It's No. 9 Stanford, No. 10 Arizona State In Pac-10 Showdown
Jan. 26, 2007
No. 9/9 Stanford Cardinal (17-3, 10-0 Pac-10)
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No. 10/10 Arizona State Sun Devils (19-2, 9-1 Pac-10)
First place in the conference, a guaranteed top-10 national ranking and improved NCAA Tournament seeding make Saturday's contest between No. 9 Stanford (17-3, 10-0 Pac-10) and No. 10 Arizona State (19-2, 9-1 Pac-10) one of the biggest games of the year. The Cardinal posted a 77-71 victory almost one month ago at Maples Pavilion, but the Sun Devils have managed to keep pace since then and now have an opportunity to return the favor in Tempe. Stanford's winning streak has reached 15 games while Arizona State has won 22 straight Pac-10 contests at home.
Saturday's game at Arizona State can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, with Jake Kelman handling the broadcast duties. The contest also represents the fourth of seven national television appearances for the Cardinal this year, with the game airing on Fox Sports Net.
After this week's road trip, Stanford plays its final non-conference game on Thursday, Feb. 1, when it travels to UC Santa Barbara. The week concludes with a Sunday afternoon tilt against rival California, signaling the start of a three-game homestand.
Scouting No. 10/10 Arizona State
Stanford's rematch against No. 10/10 Arizona State (19-2, 9-1 Pac-10) represents the biggest hurdle remaining on the schedule. Arizona State, which currently sits one game behind Pac-10 leader Stanford, is coming off a 66-54 victory over No. 22 California on Thursday night. After falling at Stanford 77-71 on Dec. 30, Arizona State has picked up where it left off earlier in the year and is now riding a seven-game winning streak. The Sun Devils own convincing margins of +18.5 in scoring and +5.5 in turnovers over their opponents in addition to shooting 48.9-percent from the field. Don't forget to watch: Emily Westerberg (14.8 ppg, 55.1-percent field goals, 83-100 free throws), Danielle Orsillo (10.7 ppg, 48.7-percent field goals) and Jill Noe (9.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 23 triples).
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona State
Stanford holds a 41-11 all-time edge in the series with Arizona State. Stanford has won five of the last six meetings, including a 77-71 thriller back on Dec. 30 at Maples Pavilion in which Candice Wiggins erupted for a game-high 21 points. Stanford and Arizona State split the season series last year, with each team defending its home court. Stanford has won six of the last 10 games in Tempe.
Who To Watch Against Arizona State
In six career games, Candice Wiggins is shooting 50-97 (51.5-percent) from the field against Arizona State. Wiggins is also averaging 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Brooke Smith is shooting at least 50-percent in her career against every Pac-10 opponent except Arizona State. In five games, Smith is just 25-59 (42.3-percent) while averaging 6.4 rebounds per game. Kristen Newlin is also shooting under 50-percent in the post, connecting at 44.8-percent in seven career games.
Last Time Out:
No. 9/9 Stanford 86, Arizona 76 (Jan. 25, 2007 at Tucson, Ariz.)
Brooke Smith had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 9 Stanford to its 15th straight victory, 86-76 over Arizona on Thursday night. The Cardinal scored the first eight points of the game, built a 22-point first-half lead and then held off an Arizona rally that brought the Wildcats within seven. Jayne Appel made 9-of-10 from the field for 18 points. Candice Wiggins added 18 points, Cissy Pierce tallied a career-high 15 and Kristen Newlin had 10 points and 11 rebounds. A three-pointer from Joy Hollingsworth with 6:44 left got the Wildcats within 71-64. But Wiggins hit a 3-pointer and a layup after getting a loose ball under the bucket to put Stanford ahead by 12. The Wildcats came within 80-72 with 2 minutes remaining, but Appel put the game away with a mini-hook to put Stanford back ahead by 10 with 1:06 left. Stanford cruised to a 44-25 halftime edge before Arizona stormed back thanks to a full-court pressure defense.
