March 31, 2008

March 29, 2008

And then there were eight

Gold-Onwude comes through as Stanford pulls away at finish by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

Stanford Advances to Elite Eight With 72-53 Win Over Pitt from the Associated Press

Stanford advances to Elite Eight by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Pitt's Cinderella postseason ends with loss to Stanford by Ray Fittipaldo (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Stanford's depth sends Pitt packing by Greg Lee ( Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Cardinal Moving Closer To Tampa by Katherine Smith (Tampa Tribune)

Stanford women are ready for their close-up by Scott Ostler (San Francisco Chronicle)

Box score and play-by-play

More stories from Spokane

We arrived in Spokane about an hour ago. Lots of signs at the airport and all over town about the tournament. There are only about 1100 tickets still available (of 11,000), so tonight should be really exciting!

In the meantime, we're in our hotel room watching the LSU / OK State game on TV and reading the Spokane Spokesman Review, which has all these stories about the tournament:

March 28, 2008

Stories from Spokane

The matchup: Stanford vs. Pittsburgh by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Tourney neophyte Pitt brings court cred by Michelle Smith (San Franciso Chronicle)

Pitt women's defense must focus to stop Stanford by Kevin Gorman (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Stopping Wiggins big test for Pitt by Ray Fittipaldo (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Stanford's fate may rest in strong hands of Appel by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

It's more fun to deal with women's coaches by Scott Ostler (San Francisco Chronicle)

Ready for more

The Cardinal is ready to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Wiggins infuses Cardinal with will and determination day in and day out by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

With end in sight, she's not blinking by Nicole Vargas (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Confident Stanford hits Sweet 16 on a 20-game roll by Ray Fittipaldo (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Stanford enjoying men's, women's success Ann Killion (Mercury News)

Candice is finalist for Wade Trophy

Candice has been named as one of the twelve finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy, as reported in

March 27, 2008

Next up, the Pittsburgh Panthers

So who is this team that we're going to play in Spokane instead of the expected Baylor?

March 26, 2008

Strange Magic

By Sue Bair (The Bootleg)

Candice Wiggins made some magic in her last game at Maples Pavilion on Monday. Wiggins tied the school single-game scoring record of 44 points and Stanford trounced UTEP 88-54. Jayne Appel added 20 points and Kayla Pedersen had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Read more...

March 24, 2008



You've played your last game as a Cardinal at Maples Pavilion*. But your college career has not ended yet, your basketball career is only about halfway done, and memories of you will be in the minds and hearts of Cardinal fans forever.

Thank you for four years of your amazing spirit and skill. You gave us so much joy.

Here are tributes from Bay Area sports writers:

Final moment in the hoop spotlight for Candice Wiggins by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

Leaving a Legacy by John Reid (Palo Alto Daily News)

* See the next post for the game report.

Candice leads Cardinal into Sweet 16

Candice led the 88-54 win over UTEP with 44 points (tying Kate Starbird's Stanford single-game record), ten rebounds, eight assists, three steals and one spectacular block.

The AP game report and photos

Player of the Day: Candice Wiggins by Graham Hayes (ESPN)

Wiggins scores 44 in NCAA tourney romp by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

Stanford romps; Wiggins scores 44 by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Wiggins superb in Maples finale by Michelle Smith (SF Chronicle)

Stanford's Wiggins scores 44, and she's not done yet by Ann Killion (Mercury News)

City watches UTEP Miners NCAA run end by Daniel Borunda (El Paso Times)

Photo gallery from Stanford Photo

Audio Slide Show from Mercury News

The box score and play-by-play

Round 2

March 23, 2008

See Jayne score

Every healthy Cardinal played at least five minutes and contributed points and/or rebounds to the win over Cleveland State, but this was largely Jayne's show, with her career-high 33 points.

