No. 2/2 Stanford Concludes Weekend Against Washington
Dec. 29, 2007
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (11-1, 1-0 Pac-10)
- vs. -
Washington Huskies (5-8, 0-1 Pac-10)
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 2/2 Stanford women's basketball team continues the Pac-10 Opening Weekend and looks to extend its season-long winning streak to nine games with Sunday's 2 p.m. contest against the Washington Huskies. Fans can hear Sunday's contest on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU, with Kevin Danna calling the action, filling in for Jake Kelman.
Last Time Out For The Cardinal
Stanford continued to roll large Friday night, winning its eighth-straight contest, 105-47 over the Washington State Cougars. The victory improved the Cardinal to 11-1 on the year, and gave Stanford its eighth consecutive Pac-10 season-opening victory. Five Cardinal players scored in double figures, led by Kayla Pedersen's 18 points, as Stanford scored a season-high 105 points and posted its largest-ever margin of victory in a Pac-10 contest (58 points). Additional Cardinal players scoring in double figures were: Cissy Pierce (16 points), Jeanette Pohlen (14), Candice Wiggins (14), and Jillian Harmon (12). Pedersen also led Stanford with eight rebounds as the Cardinal won the battle of the boards by a substantial 50-17 margin over the Cougars.
The Huskies (5-8) come into Sunday's meeting having dropped four of its last five decisions. Helmed by Tia Jackson in her first year, Washington dropped its Pac-10 opener at No. 11/11 California, 66-40 on Friday night. On the court, the Huskies are paced by the scoring of Katelan Redmon (12.8 ppg) and Sami Whitcomb (11.6 ppg), while Emily Florence leads the team with 6.5 rebounds per game.
All-Time Against Washington
Stanford has won seven of the last eight meetings with Washington, dating back to the 2003-04 season. Washington's only victory in that stretch was a 77-72 win in Seattle on Dec. 22, 2005. The Cardinal lead the all-time series 32-14 over the Huskies.
The Cardinal In The Polls
Stanford, ranked fifth in the Associated Press poll and fourth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll last week, leaped to the No. 2 spot in both polls thanks to its 73-69 overtime win over previously top-ranked Tennessee Saturday night. The No. 2 ranking is Stanford's highest since being ranked No. 1 for two weeks (March 7-21) near the end of the 2004-2005 season.
The 700 Club
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer became just the seventh member of the '700 Club' on Friday night, earning career win No. 700 with the 105-47 victory over Washington State. Of the seven members, VanDerveer is the second-fastest to have reached 700 wins, needing just 885 games to accomplish the feat. Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt was the fastest, reaching 700 wins in 847 total games. Following the win Friday night, VanDerveer was feted by the Maples Pavilion crowd, as a video tribute to her career was played and Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby presented her with a bouqet of flowers and a commemorative basketball.
Among The National Stats Leaders
The Cardinal found itself in the National Top 50 in quite a few categories through the games of Dec. 16, including: fewest turnovers per game (13.6 - fifth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16 - eighth), scoring offense (74.7 - T-22nd), rebounding margin (+9.2 - 24th), scoring margin (+16.3 - 25th), and opponents' FG percentage (35.3% - 42nd). Individually, Jayne Appel's 2.2 blocks per game were tied for 37th in the nation, and her 54.3 FG percentage stood 50th. Candice Wiggins, meanwhile, was tied for 31st with her 88.9% success rate at the free-throw line. The NCAA did not update stats last week and will come out with new national statistics again on Jan. 4.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
Through the games of Dec. 22, Stanford leads the Pac-10 in four categories: scoring margin (+15.3), free-throw percentage (73.0%), blocked shots (46 - 4.18 per game), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.15). The Cardinal also sits second in points per game (74.4 ppg), opponents' points per game (58.9 ppg), opponents' FG percentage (36.7%), rebounding (42.9 rpg), rebounding margin (+8.9), assists (16.09 apg), and turnover margin (+2.36). Individually, Candice Wiggins is second in the conference in scoring (18.7 ppg) and free-throw percentage (84.0%), third in steals (2.45 per game), and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.48). Jayne Appel leads the loop in blocks (26 - 2.36 per game), is second in rebounding (9.4 rpg), and fifth in field-goal percentage (52.7%), while freshman Kayla Pedersen is tied for third in rebounding (8.7 rpg) and free-throw percentage (81.1%).
Two Weeks, Two Honors
Senior guard Candice Wiggins was named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second week in a row, and the seventh time in her career on Christmas Eve, after leading Stanford to a pair of wins last week. Wiggins, who scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds, and passed out six assists in last Tuesday's 73-54 win at New Mexico, grabbed the national spotlight once more Saturday, scoring 22 points and grabbing six boards to lead Stanford to a 73-69 overtime win against top-ranked and defending mational champion Tennessee.
Hitting The Century Mark Again
The Cardinal had a scoring party in Friday night's blowout of Washington State, as all 10 participating players registered points to help the team score a season-high 105. The 105 points also marks the second time this season that the Cardinal have reached the century mark (the first was on Opening Night, a 11-44 win at Yale), and just the third time in the new millenium that the Cardinal have twice scored at least 100 points in a game.
