No. 5/5 Stanford Takes On USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team In Thursday Night Exhibition
Nov. 14, 2007
No. 5/5 Stanford Cardinal (2-0, 0-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team (7-0)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 5/5 Stanford women's basketball team takes a quick break from its regular-season schedule this Thursday night, Nov. 15, hosting a 7 p.m. exhibition contest against the USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team. Thursday's exhibition is the final stop for the national team on its eight-game 2007 College Tour, on which it is currently undefeated through seven games. After battling the U.S. team, the Cardinal will get back into its college slate, traveling to Salt Lake City to battle the Utah Utes (0-0) Sunday at 1 p.m. PT. Both contests can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford opened the 2007-08 regular season with a sweep of its East Coast trip to Yale and Rutgers. Last Friday night, the Cardinal, unveiling their new black uniforms, routed the Bulldogs, 100-44 in the opener, setting a school record for largest margin of victory in a road game. Stanford went on to outlast then-No. 3/3 Rutgers in a nationally-televised rumble Sunday night, getting 19 points, including the game-clinching free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining, from Preseason All-American Candice Wiggins. The Cardinal were also boosted by the performances of freshman Kayla Pedersen (15 points, 16 rebounds) and sophomore Jayne Appel (18 points, 13 rebounds) in the upset of the Scarlet Knights.
Scouting USA Senior Women's National Team
The USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team is currently 7-0 on its eight-game 2007 College Tour, holding victories over such schools as Tennessee, Connecticut, and Arizona State. The American side boasts a who's who roster of the best professional women's hoopsters in the world, among them three former Connecticut Huskies national champions in Sue Bird (WNBA's Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Detroit Shock), and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury). The team is also anchored by three-time Olympic gold-medalist Lisa Leslie, an 18-year veteran with the various USA Basketball teams.
All-Time Against The USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team
Thursday's contest will be the third all-time against the USA Basketball squad, and the first in eight years. The two teams first met on Nov. 10, 1995, as, ironically, the U.S. squad was helmed by none other than Tara VanDerveer during that time. VanDerveer, on a leave of absence from her role as Stanford's head coach during the 1995-96 season, watched as her U.S. team defeated the Cardinal, 100-63. Four years later, the teams met again, with VanDerveer on the more familiar Stanford sideline. Facing off against the 1999-2000 edition of the U.S. team on Nov. 1, 1999, the Cardinal fell once again, 82-58.
How Do You Like Us Now?
The 2007-08 version of the Stanford women's basketball team introduced itself to the nation with a big display of grit and toughness Sunday night, out-rebounding 2007 national finalist and third-ranked Rutgers by a 50-32 margin and gutting out a 60-58 victory on ESPN. Preseason All-American Candice Wiggins scored 19 points, including the game-clinching free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining, while the inside combo of sophomore Jayne Appel and freshman Kayla Pedersen dominated the paint, combining for 29 rebounds (10 offensive) in the victory.
Movin' On Up
With the perfect weekend, and more importantly the 60-58 win over then-No. 3/3 Rutgers, the Cardinal, previously ranked at No. 7/8 in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls, respectively, have moved up to occupy the fifth slot in each poll, as announced Monday.
Ice Water In Her Veins
Preseason All-American Candice Wiggins showed a national TV audience that she's a gamer Sunday at Rutgers, scoring 19 points to lead all Stanford players, and most importantly, icing the 60-58 win with a pair of free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining. Along with her 9-for-11 performance from the line Sunday, Wiggins also grabbed six boards to contribute to Stanford's dominance in the rebounding column.
Climbing To The Top Of The Record Books
Heading into the 2007-08 season, senior guard Candice Wiggins stands on the brink of establishing multiple new career records in the Stanford women's basketball annals. Currently, Wiggins is already the all-time Stanford leader with a career mark of 18.7 points per game, and stands fifth with 1,869 career points. Besides being only 131 points away from the 2,000-point mark, Wiggins needs to score 347 points to take over the top spot from all-time scoring leader Kate Starbird (2,215 points). Moving beyond the arc, Wiggins' career total of 209 three-pointers is second on the all-time list, only one behind current leader Vanessa Nygaard. Additionally, with 45 more three-point attempts this season, Wiggins, who currently has 505, will pass Sebnem Kimyacioglu's all-time leading mark of 549 three-point attempts. Finally, Wiggins enters the season fourth on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.3% success rate, just two percentage points behind Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Say Hello To My...Er...BIG Friend!