See Jayne score ... a lot by John Reid (Palo Alto Daily News)

Stanford women advance as Appel scores 33 by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

Appel plays big - very big - in Stanford rout by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

Appel has her way, as does Stanford by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Real test for Stanford women comes in Round 2 by Ann Killion (Mercury News)

Stanford Cruises Past Cleveland State in Opening Round, 85-47 from the Associated Press

Audio slide show from the Mercury News

Box score and play-by-play

March 22, 2008

Matchups at Maples

March 21, 2008

Going to the dance

Three Pac-10 teams are ready to start dancing this weekend

Arizona State

Gina Mizzell (Web Devil) reports that it's finally time to boogie. Jill Noe sees their opening game against Temple on Sunday night as, "... a chance for us to redeem ourselves and prove that we can beat top-ranked teams." Read more...


Andrew Kim (The Daily Californian) recalls that it's been 15 years since the Cal women won an NCAA game. Alexis Gray-Lawson says, "... we're gonna, you know, win. That's what we plan on doing." Read more...

The Bears have an excellent chance of doing just that in their opening game against San Diego tomorrow afternoon at Maples. Remember that they're our friends when they're not playing us -- Go Bears!!!


The media has inevitably focused on That Game and the "Curse of Maples" in their stories about Stanford in the NCAA Tournament.

Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle) goes on to report that there is no sense of dread as the Cardinal prepare for this weekend. Ros says, "I don't think our main mind-set is just 'getting out of Maples.' That would be short-sighted and we have bigger goals." Read more...

Ann Killion (Mercury News) reports what some of the participants in That Game think about it now, ten years later -- Allison Feaster, Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, Tara VanDerveer, Vanessa Nygaard, Kristin Folkl, Milena Flores. Vanessa concludes (almost), "There's no curse. It has no relevance to this Stanford team." Read more...

March 20, 2008

Who's playing at Maples this weekend?

It's another hoop junkie's dream at Maples this weekend. Come enjoy the action and help give the Cardinal and the Bears a great sendoff on the road to Tampa Bay. Bring all your friends, noisy or not. If you still need tickets, call 1-800-STANFORD.

These are the games on Saturday:

11:00 am, George Washington (6) vs Auburn (11), Greensboro Region

The Colonials rally before a game
From The Daily Colonial: Their all-time assist leader is poised to make one final run deep into the women’s NCAA tournament.
ESPN's Take on the George Washington Colonials
The George Washington roster

The Tigers celebrate their tournament bid
From the Huntsville Times: Coach Nell Fortner admits she can't help but wonder what might have been.
ESPN's Take on the Auburn Tigers
The Auburn roster

1:30 pm, California (3) vs San Diego (14), Greensboro Region

Devanei and Joanne are ready to dance
From the San Francisco Chronicle: We have new purpose. We have new life going into the tournament.
ESPN's Take on the California Golden Bears
The Cal roster

The Toreros celebrate upsetting the Zags
From the North County Times: Everyone is excited that we'll be playing in the West Coast, no matter who it's against.
ESPN's Take on the San Diego Toreros
The San Diego roster

5:30 pm, Stanford (2) vs Cleveland State (15), Spokane Region

The Cardinal await the news
From Palo Alto Online: The most important thing is . . .we're healthy and we have a great team. We just want to have a great tournament.
ESPN's Take on the Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford roster

The Vikings celebrate their first-ever Horizon League championship
From The Plain Dealer: It's going to be nice going against one of the top programs in the country. We'll just throw everything at them and see what happens.
ESPN's Take on the Cleveland State Vikings
The Cleveland State roster

8:00 pm, UTEP (7) vs Western Kentucky (10), Spokane Region

The Miners team and fans celebrate their first-ever NCAA tournament bid
From the El Paso Times: They made us wait until the end, but this is a great seed. This is what you dream about.
ESPN's Take on the UTEP (University of Texas El Paso) Miners
The UTEP roster

The Lady Toppers are the Sun Belt Conference champion
From the College Heights Herald: ... the team is confident in its chances to advance past the first round of the tournament for the first time since 2000
ESPN's Take on the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers
The Western Kentucky roster

March 19, 2008

Pac-10 leads rise of Western women

Dick Patrick (USA Today) writes about the revival of West Coast women's basketball from the long drought since the glory days in the 1980s and 1990s.

