Wildcats Downed By No. 7 Stanford
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - When Nicole Powell glanced at the scoreboard, she quickly forgot about her five turnovers and gave herself a break.
Stanford led by 47 points!
Powell had 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and the No. 7 Cardinal made 15 3-pointers, turning an expected close game into an 84-62 blowout of Arizona in a matchup of Pac-10 unbeatens Saturday.
'I was really mad at myself for those five turnovers,' Powell said. 'When I looked up and saw the big lead, I said 'Oh my gosh, that's awesome.''
And it was.
Krista Rappahahn hit 4 of 6 3s for 16 points. Powell, Sebnem Kimyacioglu and Kelley Suminski all had three 3s for the Cardinal, who missed a team record by one 3-pointer. They hit 15-of-27 (55.6 percent).
This was close to the kind of complete game coach Tara VanDerveer has been looking and hoping for from the Cardinal (13-2, 6-0 Pac-10), who improved to 20-3 lifetime against Arizona in Maples Pavilion and 9-1 at home this season.
They struggled at times in a 14-point win against Arizona State on Thursday night.
Rappahahn had an easy explanation for her offensive show.
'All I know is I'm supposed to shoot it when I'm open,' she said.
'Who told you that?' VanDerveer said with a laugh.
'Well, you did,' Rappahahn answered to her coach.
'Why wouldn't you? If you can shoot it like that, do it!' VanDerveer replied.
Dee-Dee Wheeler scored 19 points for a cold-shooting Arizona team that went on a late 24-5 run that hardly mattered. The Wildcats (12-4, 4-1), 4-for-12 from long range, came in as the conference's No. 2 scoring team at 74.1, behind Washington and ahead of Stanford. It was just the second time they were held below 65 points.
'The last three games we've played horrible in the first half,' Wheeler said. 'We let them do whatever they wanted and they took advantage by hitting the open 3s. We played into their hands.'
Stanford shot 8-for-13 from behind the arc in the first 13ï¿½ minutes and kept up the torrid shooting after halftime. Seven of the Cardinal's first eight field goals in the second half were from long range on the way to their biggest lead, 69-22.
'(Former Stanford star) Vanessa Nygard once said I'm a coach in search of perfection,' VanDerveer said. 'The first half was almost flawless. We had one of those days. Now we need to figure out how we did and keep it going.'
Arizona center Shawntinice Polk hurt her right knee during the first shot of the game, a miss by Wheeler. Polk, the Wildcats' second-leading scorer at 16.7 points, limped back down the court to play defense, then grimaced in pain before a timeout was called and she left the game with help at the 19:32 mark. She returned a few minutes later but wasn't effective, scoring six points on 2-for-7 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds before fouling out with 51.3 seconds left.
'That had to shake them up. It shook me up when she went down like that,' VanDerveer said.
Arizona started the game 1-for-9 with four turnovers while Stanford hit 6 of its first 11 shots to jump out to a 17-2 lead. The Wildcats didn't score until the 15:22 mark of the first half on Wheeler's steal and lay-in. The team's next basket didn't come until 3ï¿½ minutes later on another steal and breakaway by Wheeler.
The Wildcats, who went to a full-court press late in the first half to try to fluster the Cardinal, were 4-for-20 and fell behind 36-9 with 4:32 before halftime and trailed 44-12 at the break. They shot 20.8 percent in the first half (5-for-24).
'I don't know if they can shoot 3s better, even in practice,' Arizona coach Joan Bonvicini said. 'When people are making 3s, it gets disheartening. Halftime was tough for us. I have never coached a team that was down like that at half. It was not a fun day to be a Wildcat.'
Stanford allowed its fewest points in a half this season.
The Cardinal's 6-foot-3 center Chelsea Trotter missed her second straight game with sore knees.