They Were Invited To The Points Party
Five Stanford players scored in double figures in Friday night's win, marking the third contest this season in which the Cardinal have accomplished the feat. Freshman Kayla Pedersen led the way with 18 points, while Cissy Pierce shot 7-of-9 from the field for a career-high 16 points, Jeanette Pohlen and Candice Wiggins each scored 14 points, and Jillian Harmon rounded things out with 12 points.
Bring The Windex!
The Cardinal has established a ferocious reputation for cleaning the glass this season, having out-rebounded 10 of its 12 opponents so far. Friday's effort was no different, as Stanford pulled down 50 rebounds to just 17 for Washington State. Kayla Pedersen led the charge once again in this category, grabbing eight boards while Jillian Harmon and Jeanette Pohlen each pulled down seven.
There's No Place Like Home
Nov. 28's regular-season home opener against San Francisco opened up a stretch in which Stanford played six of its next seven games at home through the end of the calendar year. The Cardinal are currently 6-0 in this stretch, with only a home date against Washington (Dec. 30) remaining. With the exception of the 2004-05 season, in which the Cardinal played its first two 'home' games at Santa Clara University's Leavey Center, the most games Stanford had played on the road prior to its home opener was five, in the 1987-88 season.
The Cardinal put on a clinic shooting the basketball Friday night against Washington State, nailing 56.9% of its attempts (41-for-72). Seven of the eight Cardinal players that attempted at least five field goals in the contest shot at least 50.0%, led by the 7-for-9 (77.8%) and 6-for-10 (60.0%) efforts of Cissy Pierce and Jeanette Pohlen, respectively. Freshman Kayla Pedersen also had a strong night, shooting 7-for-14 (50.0%).
All The Way To 11
Stanford's 11-1 start to this season marks the team's best start since the 2002-03 season, and only the third time in the eight seasons of the new millenium that the Cardinal have won 11 of its first 12. In 2002-03, Stanford started 15-1, with the only loss being a 71-56 setback at Tennessee.
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 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 now stands fourth with 2,057 career points. With 35 points in the Dec. 16 win over Baylor, Wiggins became the fifth player in Stanford history to score 2,000 career points, and needs just 159 more points to take over the top spot from all-time scoring leader Kate Starbird (2,215 points). Moving beyond the arc, Wiggins hit her 211th and 212th career three-pointers against Connecticut on Nov. 22, becoming the new all-time leader and breaking the previous record of 210 held by Vanessa Nygaard. Currently, she has 229 threes in her career. Additionally, Wiggins on Dec. 18 at New Mexico passed Sebnem Kimyacioglu's all-time mark of 549 career three-point attempts, and currently holds the mark with 565 career attempts. Finally, at the charity stripe, Wiggins is third all-time with her 440 career free throws, and currently sits tied for third on the all-time free-throw percentage list with an 82.7% success rate, just under two percentage points behind Kelley Suminski's top mark of 84.3%.
Streaking In December
Friday's win over Washington State not only extended Stanford's current winning streak to eight games, but it also extended the Cardinal's December winning streak. Dating back to a 77-56 win at home over USC on Dec. 30, 2005, Stanford has now won 11 consecutive December contests. Last season, the Cardinal posted a perfect 6-0 record in the final month of the calendar year, and this season, is 6-0 with only one more game standing between a second-straight perfect December.
Home Sweet Home
Tara VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 291-32 (.901) record at home during her tenure. The Cardinal is 178-12 (.937) all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. Stanford has also won 88 of its last 95 games at Maples. Stanford's last loss in Maples was on March 19, 2007 to Florida State, while the last home conference loss was on Feb. 4, 2007, when California posted a 72-57 victory over the Cardinal.
Stanford has rebounded nicely from its only loss of the season Thanksgiving night to Connecticut, reeling off eight-straight wins in response. Discounting last season's season-ending loss to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal responded to its previous two losses of 2006-07 with lengthy winning streaks. After a 74-69 loss at No. 8/8 Georgia on Nov. 26, 2006, the Cardinal reeled off 17 wins in a row. That streak was broken by a 72-57 loss to No. 21/21 California on Feb. 4, 2007, but the Cardinal re-energized from that hiccup with 10 consecutive wins.
Running Away With `Em
Friday's 105-47 victory over Washington State marked the fifth time this season that the Cardinal defeated an opponent by more than 20 points. The common factor in these blowout wins from Nov. 28-Dec. 28 is that three came at home in Maples Pavilion. After playing the first six games on the road, Stanford finally opened its home slate Nov. 28 against San Francisco, and blew out the Dons, 96-61. The Cardinal followed it up with a 62-41 win over UC Davis on Dec. 2, an 87-63 win over then-No. 10/10 Baylor on Dec. 16, and the win over Washington State.
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. Sophomore forward Michelle Harrison was lost for the year in the season opener at Yale with a torn ACL and sprained MCL in her left knee, and sophomore point guard Melanie Murphy was also lost for the year with a torn ACL on Nov. 24 against Old Dominion at the Paradise Jam. Freshman Ashley Cimino (back) has not yet seen action this season, and remains out.