Sweetness In Sacramento: No. 2/2 Stanford Set For Sweet 16 Meeting Saturday With No. 23/- Georgia
March 23, 2010
2010 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (33-1)
Georgia Lady Bulldogs (25-8)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford moves on to the state capital of Sacramento for its third straight regional this weekend, opening Sweet 16 play Saturday night against the No. 23/- Georgia Lady Bulldogs at Arco Arena. The contest will tip-off at either 6 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The contest will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, as well as on ESPN360 with Dave Pasch on the call and Mary Murphy on color commentary. The game will also be broadcast on 90.1 KZSU with Scott Bland on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal continued on its path to the Final Four in San Antonio by closing out the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament with a 96-67 second-round victory over Iowa. Stanford shot a scorching 68.8 percent in the opening half, making its first eight three-point attempts en route to a season-high 61 first-half points. Redshirt guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude made her final game at Maples Pavilion a memorable one, as she posted career highs with 26 points, nine field goals and seven triples in a performance to remember. Senior center Jayne Appel also had a memorable final night at Maples, going 8-for-13 from the field for 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 23 points with nine rebounds, while Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen each scored 11 points in the win.
Georgia (25-8) the No. 5 seed in the Sacramento Region, punched its ticket to California thanks to victories over Tulane and Oklahoma State. The Lady Bulldogs, with Andy Landers in his 31st season at the helm, are led by the play of Ashley Houts (12.6 ppg, 3.82 apg), Jasmine James (11.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Porsha Phillips (8.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg).
All-Time Against Georgia
Stanford leads the all-time series, 6-3, over Georgia. This Saturday's regional semifinal meeting will be the sixth NCAA Tournament contest between the two schools, and first since 2000, as Stanford holds a 3-2 edge in the previous five games.
National Stat Rankings
Through March 14, Stanford is ranked in the national top 20 in the following categories: field-goal percentage defense (33.7 - second), rebound margin (+11.9 - third), scoring margin (+23.2 - third), field-goal percentage (47.5 - fifth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.25 - fourth), three-point field goal defense (25.3 - fourth), fouls per game (13.3 - seventh), assists (17.91 apg - seventh), scoring (77.1 - 11th), scoring defense (54.0 - 12th) and turnovers per game (14.3 - 15th). Nnemkadi Ogwumike is fourth in the nation with a 63.5 shooting percentage and Jeanette Pohlen is 19th with a 2.01 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
Through March 22, Stanford leads the conference in 13 statistical categories: scoring margin (+23.6), scoring defense (54.1), field-goal percentage (47.6), field-goal percentage defense (34.1), rebounding (44.7 rpg), rebounding margin (+12.1), three-point field-goal percentage defense (25.6), free throw percentage (73.5), defensive rebounding (30.4), defensive rebound percentage (70.9), assists (17.94), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27) and blocked shots (4.35).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the Pac-10 with 18.5 points per game and a 62.9 shooting percentage, and is second with 9.5 rebounds per game. Kayla Pedersen is third with 9.1 rebounds a game, and fourth with 15.9 points a game and a 38.9 three-point shooting percentage, while Jayne Appel is second with 1.73 blocks per game and fourth with 8.9 rebounds per game. Jeanette Pohlen is second in the conference with 4.58 assists per game and leads the loop with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.01.
Stanford In The NCAA Tournament
This year's NCAA Tournament marks the 23rd straight appearance for the Cardinal and the program's 24th overall. Heading into this weekend's Sacramento Regional, Stanford has racked up an overall record of 58-21 (.734), won two national championships (1990, `92), reached eight Final Fours (1990-92, `95-'97, `08-'09), 13 Regional Finals, and 17 Sweet 16s.
Cardinal Get A No. 1 Seed
Stanford enters this weekend's regional semifinal as the top seed in the Sacramento Region, the first time since 1998 that the Cardinal had claimed a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, the Cardinal has now received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on seven occasions (1990, `92-'93, `96-'98, `10), going 21-4, winning two national titles and reaching four Final Fours so far.
Comfortable Start In A Comfortable Place
Stanford opened up play in the 2010 NCAA Tournament at Maples Pavilion, the 15th time the Cardinal had opened up at home in the postseason. After victories over UC Riverside and Iowa in the first and second rounds, respectively, Stanford is now 24-4 (.857) in NCAA Tournament home games.
