No. 8/10 Stanford Hosts USC In Senior Day Finale
Feb. 23, 2007
No. 8/10 Stanford Cardinal (24-4, 16-1 Pac-10)
- VS. -
USC Women of Troy (16-11, 10-7 Pac-10)
Having already clinched a share of the Pac-10 regular season title and the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament, No. 8/10 Stanford (24-4, 16-1 Pac-10) hosts USC (16-11, 10-7 Pac-10) in its home finale on Sunday. Winners of five straight and 22 of its last 23 overall, the Cardinal can secure its fifth one-loss Pac-10 season in program history. Standing in the way of win No. 25 will be the Women of Troy, who were making a late surge prior to an 86-79 overtime setback at California on Thursday night.
Sunday's game 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. Live statistics and a webcast are also offered on the site. The game will also be televised live nationally on Fox Sports Net.
The afternoon begins with a pregame ceremony honoring seniors Clare Bodensteiner, Markisha Coleman, Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith. Sunday is also Fan Appreciation Day and Girl Scout Day, which features a postgame 'press conference' for all Girl Scouts in attendance.
Looking for a darkhorse down the stretch? Consider USC (16-11, 10-7 Pac-10), which has won five of its last eight games to climb into fourth place in the conference standings. The Women of Troy, 11-4 at home and 5-7 on the road, are coming off a homestand split last weekend that included a 66-42 victory against Arizona. USC dropped a hard-fought contest at California on Thursday night, falling 86-79 in overtime. 12 of USC's 17 conference games have been decided by 10 points or less. Noteworthy non-conference wins include: Notre Dame, Colorado and Houston. USC averages 66.7 points per game and allows 61.9. Be sure to keep an eye on: Eshaya Murphy (18.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 86.1-percent free throws, 60 steals), Chloe Kerr (11.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 42 blocked shots) and Jamie Hagiya (10.5 ppg, 35.3-percent three-pointers, 120 assists). Head coach Mark Trakh has done an impressive job with this year's club and is in his third season.
Stanford All-Time vs. USC
Stanford holds a 37-18 advantage in the all-time series. That includes an eight-game winning streak, as the Cardinal has not lost to the Trojans since Jan. 25, 2004 in a 59-56 defeat. The series began in 1979, with the Cardinal winning 68-61 at home. Back on Dec. 20 at USC, Kristen Newlin and Brooke Smith each scored 14 points as the Cardinal won 62-46 without Candice Wiggins in the lineup.
Who To Watch Against USC
Kristen Newlin has made more shots against USC than any other Pac-10 foe. In eight games, Newlin is 33-66 from the field while pulling down 5.8 rebounds per contest. In four career games against the Trojans, Jillian Harmon is 18-36 from the field while averaging 7.0 rebounds per game. Brooke Smith is shooting 50.7-percent overall (35-69) in seven career games against USC.
Last Time Out:
No. 8/10 Stanford 65, UCLA 54 (Feb. 22, 2007 at Stanford, Calif.)
Jayne Appel scored 24 points to help Stanford overcome the absence of leading scorer Candice Wiggins and clinch at least a share of its seventh straight Pac-10 title with a 65-54 victory over UCLA. The Cardinal did miss Wiggins against UCLA (7-10, 13-16), but used a late 11-2 run to take a 60-50 lead with 1:23 remaining and put the game away. With Wiggins watching in sweats, Stanford had no outside shooting threat. Wiggins had made nearly half of the Cardinal's 3-pointers this season, and Stanford made none without her - ending a streak of 403 consecutive games with a 3-pointer. Brooke Smith added 14 points for the Cardinal while Kristen Newlin notched her 10th double-figure rebounding game. Noelle Quinn scored 17 points to lead Bruins, who have lost four straight games. Stanford shot 45.1-percent overall and attempted 14 more free throws.
It is likely that Candice Wiggins, a two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, will be unavailable for Sunday's game against USC as she continues to recover from injuries to her ankle and hamstring. That won't be enough to slow down Stanford, which is now 4-0 in games without Wiggins. In those games, the Cardinal has defeated its opponents by an average of 11 points and is scoring a solid 64.5 points per game.
It All Starts With Ball Security
Just like many Stanford teams of the past, this year's club has displayed a knack for sharing the basketball and limiting miscues. The Cardinal's 1.2 assist/turnover ratio is tops in the Pac-10. Stanford is averaging 18.1 assists per game and has dished out at least 20 helpers in a game on nine different occasions. And Stanford is taking care of the basketball, averaging the fewest amount of turnovers (15.0) in the Pac-10.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 285-31 record at home during her tenure, including a 176-12 mark all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has won 81 of its last 87 games at Maples, although a 55-52 upset loss to No. 24 BYU back on Nov. 13 snapped a 12-game winning streak entering 2006-07. California's stunning 72-57 victory on Feb. 4 snapped Stanford's 50-game conference home winning streak.