No. 2 Stanford Handles USC, 77-39

Feb. 7, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Jayne Appel passed Nicole Powell to become Stanford's career rebounding leader with 1,153, Kayla Pedersen had 18 points and 14 boards and the second-ranked Cardinal beat cold-shooting Southern California 77-39 on Sunday for their 42nd straight home win at Maples Pavilion.

Appel, who finished with 15 points and 13 boards, pulled down her fourth rebound of the game and 1,144th of her career at the 7:34 mark of the first half to move past Powell.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Cardinal (21-1, 11-0 Pac-10) in their 12th straight win since the team's lone loss at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 23, fifth straight victory in the series and 15th in 16 overall against USC.

Jacki Gemelos continued her inspirational comeback tale by scoring 13 points to lead USC (13-9, 7-4), which couldn't overcome the lowest scoring half in program history and lost its third straight following a five-game winning streak. The Women of Troy scored only 10 points in the first half - surpassing the school's previous-low of 15 on Jan. 27, 1990.

Gemelos made her collegiate debut Thursday - as a redshirt junior and academic senior - and played 28 minutes in her first game action following four anterior cruciate ligaments in her knees that required five surgeries. She was the No. 1 prep player in the country in 2006 when she first got hurt as a senior at Saint Mary's High School in Stockton, where she was averaging 39.2 points per game at the time.

She had eight points, five assists and five rebounds in a 61-55 loss at California on Thursday night.

Gemelos, who checked in at the 14:32 mark of the first half, missed her first five field-goal tries before making a driving layin with 15:06 remaining. Briana Gilbreath added 11 points for USC, which shot 18.2 percent (12 of 66).

Gemelos is close friends with Appel.

Appel was happy to be playing at all Sunday against her old pal. Her status was briefly in doubt following her ejection and flagrant foul Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 All-America center and reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year was tossed from a 74-53 win over UCLA with 7:41 left for throwing an elbow that hit UCLA star Jasmine Dixon in the face. The Pac-10 reviewed the play shortly after the game and decided not to suspend Appel for Sunday's contest.

It was the first ejection 24th-year coach Tara VanDerveer can recall for one of her players.

Rosalyn Gold-Onwude scored seven straight points to start the second half and finished with 11 for Stanford, which didn't allow a jump shot until Heather Oliver's 3-pointer with 17:08 left.

Pedersen had 10 rebounds herself late in the first half when USC had managed only eight total. USC shot 3-for-31 in the first half and went 10 minutes between field goals by Gilbreath. All of the team's baskets came on layins and USC was 0-for-8 from long range.

Stanford began the game 1 for 9 with four turnovers in the opening four minutes but then made four of its next five during a 9-0 run. The Cardinal also closed the half on a 14-0 run for a 29-10 lead at intermission.

That low total came a day after Cal and UCLA combined for only 22 first-half points in nearby Berkeley - with the Bruins leading 14-8 in a game featuring the fewest first-half points in nearly six years.

Stanford's 1990 national championship team was honored after the game on the 20th anniversary of the school's first NCAA title - a team featuring Jennifer Azzi, Sonja Henning and Katy Steding.

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