One Step Away: No. 2/2 Stanford Meets No. 5/5 Xavier With Trip To Final Four On The Line
March 28, 2010
2010 NCAA Tournament Regional Final
No. 2/2 Stanford Cardinal (34-1)
Xavier Musketeers (30-3)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford is one step away from capturing the Sacramento Regional and a third straight trip to the Final Four, as it meets No. 5/5 Xavier Monday at 6 p.m. at Arco Arena. The contest will be televised on ESPN as well as online on ESPN360 with Dave Pasch on the call, Mary Murphy on color commentary and Cara Capuano reporting from the sidelines. The game will also be broadcast on 90.1 KZSU with Scott Bland on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal advanced to its third straight Regional Final with a convincing 73-36 victory over the No. 23/- Georgia Lady Bulldogs in regional semifinal action Saturday night. Stanford's defense set the tone, holding the Lady Bulldogs to a 20.3-percent shooting mark from the field and to just 36 points, a record low for a Stanford opponent in NCAA Tournament play. On the offensive side of things, Jayne Appel led all players with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting, while forwards Kayla Pedersen (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (11 points, 11 rebounds) each posted double-doubles. Guard Jeanette Pohlen rounded out the Cardinal players scoring in double digits with 12 points, and passed out five assists as well, while JJ Hones went 3-for-4 from the floor to add eight points off the bench.
Xavier (30-3) the No. 3 seed in the Sacramento Region, earned its way into Monday's regional final with a 74-56 victory over Gonzaga Saturday night. The Musketeers, with Kevin McGuff in his eighth season at the helm, are led by the play of posts Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips.
All-Time Against Xavier
Monday night's regional final will be the first-ever meeting between Stanford and Xavier.
Stanford Against The Atlantic-10 In The NCAA Tournament
Stanford is 1-0 against the current version of the Atlantic-10 in the NCAA Tournament, and 8-3 in all meetings. The lone NCAA Tournament meeting against an A-10 team came against George Washington on March 17, 2001, when the Cardinal defeated the Colonials, 76-51 in first-round action in Norman, Okla.
National Stat Rankings
Through March 23, Stanford is ranked in the national top 20 in the following categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27 - second), field-goal percentage defense (34.1 - third), rebound margin (+12.1 - third), scoring margin (+23.6 - third), field-goal percentage (47.6 - fifth), three-point field goal defense (25.6 - fifth), fouls per game (13.1 - sixth), assists (17.94 apg - seventh), scoring (77.7 - 10th), scoring defense (54.1 - 11th) and turnovers per game (14.2 - 12th). Nnemkadi Ogwumike is fourth in the nation with a 62.9 shooting percentage and Jeanette Pohlen is 19th with a 2.01 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Pac-10 Stat Rankings
Through March 23, Stanford leads the conference in 12 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) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27).
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 Monday's Sacramento Regional Final, Stanford has racked up an overall record of 59-21 (.738), won two national championships (1990, `92), reached eight Final Fours (1990-92, `95-'97, `08-'09), 14 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 22-4, 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.
And That Makes 25
With Saturday night's 73-36 victory over Georgia, Stanford upped its winning streak to 25 games, matching 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.
One Step Away From San Antonio
Saturday night's 73-36 victory over Georgia in the regional semifinal round left Stanford just one step away from a third straight trip to the Final Four. Standing in the Cardinal's way will be the Xavier Musketeers, who defeated Gonzaga in Saturday night's second contest. With a victory Monday night, the Cardinal will seal its bid to the program's ninth Final Four.
Ogwumike Shines Brightest
Sophomore forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike continued her brilliant season with yet another great start to NCAA Tournament play. Over Stanford's three NCAA Tournament wins, Ogwumike is averaging 17.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while shooting 52.8 percent from the field. Against UC Riverside in last Saturday's first round, the Cypress, Texas native also became the 31st player in Stanford history to reach 1,000 career points, and currently stands 28th on the all-time list with 1,041.
Pedersen Plows Ahead
Once again Saturday night, Stanford received a solid and dependable effort out of junior forward Kayla Pedersen, who scored 13 points, and matched her season high with 15 rebounds in the 73-36 win over Georgia. The ever-reliable Pedersen went 6-for-13 from the field in the game, and over the first three games of the tournament is averaging 13.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, and is a trusty 12-for-13 (.923) from the free-throw line.
Record-Setting Defensive Effort
The 36 points scored by Georgia in Saturday's regional semifinal contest set a Stanford single-game NCAA Tournament record for the fewest points scored by an opponent. Stanford's defense continually harassed the Lady Bulldogs throughout the contest, limiting Georgia to just 20.3-percent shooting (12-for-59) and a 4-for-22 showing from behind the arc. Stanford's previous record for fewest points by an opponent in an NCAA contest came in last year's first round, when the Cardinal held UC Santa Barbara to just 39 points.