No. 5/5 Stanford Visits Utah Sunday Afternoon

Nov. 17, 2007

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No. 5/5 Stanford Cardinal (2-0, 0-0 Pac-10)

- vs. -

Utah Utes (1-0, 0-0 Mountain West)

  • Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007 - 1 p.m. PT

  • Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) - Salt Lake City, Utah

    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The No. 5/5 Stanford women's basketball team embarks on its season-long 10-day, four-game road trip this weekend, stopping first in Salt Lake City to battle the Utah Utes (1-0) Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. PT. From Utah, the Cardinal will then head to the Caribbean, setting up camp on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam next week. Sunday's contest can be heard live on KZSU 90.1 FM, with play-by-play man Jake Kelman on the call..

    Last Time Out For The Cardinal
    Stanford fell 97-62 to the USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team in exhibition action Thursday night at Maples Pavilion. In regular-season action, the Cardinal opened the 2007-08 slate with a sweep of its East Coast trip to Yale and Rutgers. Clad in its new black uniforms, the Cardinal 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 Utah
    The Utes (1-0) opened up the 2007-08 season Thursday night with a 91-50 victory over UC Irvine. Utah shot 64.9% from the field in the win, led by the 9-for-9, 27-point performance of Kalee Whipple and the double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) from Jessica Perry. Last season, the Utes posted a 19-14 overall record, and a 10-6 mark in Mountain West play. That showing earned Utah a postseason berth in the WNIT, where the team defeated Montana, 78-70, in a preliminary round contest before falling 59-48 in a first-round contest at Illinois.

    All-Time Against Utah
    Sunday's contest marks the 10th time overall that the Cardinal and Utes have met, and the fourth time since the 2004-05 season. The Cardinal have won all nine previous encounters by an average of just under 14 points (13.9), including the previous two meetings by 26 and 27 points, respectively. This recent stretch of meetings between the two schools began with a pair of contests in the 2004-05 season, with Stanford capturing a 63-57 regular-season victory in Salt Lake City, and an 88-62 win in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Cardinal captured a 74-47 win at home.

    Facing The World's Best
    Thursday night the Cardinal took the floor for an exhibition contest against the USA Basketball Senior Women's National Team, falling 97-62 at Maples Pavilion. Despite the loss, the Cardinal gained valuable experience against the top-ranked team in the world, facing former college and current WNBA standouts such as Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Seimone Augustus, and Team USA mainstay Lisa Leslie.

    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 last 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 earlier this week.Ice Water In Her VeinsPreseason All-American Candice Wiggins showed a national TV audience that she's a gamer against 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 last 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.

    '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 last 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.

    Clamping Down
    In addition to rebounding, Stanford is displaying a good amount of toughness and tenacity as well through the first two games of the year. Last week 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. 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.

    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.

    Preseason Recognition
    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's Preseason All-America teams as well.

    Quick Glance At The Schedule
    Trips to New England as well as to the Carribean and 13 opponents that participated in postseason play last year highlight Stanford's 2007-08 schedule. Stanford will play at least 13 home games at Maples Pavilion, which should be welcome news for a Cardinal club that has won 83 of its last 90 games at home while posting an impressive 15-3 record in the arena last year. Once again, the Cardinal will go to work against a schedule filled with traditional powerhouses and programs on the rise. In addition to the non-conference challenges, Stanford will renew acquaintances with its Pac-10 rivals, which include three teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season, and one that reached the WNIT. But as always, the Cardinal are more than ready to meet the challenges of their schedule.

    Cardinal, White, And Blue?
    This summer was a busy one on the international level for Stanford standouts Candice Wiggins and Jayne Appel. Wiggins saw action for three different USA Basketball squads from July to September, starting her 'summer tour' with the U.S. Under-21 team at the Under-21 World Championships in Russia where she averaged 13.1 points a game in leading the U.S. to the gold medal. From there, she joined Stanford teammate Jayne Appel on the U.S. Pan-American Games team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the duo led the USA to another gold medal. Wiggins concluded her summer by being invited to the USA Basketball senior national team camp prior to the Tournament of the Americas, where she made her senior international debut in a pair of exhibition wins over Australia. Another Cardinal player that has already earned some experience on the international level is freshman forward Kayla Pedersen. In 2006, the Fountain Hills, Ariz. native was named to the U18 squad that captured the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, and spent time this past summer with the U19 squad.

    20 Wins Again
    Last year's final record of 29-5 marked Stanford's 18th season with 20 or more wins. Stanford has won 20+ games in each of the last six seasons and seven of the last eight. The Cardinal last reached the 30-win plateau in 2004-05, as the club finished 32-3 while capturing the Pac-10 title and advancing to the Elite Eight.

    Home Sweet Home
    Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 286-32 (.899) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 177-12 (.937) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 83 of its last 90 games at Maples. With a 78-47 win over Washington State on Feb. 25, 2006, Stanford improved its conference home win streak to 46 games. Stanford's last conference loss in Maples was on Feb. 4, 2007, when California posted a 72-57 victory over the Cardinal.

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