Going For 25 In A Row
With Monday night's 96-67 victory over Iowa, Stanford upped its winning streak to 24 games, just one away from the program record of 25 straight wins set in 1996-97. That team, similar to this year's Cardinal squad, won nine straight to open the year before losing its 10th game. From there, the 1996-97 squad tore through its next 25 opponents before finally being stopped at the Final Four by Old Dominion, the same team that had beaten the Cardinal earlier that season.
Gold-Onwude Leaves A Lasting Impression
In her final game at Maples Pavilion last Monday night, redshirt senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude breathed new life into the old saying 'saving the best for last.' The Queens, N.Y. native put on the performance of her career in the second-round matchup against Iowa, hitting her first six three-point attempts en route to a career high seven triples, nine field goals (9-for-13 shooting on the night) and 26 points. Gold-Onwude also dished out five assists in the win, and left the court to a standing ovation from the Cardinal faithful.
Ogwumike Shines Brightest
Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike continued her brilliant season with yet another great start to NCAA Tournament play. Over Stanford's first- and second-round wins against UC Riverside and Iowa, Ogwumike averaged 21.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Against UC Riverside last Saturday, the Cypress, Texas native also became the 31st player in Stanford history to reach 1,000 career points, and currently stands at 1,030. The NCAA Tournament has quickly become Ogwumike's showcase, as over seven tournament games in her young career, she is averaging 16.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting 61.2 percent from the field.
Pedersen Plows Ahead
Once again Monday night, Stanford received a solid and dependable effort out of junior forward Kayla Pedersen, who scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and passed out a pair of assists in the win over Iowa. The ever-reliable Pedersen went 3-for-6 from the field in the game, and over the first two games of the tournament is averaging 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and is a trusty 11-for-12 (.917) from the free-throw line.
Here Comes The Blitz!
The reports of smoke billowing out of Maples Pavilion Monday night were slightly exaggerated, as the building itself was not on fire, but the home team playing on the arena's court was certainly scorching hot. The Cardinal shot a blistering 68.8 percent over the first 20 minutes of the game against Iowa, scoring a season-best 61 first-half points. That opening half also featured the Cardinal going 9-for-12 from behind the arc, highlighted by Rosalyn Gold-Onwude's perfect 6-for-6 effort and a 2-for-2 showing from Jeanette Pohlen. Over that opening 20 minutes, the five Stanford starters combined to go 22-for-29 from the field, a flaming-hot 75.9-percent rate.
Passing Leads To Points
Just as crucial to Stanford's success against Iowa Monday night as its accuracy from the field was the accuracy of the team's passing. The Cardinal passed out a season high-matching 26 assists in the 96-67 win over the Hawkeyes, with 19 of those handouts coming from guards Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Jeanette Pohlen and forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike. For Ogwumike, her seven assists marked a new career high, while Gold-Onwude's and Pohlen's contributions helped the Cardinal have five players score in double digits.
Only One Ankle But Twice The Heart
Senior center Jayne Appel, hobbled by a low ankle sprain suffered nearly three weeks ago, has displayed her resiliency over the past two weekends, gamely playing on the balky joint and continuing to be a nuisance for opposing defenses. While Appel saw time off the bench and still was named to the Pac-10 All-Tournament Team, she has stepped it up in the NCAA Tournament, her final chance at the elusive national title. Over Stanford's two opening wins, Appel is averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over just 19.0 minutes per game, while shooting a very respectable 61.1 percent (11-for-18) from the field.
Pohlen Is Finding The Mark
This year's NCAA Tournament has seen a great start from Stanford's point guard and resident long-range bomber, junior Jeanette Pohlen. Through the first two rounds Pohlen has wielded a hot hand from behind the arc, going 7-for-8 (.875) in those attempts and averaging 13.5 points per game. Yet Pohlen's value is not limited to just three-point shooting, as her passing skills have played a key role in opening up the Cardinal offense. Monday night, Pohlen passed out seven assists against Iowa, and on the year leads Stanford with 151 assists, and 4.58 per game. Pohlen's passing and spreading of the wealth is the main reason that Stanford leads the Pac-10 with 17.94 team assists per game.