Wiggins' Second-Half Surge Leads No. 14 Stanford Over No. 10 ASU, 77-71

Dec. 30, 2006

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Candice Wiggins scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half and No. 14 Stanford won its 48th straight Pac-10 home game, earning a hard-fought 77-71 victory over 10th-ranked Arizona State on Saturday night.

Brooke Smith hit a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left and Arizona State's Jill Noe missed a 3-pointer on the other end that would have tied it.

Smith made another free throw at 12.3 seconds and two more with 4.2 left to finish with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the Cardinal's 23rd straight victory against the Sun Devils at Maples Pavilion, a streak spanning more than two decades.

Stanford (9-3, 4-0) avoided losing twice at home in the same season for the first time since 2000-01. The Cardinal lost to BYU on Nov. 13.

Freshman Jayne Appel scored 16 points, hitting several key baskets in crunch time, and grabbed seven rebounds in Stanford's seventh straight win overall - which also snapped Arizona State's eight-game winning streak.

The Sun Devils (12-2, 2-1) got the ball back with 29 seconds to go and took it the length of the floor, with Dymond Simon scoring at 22.4 to pull her team to 72-71. The Sun Devils haven't won at Maples Pavilion since March 3, 1984, and Arizona State is 1-25 at Stanford all-time.

Kirsten Thompson scored 17 points and Noe, who came in with the best 3-point percentage in the Pac-10 at 54.8, added 12 points and six boards. Both Noe and Aubree Johnson missed key free throws in the final 1:33.

Stanford opened the second half with a 17-3 run to take a 45-37 lead, getting back-to-back 3-pointers, a jumper and another 3 from Wiggins - who made five 3-pointers - and four points by Smith during the spurt. The Cardinal hit seven of their first eight field goals in the half, while Arizona State missed five of its first six.

The physical game featured plenty of pushing beneath the basket by both teams, 13 lead changes and 14 ties.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer received a technical foul after coming onto the floor with 5:06 before halftime following a hard foul by Emily Westerberg that sent Brooke Smith to the floor after the ASU senior missed a shot.

It was VanDerveer's first technical since Jan. 25, 2001, in a 76-68 home win against Washington.

The Sun Devils, who needed a big second half to win at No. 18 California, were outrebounded 41-36 and allowed Stanford to shoot 56 percent in the second half.

These two schools along with Washington, which hosts UCLA on Sunday, were the only remaining unbeaten teams in the conference.

Wiggins, the two-time defending Pac-10 Player of the Year playing in her second game back after missing two contests with a hamstring injury, went 0-for-4 in the first half under constant pressure from Briann January and had two fouls.

The Cardinal began the game 8-for-21 with four turnovers to Arizona State's 11-of-23, but Stanford was in the bonus for free throws over the final 7:02 of the first half.

Stanford went nearly seven minutes without a field goal late in the half between baskets by Appel but made all eight of its free throws to stay within 35-28 at the break. The officials were booed loudly as they left at intermission.

Arizona State also made all eight of its free throws in the opening 20 minutes.

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