Freshman forward Kayla Pedersen instantly made her presence felt last weekend, as she averaged 15.0 points and 12.5 rebounds over Stanford's two victories. But her real impact was felt in Sunday's nationally-televised 60-58 victory over Rutgers, in which Pedersen scored 15 points and led all players with 16 rebounds. She also put up a stat which deserves due praise: a 6-for-6 effort from the free-throw line.
A Solid Five
One unique note on the box score of Stanford's win over Rutgers was that the Cardinal got all 60 of its points from its five starters. Candice Wiggins led the team with 19 points, Jayne Appel added 18, Kayla Pedersen 15, while Rosalyn Gold-Onwude chipped in six and Jillian Harmon two. If nothing else, it shows that head coach Tara VanDerveer has a reliable starting five when it comes to, among other things, putting points on the board and simply producing.
'NPH' Wouldn't Do That, But 'RGO' Would!
Redshirt sophomore point guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude enjoyed a family reunion this past weekend as plenty of family and friends were present at Yale and Rutgers to watch the point guard make her return from a knee injury that sidelined her for the entire 2006-07 season. Gold-Onwude scored six points in each contest, and dished out four assists at Yale. And after helping the Cardinal to its 60-58 upset of Rutgers, Gold-Onwude afterwards was given by her parents something that would make Harold and Kumar drool: a box of White Castle sliders.
Already In Mid-Season Form
Preseason All-Pac-10 Team selection and Wooden Award finalist Jayne Appel proved that she's ready and able to build upon her stellar freshman campaign of a year ago. After just two games this season, Appel is averaging 19.0 points and 9.5 rebounds a game, and in Sunday's win over Rutgers posted her first double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Not only was Appel a force on the boards, but she provided a soft touch from the floor, shooting a combined 18-for-27 (66.7%) over the two wins.
In addition to rebounding, Stanford is displaying a good amount of toughness and tenacity as well through the first two games of the year. Friday at Yale, the Cardinal defense held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 4:01 of the contest, didn't yield a field goal until the 5:47 mark, and held the Bulldogs to a 21.2% mark from the field. Sunday at Rutgers, the defense stepped it up again, this time in the second half. After Rutgers shot 50.0% from the field and held a slim 37-36 advantage at the break, the Cardinal were all over the Scarlet Knights in the final 20 minutes, holding them to 8-of-28 shooting (28.6%) and just 21 points. For the weekend, the Cardinal defense limited their opponents to a combined 37-for-124 (29.8%) shooting performance.
Heeding Coach's Advice
Head coach Tara VanDerveer has spent a good amount of time and energy already in this young season preaching the need for solid rebounding and good free-throw shooting to her players. This weekend, the team gave its coach what she asked for, outrebounding its foes by a combined 105-65 margin, and reaping the benefits of its practice from the charity stripe Sunday at Rutgers, shooting 15-for-18 (83.3%) from the line.
Gotta Stay Healthy
No matter how much talent is on any given roster, a team must stay as healthy as possible to give itself the best chance for a national title. Stanford suffered a tough break last weekend, as sophomore forward Michelle Harrison was lost for the year with a torn ACL and sprained MCL in her left knee at Yale. Freshman Ashley Cimino (back) did not make the weekend's trip to the East Coast, while fellow first-year Hannah Donaghe (hip), who did not see action this past weekend, remains listed as day-to-day.
The Choice In The Pac-10...again
For the eighth year in a row, seven-time defending conference champion Stanford has been voted as the favorite to win the 2007-08 Pac-10 women's basketball title, according to both the preseason coaches and media poll. The Cardinal received eight of 10 first-place votes in the coaches poll, tallying 79 points overall, and 17 of 18 top votes in the media poll, good for 179 points. Arizona State was picked as the runner-up in each poll.
The honors have already begun rolling in for a pair of Cardinal players in 2007-08, as senior guard Candice Wiggins and sophomore forward/center Jayne Appel have been named to various preseason teams and award lists. Both players were named to the Preseason All-Pac-10 Team, as well as to the list of 30 preseason candidates for the prestigious Wooden Award. Wiggins, a three-time Kodak and Associated Press All-American, was also named to both the AP's and ESPN.com's Preseason All-America teams as well.