Stanford Handles New Mexico, 73-54
Dec. 18, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Candice Wiggins scored 18 of her 21 points in the first half, Jayne Appel added 18 points and Kayla Pederson had 13 as Stanford (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) beat New Mexico 73-54 on Tuesday night.
Wiggins had another big effort just two nights after going for 35 points in a lopsided victory over Baylor. Not surprisingly, Stanford (9-1) has won six straight, including four in a row by at least 19 points.
The Cardinal, the highest-ranked women's team ever to visit The Pit, finally can look ahead to a tantalizing matchup Saturday at Maples Pavilion against top-ranked Tennessee.
Amy Beggin put in a spirited effort, leading the Lobos (7-4) with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, but New Mexico lost its second straight at home.
Lobos coach Don Flanagan said before tipoff that Wiggins might be the best player ever to visit The Pit, and she lived up to the hype.
Wiggins hit three straight 3-pointers during an 11-3 run late in the first half as Stanford broke away from a 24-24 tie. The Cardinal went 6-of-10 from 3-point range to build a 41-29 lead at halftime.
The Lobos could do little as Stanford fired away on the perimeter to beat New Mexico's zone defense. If Flanagan went man-to-man, Stanford took advantage with the 6-foot-4 Appel or 6-4 Pederson getting free underneath the basket.
Fans who made The Pit roar early in the first half -- Beggin's layup put New Mexico up 15-9 near the 12-minute mark -- grew frustrated when officials called nine fouls on the Lobos while giving Stanford just two in the first half.
The Cardinal had all the momentum as Wiggins heated up and then kept things going after the break. Harmon completed a three-point play after a New Mexico turnover to put Stanford ahead 52-33 with 13:28 remaining.
The Lobos made a brief challenge. Reserve center Valerie Kast scored three baskets to help New Mexico cut the margin to 57-44 midway through the second half but Stanford used an 8-0 burst to regain control at 64-44 with 7½ minutes to go.
New Mexico was coming off its worst effort of the season, a 22.8 percent shooting performance in a 44-36 loss to Arizona last weekend.