March 17, 2008

The road to Tampa starts ...

... with a game against Cleveland State at Maples Pavilion at 5:30 pm on Saturday, March 22.

The NCAA bracket shows the whole trip and all its participants.

The Cardinal, who had hoped to receive a #1 seed after winning the Pac-10 regular season and tournament, were disappointed to be placed #2 after Maryland in the Spokane region. But the disappointment didn't last long. As soon as the news settled in, they were ready to use the slight as motivation in the tournament.

"The most important thing is not the seed,'' Tara said. "We just want to have a great tournament and have everyone play well. We'd love to play Maryland for the regional title.''

"This is a very motivated team," Candice. "This is extra motivation for us. We have been the hunters the whole season. We're very good in that position. We know what we really want. We know what our goals are. We're going to go after them."

Two other teams in particular are looking forward to playing at Maples next weekend. Cal has the #3 seed (in the Greensboro region), its highest ever. They will begin their trip with a game against San Diego (the WCC tournament champion) on Saturday at 1:30 pm. The bears hope to regain the strength and skill they showed for most of the Pac-10 season before faltering at the end.

And UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) is ecstatic to be dancing for the first time ever as the #7 seed. They'll play Western Kentucky on Saturday at 8:00 pm.

Tell all your noisy friends about next weekend -- it's going to be exciting! Here's the schedule and ticket information.

And remember what Tara said in the team blog last week:

We are playing at Stanford,
YOU will be LOUD!!!

March 16, 2008

Thanks for the assist, JJ

JJ was recovering from her ACL injury for the first dozen or so games this season, gradually regaining her strength and confidence at the point and working her way back into the starting rotation.

After her second start on Jan 26 in the game against Cal, 51 weeks after tearing her ACL, Tara said , "JJ's come full circle. This was a big game for her. This is her time to be out there. She takes care of the ball; she understands what we are doing. Her contributions are huge. We had steady guard play; she took care of the ball, hit big shots and worked hard on defense. What more can you ask for?"

JJ has been in the starting rotation ever since, playing an average of 29 minutes a game.

Tara said, after the Pac-10 championship game, "JJ Hones had a great tournament and played a great game for us. She was a real key to our team success today.”

And Sue Bair (Bootleg columnist) wrote, "One major challenge for the Cardinal is no longer an issue. It has become very clear lately how much the guard spots have evolved over the course of the season, to the benefit of the players involved and the team as a whole. JJ Hones has blossomed after shaking off the lingering effects of her lengthy rehab from ACL surgery to solidify her position as Stanford’s floor general. It is no coincidence that Hones logged the heaviest minutes of any Cardinal during the Pac-10 tournament. The offensive execution is noticeably better with Hones running the show."

JJ has also developed her three-point shooting. She has made 44 this season, second only to Candice's 69, and her three-point percentage (.386) is the highest on the team and third in the Pac-10.

And now JJ is on the verge of becoming an NCAA statistic -- the player with the highest assist-to-turnover ratio in the nation. The top three players in that category are currently:

#1. Kristi Cirone, Illinois State, 3.00
#2. Tara Miller, Butler, 2.84
#3. Christine Kinneary, Boston U, 2.68

So far this season, JJ has 94 assists and 30 turnovers, for an A/TO ratio of 3.13.

She's not on the NCAA list, because that requires a minimum of 3.0 assists per game, and JJ has only 2.94. She can achieve the required minimum with five assists in the first game of the NCAA tournament on March 22 or with a total of eight assists in the first two games. (She had 17 assists in the three games of the Pac-10 tournament.) With no more than three turnovers, her ratio will exceed Cirone's, and put her in first place.

We're so glad you're back, JJ. Thanks for the assist.

