appel Takes Control
Senior center and 2009 All-American Jayne Appel turned in her best performance of the season in Wednesday's win at Fresno, posting season highs of 20 points (on 7-for-12 shooting) and 18 rebounds against the Bulldogs. It was her sixth double-double of the season, and the performance increased her season averages to a double-double with 13.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Too Much Height
Stanford's Big Three of center Jayne Appel and forwards Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen proved once again to have too much size for an opponent, as the trio combined to grab 40 of Stanford's 53 rebounds in its 68-46 win over Fresno State. The trio also combined for 42 points on 17-for-33 shooting (51.5 percent) and blocked six shots on the defensive end. All three players reached double figures in rebounds, as Appel led the way with 18 while both Ogwumike and Pedersen each grabbed 11 rebounds.
All-Around Effort From Pedersen
Junior forward Kayla Pedersen turned in yet another of her patented 'do-it-all' efforts for Stanford in Wednesday's 68-46 win at Fresno State. Pedersen shot 6-for-13 from the field, including a three-pointer, to score 14 points and also bruised her way to 11 rebounds in the paint. But that was not all she did in the win, as Pedersen matched a season high with four assists and set a new season high with three blocked shots on the defensive end. Additionally, Pedersen's 14 points increased her career total to 1,102, moving her past former teammate Jillian Harmon and into 26th on Stanford's all-time list.
At Least It Was A Point Guard Wearing No. 10
Point guard Melanie Murphy returned to action Wednesday night in Fresno after missing Stanford's past six games since Nov. 27, although on first glance something appeared off. Due to a uniform snafu, Murphy took the court wearing the No. 10 jersey of fellow point guard JJ Hones, who sat out the game due to swelling in her left knee. The brief change from her normal No. 0 did not phase Murphy, who earned praise from head coach Tara VanDerveer after coming off the bench to pass out four assists while hitting one of her two field-goal attempts in 13 minutes of action. Murphy's ballhandling was also superb, as the redshirt junior posted her four assists against only one turnover.
And Then There Was A Fourth...
Freshman forward Joslyn Tinkle, who has come off the bench to spell members of the Big Three through the first 11 games of the season, enjoyed her finest performance of the year so far Wednesday night in Fresno. The Missoula, Mont. native, in 14 minutes of action, went 4-for-6 from the field and scored a season-high nine points while also blocking a shot. Including Tinkle's numbers with those of the Big Three Wednesday night, Stanford's four posts combined to score 51 of the team's 68 points on 53.9-percent (21-for-39) shooting.
Since the advent of Pac-10 women's basketball in 1986-87, Stanford has been far and away the class of the conference in terms of victories and end-of-season awards and honors. The Cardinal has captured the regular-season title 18 times out of a possible 23, while the next team on the list, Washington, has won the conference title just three times. Stanford has also dominated the Pac-10 Tournament, capturing six of the eight tournament titles since the inaugural draw in 2002. The team's 617-129 (.827) overall mark since 1986-87 (through March 15, 2009) and 356-58 (.860) mark in Pac-10 play (following the 2008-09 regular season) both are by far the top marks in the conference.
On the awards and honors side of things, the Cardinal again out-paces its opponents. Entering 2009-10, a Stanford player has won or shared the Pac-10 Player of the Year award 13 of 23 times since 1986-87, won the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award seven times, and head coach Tara VanDerveer has been honored as the conference's coach of the year on 10 occasions, with current associate head coach Amy Tucker and Marianne Stanley sharing the honor as Stanford's co-head coaches in 1995-96 while VanDerveer was on sabbatical coaching the U.S. Olympic Team.
Stanford players have captured 72 Pac-10 Player of the Week honors through Jan. 3, nearly twice the amount of the next schools on the list, Arizona and USC. Finally, the Cardinal leads the conference with 46 All-Pac-10 first-team selections.