February 22, 2007

The Bay Area vs. L.A.

A farewell to Maples

By: Haley Murphy, The Stanford Daily

There was a lull in the gym after the girls’ basketball team practice yesterday. With the last weekend of the regular season upon them, players finished their drills and listened as head coach Tara VanDerveer spoke a few words.

Then it was just quiet. The calm before the storm. A silent swirl of nervousness, confidence, anxiety and excitement. (More ...)

Each team has its own worries as L.A. women come north

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

Can any basketball team -- or any coach -- really feel secure this time of year?

Take, for example, Cal women's coach Joanne Boyle. Her team has 20 wins for the first time in 15 years, a strong position in the conference standings and a top-35 RPI -- seemingly all the ingredients of an NCAA Tournament shoo-in. But Boyle's not convinced the Bears have done quite enough.

Then there's Stanford, which has 23 wins and a No. 8 national ranking and needs one win to lock up another Pac-10 title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. But coach Tara VanDerveer is mulling whether to use star guard Candice Wiggins this weekend, or even next weekend at the conference tournament. The other option is to rest Wiggins' injured hamstring -- at the risk of a lower NCAA seeding -- for what the Cardinal hope is a long postseason run.

Or how about USC coach Mark Trakh, whose injury-riddled team opened the Pac-10 with three straight losses before rallying to win 10 of its next 13 games? That run put the Women of Troy within striking distance of an NCAA berth, though at 16-10, USC needs a few more wins to seal the deal.

And there's a fair share of late-season stress at UCLA, which has failed to find any consistency this season despite the outstanding play of senior Noelle Quinn. (More ...)

Women’s basketball to face rival Stanford

By: Jason Feder, Daily Bruin

For any hope of a postseason run, the women’s basketball team most likely needs to win the Pac-10 Tournament, regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game at Stanford and Saturday’s at Cal.

The Bruins (13-15, 7-9 Pac-10) have lost three in a row but will look to get back at the No. 8 Cardinal tonight at Maples Pavilion. Last time the two teams faced each other, the Bruins dropped a close game 68-59.

“They do have the NCAA Tournament to look forward to, but I know how they operate,” UCLA coach Kathy Olivier said. “I know that their mind-set will be ‘let’s continue to play well so we can get a good seed.’ They never want us to beat them.” (More ...)

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