More honors for Candice

In the past week, Candice was named to Sports Illustrated's and's All-American first teams. Here is more information from Palo Alto Online and from ESPN.

March 14, 2008

Jillian & Clare may play in the Olympic Games!

From the New Zealand Dominion Post:

Two American college players have unexpectedly landed in the lap of the New Zealand women's basketball team just six months out from the Olympic Games.

Tall Ferns coach Mike McHugh can hardly believe his luck after discovering former Stanford University guard Clare Bodensteiner and current forward Jillian Harmon are both eligible for New Zealand.

Read more ...

Candice is Naismith finalist

The announcement, which was made last week, was almost lost in the excitement of the Pac-10 tournament:

Candice is one of the four finalists for the Naismith Women's College Player of the Year award.

Read more

March 13, 2008

Coaching watch

Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle) writes, "Three conference coaches, maybe four, could be replaced in the next week or two." Read more ...

Kathy Olivier resigned yesterday, as reported in the Los Angeles Times.

Here is an ongoing report from ESPN of 2007-08 Division I Coaching Changes.

March 12, 2008

Looking good

Cardinal's finished product looking good by John Reid (Palo Alto Daily News)

... The Rolls-Royce is washed, waxed, fine-tuned and ready. Time to put it in gear.

Women ready for NCAA run by Wyndam Makowsky (The Stanford Daily)

... though nothing will be official until the selection show next Monday, experts, coaches and players alike believe that Stanford has locked up the final top seed.

The Pac-10's Best....Ever by Jeff Lippman (CSTV)

... the West Coast belongs to Candice Wiggins, and for four years she has always been worth the price of admission.

Cal Gets Iced by Sue Bair (The Bootleg)

Wiggins went wild and Stanford totally dominated Cal ...

March 11, 2008

More from the championship game

With Wiggins, result never in doubt by Ann Killion (Mercury News)

Cardinal exposes Bears' weaknesses by Eric Gilmore (Contra Costa Times)

Pac-10 women's championship: Stanford slam by Jennifer Starks (Monterey Counry Herald)

Audio slideshow by Nhat V. Meyer (Mercury News

Audio slideshow by Jose Carlos Fajardo (Contra Costa Times)

March 10, 2008

Pac-10 Tournament, Championship


Wiggins grabs center stage and Pac-10 title by Rick Eymer (Palo Alto Online)

Stanford Women Soar, At Cal's Expense by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

Stanford smothers Cal in title game by Elliott Almond (Mercury News)

Cal Has No Answers for Stanford by Viet Nguyen (The Bear Insider)

Photo gallery from Stanford Photo

The AP game recap, photo gallery and the box score from Stanford Athletics

Next up: the Pac-10 championship

Bay Area sports columnists write about tonight's championship game between Stanford and Cal:

March 09, 2008

Pac-10 Tournament, Semifinal

Some of the nicest things about today's game:
  • The Cardinal beat the Bruins by 35 points!
  • Jillian played for five minutes, and took up right where she left off eight games ago -- four points, a rebound, an assist, a block and two steals!
  • Although Candice had an "off day" with just 13 points, the 21 field goals she attempted set a new Stanford career record of 831, exceeding the previous record of 828 set by Jeanne Ruark Hoff (1978-83)!
  • Candice's "off day" included seven rebounds and six steals!
  • JJ glided through the opposition like the proverbial hot knife through butter. She had six assists again (with just one turnover) and scored 12 points, including two of five 3-ptrs!
  • All of our starters got to rest at least 13 minutes, but Cal had a really tough down-to-the-buzzer game against Arizona State. Their five starters played an average of 34.8 minutes.
Here is more:

Pac-10 Tournament, Quarterfinal

Kayla and Jayne carried much of the load in the Cardinal's first game of the Pac-10 Tournament against Oregon State. It wasn't a huge load - although the Beavers played hard all the way, they really weren't a match for the Cardinal.