Winning Streak Among Nation's Best
In addition to ranking among the program's all-time best stretches, Stanford's current 15-game winning streak is tied with Middle Tennessee State for third-best in the nation. North Carolina has won 22 straight and Duke is riding a 21-game winning streak.
Defense The Key...
Stanford's current 15-game winning streak has been highlighted by an opportunistic defense and consistent pressure. During the streak, Stanford has limited its opponents to 55 points per game, 33.5-percent shooting from the field and won all 15 games by an average of 19 points. Perhaps the most impressive statistic: Cardinal opponents are averaging 15.5 turnovers per game while registering only 10.1 assists per contest. In fact, Stanford has held 13 of those 15 victims to under 60 points.
...Especially Early In The Game
Stanford's outstanding numbers on defense have been well documented, especially those early in the game. During the 15-game winning streak, the Cardinal has been able to shut down opponents from the opening tip and race out to commanding halftime leads.
Winning Streak Among All-Time Best
Stanford is riding its longest winning streak in two years, the best stretch since a 23-game stretch in 2004-05. The current 15-game span ranks tied for fifth-best in program history.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has used just four different starting linuep combinations through 20 games. Only six players have earned a starting nod: Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith with 20, Jillian Harmon, JJ Hones and Candice Wiggins with 17 and Cissy Pierce with nine. The combination of Hones, Wiggins, Harmon, Smith and Newlin has been most effective, as the Cardinal is undefeated in 11 contests when that lineup is penciled into the official scorebook.
Cardinal Finds Scoring Balance...
At least three Stanford players have reached double-figure scoring in every game this year except three. Candice Wiggins (15.5 ppg), Brooke Smith (14.1) and Jayne Appel (12.4) are all averaging double-figure scoring. There have been three times this year (Santa Clara on Nov. 29, Arizona on Dec. 28 and Arizona on Jan. 25) where at least five different Cardinal players have reached double-digit scoring.
...Not So Much For The Opposition
Stanford's success in placing multiple players in double-figure scoring has not been duplicated by its opponents. A stout Cardinal defense has allowed just 57.7 points per game while holding 15 opponents to 60 points or less. Opponents are shooting only 35.2-percent from the field and only three teams have shot better than 40-percent in a game. In fact, during a 73-49 rout of Texas Tech on Dec. 3, the Cardinal held the Lady Raiders without a double-digit scorer- the first time that has happened since 2005.
Unusually Low Totals? There's A Reason
There have been occasional box scores with unusually low scoring totals for All-American candidates Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins. It's actually more of a tribute to Stanford's incredible depth, which has routinely allowed the club to build a sizeable halftime lead and cruise in the second half. Overall, eight different players have scored in double-figures and seven different players have earned team-high scoring honors.
Post Players Providing Production
Stanford's talented post rotation is one of the deepest in the entire country, as evidenced by some impressive performances. Senior Brooke Smith ranks second on the squad in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) while shooting 50.2-percent and scoring in double-figures 17 times. Fellow senior Kristen Newlin is shooting 53.6-percent, posting five double-doubles while averaging 8.2 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game. And don't forget about freshman Jayne Appel, who ranks third in scoring (12.4 ppg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg) while leading the squad with 35 blocks and a 57.6 shooting percentage.
Wiggins Leading The Cardinal
The two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, junior Candice Wiggins leads the Cardinal in scoring (15.5 ppg) and three-pointers (42). A 44.1-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins also ranks third in assists (58) and is pulling down 4.6 rebounds per game. She has scored in double-figures in 14 games overall. Also, Wiggins has scored at least 20 points in three games this year, including a 21-point effort against Arizona State on Dec. 30 that resulted in a Pac-10 Player of the Week honor. Wiggins has started 17 of the team's 20 games, sitting out for the first time in her career against USC and UCLA (Dec. 20- hamstring) and Washington State (Jan. 13- right ankle sprain).
