Ending With A Bang: No. 2/2 Stanford And California Close Regular Season Saturday With Battle Of The Bay II
March 2, 2010
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (27-1, 17-0 Pac-10)
California Golden Bears (17-11, 11-6 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - The 2009-10 regular season will come to a close for No. 2/2 Stanford this Saturday, March 6, as the Cardinal head to Berkeley for 'Battle Of The Bay II' at 12:30 p.m. Stanford will be looking to complete its first perfect Pac-10 season since 2002, having already clinched its 10th straight conference title. Saturday's contest will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net and in the Bay Area on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, with Jim Watson on the call and Mary Murphy on color commentary. The game will also be available on 90.1 KZSU with Teddy Steinkellner on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal kept its Pac-10 record clean with a sweep of Arizona State and Arizona last weekend, which clinched outright the team's 10th straight Pac-10 title. Stanford closed out the sweep with a 75-48 win at Arizona, last Saturday, as junior Kayla Pedersen put up one of her best lines of the year with 26 points (on 11-for-20 shooting), eight rebounds and seven assists. Senior center Jayne Appel scored 11 points and her eight rebounds moved her past Lisa Leslie as the Pac-10's all-time leading rebounder. Appel also became Stanford's all-time games played leader, playing in her 138th career game, passing Candice Wiggins' mark of 137.
California (17-11, 11-6 Pac-10) had its five-game winning streak snapped in last Saturday's 57-50 loss at Arizona State, but has gone 11-3 in its last 14 games since dropping its first three games to start Pac-10 play. With Joanne Boyle in her fifth year at California, the Golden Bears are led by the play of senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (18.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and DeNesha Stallworth (12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg).
All-Time Against California
Stanford leads the all-time series against California, 52-17, and has won 34 of the last 37 meetings with the Golden Bears. The Cardinal defeated the Golden Bears, 79-58, at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 2.
A Look At The National Rankings
Following a road sweep of Arizona State and Arizona, Stanford remained No. 2 in this week's Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Polls.
National Stat Rankings
Through Feb. 28, Stanford is ranked in the national top 20 in the following categories: rebound margin (+12.9 - second), scoring margin (+23.6 - second), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23 - third), field-goal percentage (48.0 - third), field-goal percentage defense (34.1 - fifth), three-point field goal defense (26.4 - sixth), fouls per game (13.4 - sixth), assists (17.89 apg - seventh), scoring (78.5 - eighth), scoring defense (54.9 - 16th) and turnovers per game (14.6 - 18th). Nnemkadi Ogwumike is fourth in the nation with a 63.7 shooting percentage.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
Through Feb. 28, Stanford leads the conference in 13 statistical categories: scoring margin (+23.6), scoring defense (54.9), field-goal percentage (48.0), field-goal percentage defense (34.1), rebounding (45.2 rpg), rebounding margin (+12.9), three-point field-goal percentage defense (26.4), free throw percentage (74.0), defensive rebounding (30.8), defensive rebound percentage (71.1), assists (17.89), assist-to-turnover margin (1.23) and blocked shots (4.57).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the Pac-10 with a 63.7 shooting percentage, is second with 18.0 points per game and is third with 9.2 rebounds per game. Kayla Pedersen is fourth with 9.0 rebounds a game. Jayne Appel is second with 9.9 rebounds per game and 1.89 blocks per game. Jeanette Pohlen is second in the conference with 4.56 assists per game and leads the loop with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.02.
Appel Stands Alone At The Top
Senior center Jayne Appel added more career records to her possession last Saturday at Arizona. The Pleasant Hill native became the Pac-10's all-time leading rebounder when she grabbed her fifth rebound of the game against the Wildcats with 4:03 remaining in the first half. Appel, who entered the game with 1,210 career rebounds, grabbed eight in the contest to break Lisa Leslie's record of 1,214. Yet that was not the only record Appel broke Saturday, as by stepping on the court she played in her 138th career game for Stanford, breaking the record of 137 career games held by Candice Wiggins. Already this season, Appel has broken Stanford's career rebounding record and since last year has been the Cardinal's all-time leading shot-blocker.
Going For The Undefeated Record
Last weekend's road sweep of Arizona State and Arizona brought Stanford's Pac-10 record to 17-0, leaving the Cardinal one victory away from completing what could be the program's fifth perfect conference season. The Cardinal had previously gone 18-0 in the Pac-10 in 1989, `96, `97 and 2002, and in fact has won at least 17 games in a single conference season 11 times (including this season). The only other Pac-10 team to win at least 17 games is Washington, which accomplished the feat in 1990.
Locking Down On California
One of the reasons for Stanford's great success (leading the overall series 52-17 and winning 34 of the last 37 games) against its cross-Bay rival has been the tight defense employed against California. Over the last 32 meetings between the two schools dating back to Feb. 2, 1996, Stanford has held California to under 60 points in 27 of those games. In its 29 victories over those last 32 meetings, the Cardinal has outscored the Golden Bears by a whopping 682 points, an average margin of victory of 23.5 points per game.
Haas Pavilion A Second Home?
While much is known about Stanford's success at home in Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal actually also enjoys a healthy amount of winning at Haas Pavilion, home of its arch-rival, the California Golden Bears. In 20 meetings at Haas Pavilion since the 1989-90 season, Stanford has gone 17-3 against California. Before the Golden Bears defeated the Cardinal, 57-54, at Haas last Jan. 18, it had gone almost 16 years without a home victory over Stanford. And despite losing on its first trip to Haas Pavilion last season, the Cardinal still proved that it has no problem winning on the blue and gold court as it clinched its eighth Final Four trip there with regional victories over Ohio State and Iowa State.
Ballin' In The Home State
Fountain Hills, Ariz. native Kayla Pedersen made her annual return to her home state last weekend and did not disappoint in front of family and friends. After posting 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in Stanford's 62-43 win at Arizona State, Pedersen exploded for one of her best all-around games of the season Saturday at Arizona, scoring 26 points on 11-for-20 shooting, going 4-for-8 from behind the arc, grabbing eight rebounds and passing out a season-high seven assists. For the weekend, Pedersen averaged 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.50 assists per game while shooting a combined 55.2 percent from the field and 50.0 percent (5-for-10) from behind the arc.
No. 1 At The Pac-10 Tournament
Stanford clinched the No. 1 seed at the Pac-10 Tournament two weekends ago with its 82-48 victory over Oregon State on Feb. 20. With its conference tournament placement already sealed up, the Cardinal are only waiting for its path to what it hopes will be a seventh Pac-10 Tournament title in a week's time. As the No. 1 seed, Stanford earns a bye into Friday's quarterfinal round, where it will face the winner of Thursday's No. 8 vs. No. 9 play-in game.
Loggin' Some Minutes
Redshirt junior point guard JJ Hones made her first start of the season Saturday at Arizona, logging 32 minutes of action while scoring seven points, grabbing a career-high seven rebounds and passing out five assists. Despite battling a cranky knee since tweaking it on Dec. 23 at Connecticut, Hones showed that she can still bear quite a load as the team's point guard, running the Stanford offense efficiently and only being responsible for one of Stanford's season-low four turnovers in the contest.