No. 15/15 Stanford Welcomes No. 25/23 Texas Tech To Maples
Dec. 1, 2006
No. 15/15 Stanford Cardinal (3-3, 0-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
No. 25/23 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (6-1, 0-0 Big 12)
No. 15/15 Stanford (3-3, 0-0 Pac-10) tries for its first win of the year against a nationally-ranked opponent when No. 25/23 Texas Tech (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) comes to Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal, 0-3 against top-25 foes so far, squares off against the Lady Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 3, in a 2 p.m. tip-off. Stanford has yet to record back-to-back victories, wrapping up the month of November with a 3-3 mark. Meanwhile, five of Texas Tech's six victories have come by double-digit margins. The Lady Raiders are scheduled to square off against Fresno State on Friday night in the first of a two-game road trip.
Following almost a two-week break, Stanford hosts Utah on Saturday, Dec. 16. The Utes finished 27-7 overall last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Regional final. The Cardinal does not play on the road again until Dec. 20 against USC in the Pac-10 opener for both teams.
Sunday's game against Texas Tech can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, with Jake Kelman handling play-by-play duties. Live statistics and a webcast are also offered.
Scouting No. 25/23 Texas Tech
Texas Tech (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) has cracked the national rankings this week thanks to a hot start. Last weekend, the Lady Raiders posted a 2-1 performance at the Hawaii Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic, which included wins against Denver and UCLA. The only loss was a 57-54 defeat at the hands of host Hawai'i. Earlier this week, Texas Tech dispatched of Tulane 77-50. Five of Texas Tech's six victories have been by double-digit margins. Texas Tech is averaging 70.0 points per game compared to 56.0 by its opponents. The Lady Raiders also hold a +7.1 edge in the rebounding department and are shooting 41.7-percent as a team. Stanford must watch out for: Alesha Robertson (13.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 26-31 free throws), Erin Myrick (12.0 ppg, 56.5-percent field goal percentage, 10.6 rpg) and Brooke Baughman (10.3 ppg, 20-24 free throws, 14-25 from three-point territory). Head coach Kristy Curry enters her first season at the helm, arriving in Lubbock after a successful tenure as the skipper at Purdue.
Stanford All-Time vs. Texas Tech
Stanford and Texas Tech have matched up 12 times, with the Cardinal winning eight of those meetings. Last year, Stanford edged Texas Tech 66-63 in Lubbock for its second straight win over the Lady Raiders. In that game, Brooke Smith scored 21 points and Candice Wiggins sank two free throws to seal the win following a couple of late missed opportunities by the Lady Raiders. Despite that loss, Texas Tech last held the upper hand in this series back on Dec. 21, 2003, recording a 55-46 triumph at home. The series dates back to Dec. 2, 1982, with Stanford winning 77-70 in the first-ever meeting. Stanford is 4-1 all-time at Maples Pavilion against Texas Tech.
Last Time Out:
No. 15/15 Stanford 88, Santa Clara 56 (Nov. 29, 2006 at Stanford, Calif.)
Kristen Newlin had 12 points and 16 rebounds to help No. 15 Stanford beat Santa Clara 88-56 on Nov. 29 at Maples Pavilion. Jillian Harmon added 16 points as the Cardinal (3-3) responded to consecutive losses to No. 4 Tennessee and No. 8 Georgia with their biggest win of the season. Chandice Cronk scored 13 points to pace the Broncos (4-3), who won three of their previous four. Michelle Harrison, Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins each scored 13 points as Stanford had five players in double figures for the first time in nearly a year. The Broncos closed to within 14 points before the Cardinal went on a 16-3 run midway through the second half to take a 68-41 advantage. Harrison reached double figures for the first time, scoring 10 of her points in the opening half. Stanford recorded eight steals in the first seven minutes to grab a 22-8 lead. Stanford held a 33-17 advantage in shots attempted at one point in the half. The Cardinal led by as many as 19 points in the first half and took a 46-30 into the intermission. Stanford's 46 first-half points represented a season-best.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance
Five different players scored in double-figures during Stanford's 88-56 victory over Santa Clara on Nov. 29, representing the first time that has happened since six Cardinal players accomplished the feat in a 109-58 win at Pacific on Dec. 1, 2005. In fact, at least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year with the exception of Nov. 13 against BYU. Candice Wiggins (16.5 ppg), Brooke Smith (14.8) and Jayne Appel (10.6) are all averaging double-figure scoring for the Cardinal.
Post Players Providing Production
Stanford's talented post rotation is one of the deepest in the entire country, as evidenced by some impressive early performances. Senior Brooke Smith ranks second in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg) while shooting 49.4-percent from the field. Smith has scored in double-figures in five of Stanford's six games. Senior Kristen Newlin has been just as good, posting three double-doubles while averaging 8.5 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds per game. Newlin is shooting 51.3-percent from the field. Throw in highly-touted freshman Jayne Appel, who currently ranks third in scoring (10.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg), and you have the recipe for a dominating front line.
Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
Junior Candice Wiggins has picked up right where she left off in 2005-06. The two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, Wiggins has notched two 20-point games and put together an outstanding three-game stretch last week against Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia by averaging 21.0 ppg with 10 three-pointers overall. Wiggins is shooting 44.2-percent from the field, 62.5-percent from the foul line and ranks second on the squad in assists (21) and steals (12). The preseason accolades continue to pile up, as well. Wiggins was named to the list of 30 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. That comes on the heels of being named to the 25-player watch list for the Wade Trophy.
What's Going Right
Through just six games, Stanford holds a statistical edge over its opponents in a few key categories. The Cardinal is averaging 72.0 points per game while allowing only 63.8. Stanford is shooting 44.5-percent from the field and limiting its opponents to just 39.4-percent. The Cardinal has posted a rebounding margin of +5.8 while dishing out 111 assists compared to just 85 by its opponents.
What Needs Improvement
Of course it's still early, but Stanford will be looking for increased production in a couple of areas. The Cardinal has made just 30-92 three-point attempts, translating into a 32.6-percent rate. Meanwhile, opponents have knocked down 42-95 opportunties for a 44.2-percent clip. The Cardinal will also be looking to improve at the free throw line, having made 56-93 tries for an uncharacteristic 60.2 percentage. Opponents are shooting 75.3-percent (73-97) from the foul line. Candice Wiggins, a career 82.9-percent free throw shooter, is just 10-16 while Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin have attempted as many three-pointers (21) as free throws (21).
Finding A Way To Contribute
Head coach Tara VanDerveer must be pleased with the collegiate debuts of the four freshmen on the Cardinal roster. The newcomers may not have produced jaw-dropping numbers so far, but each has contributed in a reserve role. Michelle Harrison has enjoyed success, shooting 50-percent (11-22) while scoring a season-best 13 points against Santa Clara on Nov. 29. JJ Hones has made four consecutive starts and leads the team with 26 assists. Melanie Murphy has given the club a boost off the bench, with eight assists in limited playing time. Jayne Appel had her way with Tennessee's post players, pouring in a career-best 23 points with five rebounds and five blocks. She is averaging 10.6 ppg and 5.6 rpg.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 275-30 record at home during her tenure, including a 169-11 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 71 of its last 76 games at Maples, although a 55-52 upset loss to No. 24 BYU on Nov. 13 snapped a 12-game winning streak. With a 78-47 win over Washington State on Feb. 25, 2006, Stanford improved its Pac-10 home win streak to 46 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.