No. 11/9 Stanford Will Take on No. 16/17 Minnesota on Sunday

Nov. 19, 2005

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Season Openers...
With the Cardinal's 69-28 victory over Long Island on Saturday, Stanford is 21-11 all-time in season openers, picking up a win in the first game in each of the last five years. This year's opener in Minneapolis marks the 22nd time that the Cardinal has kicked off the season on the road. Stanford owns a 15-7 record in season openers away from home.

Rankings Report...
Stanford begins the 2005-06 season with a No. 11 ranking in the AP poll and a No. 10 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches' poll. Prior to its first game, Stanford moved up to No. 9 in the USA Today poll. The conference coaches picked the Cardinal to win the Pac-10 title again, marking the sixth-straight time that the Cardinal was elected to win the league.

Big Ten Ties...
Two members of the Stanford coaching staff are quite familiar with the Big Ten conference, as head coach Tara VanDerveer and associate head coach Amy Tucker are alumnae of Big Ten schools. VanDerveer was a three-year starter at Indiana, graduating in 1975. Tucker helped the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship in her senior campaign (1982) and was inducted into the Ohio State Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. VanDerveer and Tucker both coached at Ohio State prior to their arrival on The Farm.

Minnesota Bullets...
* Last year, the Golden Gophers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third-straight year.
* Minnesota defeated San Francisco by a 22-point margin in its season opener on Saturday.
* Natasha Williams scored 26 points and blocked five shots in her first career start.

The Stanford-Minnesota Series...
This will be the fourth match-up between Stanford and Minnesota. Stanford won the first two contests, but Minnesota owns the most recent victory, a 68-56 win at Maples in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in 2003.

Stanford vs. the Big Ten...The Cardinal is 18-10 all-time against Big Ten Conference foes. Stanford has faced off against all but one team in the league and owns winning records against six opponents. The Cardinal has never matched up against Michigan. Stanford ended the 2004-05 season against a Big Ten foe, as Michigan State defeated the Cardinal in the Elite Eight in Kansas City.

Minnesota vs. the Pac-10...
The Golden Gophers own an 8-8 mark against Pac-10 teams. Minnesota has played eight of the league's team, all but Arizona and Oregon State. Minnesota has at least one win against seven of the teams, but an 0-1 record against Oregon. Last year, the Gophers lost a five-point game in overtime to Washington in Seattle at the WBCA Classic.

Pac-10 Pride...
Stanford finished atop the preseason coaches' poll with nine first-place votes (81 points). It is the sixth-consecutive time and sixth time overall that Stanford has been favored by the coaches to win the Conference title since the poll's inception in 1998-99.

VanDerveer's Victories...
Stanford's match-up against Utah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last March was the 600th game of head coach Tara VanDerveer's coaching career at Stanford. Last year, she also coached the 800th game of her career, a 73-69 win versus USC in the Pac-10 Tournament Semifinal. One of the winningest active coaches, her overall record stands at 635-171 (.788) in 27 years, while her record at Stanford is 483-120 (.801) in 20 years.

Preseason Praise...
Sophomore Candice Wiggins was named to the Preseason Watch List for the Wooden Award and the Wade Trophy. A Kodak All-American last season, Wiggins is currently Stanford's second-leading scorer with a 14-point showing against Long Island.

Maples Magic...
Stanford extended its conference home win streak to 37 games when it wrapped up the 2004-05 season with an 84-41 victory over Oregon State. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC up-ended the Cardinal. Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 260-28 (.903) record at home* during her tenure and, with the 13-0 mark last year, have posted seven perfect seasons at Maples. Stanford has won 56 of its last 59 games at Maples.

Stanford Stats...Stanford finished the 2004-05 season with a 32-3 overall record. The Cardinal ended the regular season with the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN/Coaches' polls, and was awarded fifth place in the final USA Today poll. It was the first time Stanford ended the regular season as the top-ranked team in the country. It was also the first time that Stanford has been ranked No. 1 since December 1996 when the Cardinal began the season with the top ranking in both polls and stayed on top until a loss at Old Dominion.

Defensive Drive...
Stanford broke the school record in scoring defense in 2004-05 as the team limited its opponents to 56.0 points per game. It was the third season in a row that the Cardinal has broken the school record for scoring defense, as the 2003-04 team set a new mark with 58.4 points, besting the mark of 58.9 it had set in 2002-03. This season, the Cardinal is keeping the trend alive, holding Long Island to just 28 points in the season opener.

First Half Facts...
Stanford owned the lead at halftime in all but three games last season, and this year, the Cardinal has led its only game at the break. Stanford owned a 23-point lead at the half against Long Island.

Cardinal Catalogue...
Three Cardinal players finished the 2004-05 season in double digits for scoring and 10 averaged double-digit minutes. Stanford finished the year ranked in the top-10 nationally in scoring margin (No. 1, +21.9 points), won-loss percentage (No. 3, 91.4%), field goal percentage (No. 3, 48.2%), scoring offense (No. 4, 77.8 ppg), in field goal defense (No. 7, 35.1%) and in 3-point field goal percentage (No. 10, 38.0%). The Cardinal was also ranked No. 14 in turnovers (14.0), No. 19 in free-throw percentage (75.2%), No. 21 in rebounding margin (+6.2), No. 23 in assists (16.4). Also ranked in the top-10 was Brooke Smith, who was No. 7 in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting a school-record 61.0% from the field.

Looking Ahead...
Next season, the Cardinal will add four freshmen to its roster, as Jayne Appel, Michelle Harrison, JJ Hones and Melanie Murphy all signed a National Letter of Intent in November. The quartet will arrive on The Farm in 2006 and will make an immediate impact:
Appel (6-4, C, Concord, CA/Carondelet HS)
Harrison (6-3, F, Orem, UT/Mountain View HS)
Hones (5-10, G, Portland, OR/Southridge HS)
Murphy (5-9, G, Brooklyn, NY/Midwood HS)

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