Harmon Makes The Hustle Plays
Candice Wiggins will score. Kristen Newlin will rebound. JJ Hones will rack up assists. But perhaps no player on the roster is more capable of making her mark in multiple stat categories than sophomore Jillian Harmon. A Pac-10 All Freshman Team honoree last year, Harmon's hustle and intensity provides the Cardinal with yet another versatile weapon. Case in point: she currently ranks fourth in scoring (8.7 ppg) and rebounding (4.7 rpg), second in steals (27), fourth in assists (39) while shooting 45.5-percent from the field. Harmon has scored in double-figures in eight games, including her first double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Fresno State on Jan. 2.
Hones Helps The Cardinal
Get in position to score and freshman JJ Hones will find you. The rookie point guard freshman has succesfully made a quick transition to the college level at one of the toughest positions on the floor. And she has been outstanding, leading the team with 83 assists while committing only 28 turnovers. Hones has dished out at least four assists in a game on 13 different occasions. She is averaging 4.9 points per game in 17 starts, including a season-high 17 points in a win at Washington State on Jan. 13.
Stanford's first road trip of the year to No. 4 Tennessee and No. 8 Georgia was thought to be a learning experience for freshman Jayne Appel. Instead, she put on a clinic against the nation's best competition. Against Tennessee, Appel led the Cardinal with a season-best 23 points on 10-17 shooting to match five rebounds and five blocks. Two days later at Georgia, she nearly recorded her first double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Since that road trip she has been just as solid, averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal with 35 blocks. Appel has also scored in double-figures 13 times.
Wiggins, Newlin Continue To Climb Rankings
Candice Wiggins and Kristen Newlin continue to climb up the rankings in the Stanford record books. Wiggins currently ranks seventh in school history in points scored at 1,615. She is also ninth all-time with 168 three-pointers. Newlin ranks second all-time in blocked shots with 144 and seventh in rebounds with 674.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 282-30 record at home during her tenure, including a 173-11 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 78 of its last 83 games at Maples, although a 55-52 upset loss to No. 24 BYU on Nov. 13 snapped a 12-game winning streak. With a 69-55 victory over Oregon State last weekend, Stanford improved its Pac-10 home win streak to 50 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on March 1, 2001, when USC posted a 62-59 victory over the Cardinal.
For The Record...
Stanford has won 13 straight Pac-10 regular season games, dating back to last year
Kristen Newlin tallied her team-best fifth double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and hauling down 11 rebounds. Newlin has hauled down at least 10 rebounds in a game on eight different occasions
Only three teams have shot better than 40-percent overall against Stanford this year: Arizona (45-percent) on Jan. 25, Georgia (45.3-percent) on Nov. 26 and Tennessee (50-percent) on Nov. 24
Arizona's Amina Njonkou (10 points, 12 rebounds) became only the second player to record a double-double against Stanford this year. California's Ashley Walker (16 points, 12 rebounds) was the first
Prior to Thursday night's win at Arizona, the last time two Stanford players recorded double-doubles in the same game was in a 77-72 loss at Washington on Dec. 22, 2005, as Jillian Harmon (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Brooke Smith (24 points, 10 rebounds) pulled it off
Through 20 contests, Brooke Smith is the only Stanford player to foul out of a game so far this year. It happened once, in a 68-59 win at UCLA back on Dec. 22
Oregon State's Casey Nash became only the fourth player to score at least 20 points against Stanford this year. Nash poured in 20 points against the Cardinal on Jan. 20. USC's Eshaya Murphy (22), Georgia's Cori Chambers (21) and Tennessee's Candace Parker (25) are the others
All five Stanford starters played at least 30 minutes in a 69-55 win over Oregon State on Jan. 20, representing the first time that has occurred since last year's 88-70 win over Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
Stanford has recorded more assists (366) than its opponents' turnovers (320)