Kayla scored the game-high 22 points and added seven rebounds. Jayne scored 19 points. hitting 100% of her eight field goals, ten rebounds and four blocks.

Their efforts and the 67 minutes contributed by the bench gave the starters a chance to rest up in preparation for the next two games.

Pac-10 women's tourney a small draw by Mark Purdy (Mercury News)

Smooth Start to the Pac-10 Tournament by Sue Bair (The Bootleg)

Stanford cruises on inside track by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

Stanford women win 16th in a row by Mark Emmons (Mercury News)

The AP game recap and the box score from Stanford Athletics.

March 07, 2008

Tournament Expectations

Dick Rockne, in his Pac-10 column, predicts that the Tournament will be a coronation for the Cardinal. They have the players ... the momentum ... and the heritage.

But everyone's in this to win. Here are predictions from the San Francisco Chronicle and articles about each team's expectations:
  • Stanford: Comes in with a 15-game win streak and probably will end up as a No. 2 NCAA seed, no matter what.
    The Stanford Daily: Candice and her teammates are looking forward to the last stretch of the season.
    Palo Alto Daily: Stanford knows Cal and Arizona State would love another shot to knock the Cardinal from its perch.
  • Cal: Can solidify a No. 3 seed with a strong showing; could be a No. 2 if it wins title.
    Mercury News: Cal is playing for recognition. For national impact. And for the future of its program.
  • Arizona State: Certain to make the NCAAs, but could improve its seeding.
    Web Devil: The Sun Devils are viewing this weekend as their one last chance to impress the NCAA Selection Committee before the brackets are revealed on March 17.
  • USC: Leading scorer and rebounder Nadia Parker is out for the season, and nothing less than a title will get Women of Troy into the NCAAs.
    Daily Trojan: Mark Trakh said about UCLA's possible "out-to-get-us" motive. "We don't care what they're out for. We're out there to win the game."
  • UCLA: Young and unpredictable, the Bruins could come up big if they are unpredictably good.
    Daily Bruin: "We get beat (by USC) twice, and now we’re playing them in the first round. If anyone isn’t excited about that, they shouldn’t be in a UCLA uniform,” Olivier said.
  • Washington: Stayed off the Friday night schedule by beating Cal and capable of the unexpected.
    Seattle P-I: What the Huskies must do to win the first quarterfinal game of the tournament is effectively handle ASU's pressure defense.
  • Oregon: Looking to wind up on a good note, which would mean one win and a second-round game against Cal.
    The Register-Guard: If the Ducks want to play later in the weekend, they’d do well to forget that the possibility even exists.
  • Oregon State: Have lost 9 of 10. Should be a short stay.
    Corvallis Gazette-Times: “It (playing Stanford in the quarter-finals) would be a great opportunity to play the best, which I’m excited about,” LaVonda Wagner said.
  • Arizona: Could make it to Day 2. Joan Bonvicini's job could depend on it.
    Tucson Citizen: Will the Arizona women's basketball team follow its familiar pattern (losing to Stanford in the second round) in the Pac-10 Tournament?
  • Washington State: Only team never to have won a Pac-10 tournament game. That run will probably continue.

March 06, 2008

Pac-10 Honors

Tara Vanderveer, Coach of the Year

Candice Wiggins, Player of the Year

Kayla Pedersen, Freshman of the Year

Briann January, Defensive Player of the Year

All Pac-10 First Team
Jayne Appel
Devanei Hampton
Lindsey Pluimer
Ashley Walker
Candice Wiggins

The complete announcement

March 05, 2008

Jillian Report

Jillian is anxious to play, and we're all eager to see her back on the court. She is doing all she can to prepare for her return, which may happen this weekend, as reported by Michelle Smith (San Francisco Chronicle)

March 03, 2008

The Pac-10 Tournament

A hoop junkie's dream: Nine games in four days!

You will be there, won't you? It's not too late to get tickets. The Stanford section has been sold out for a long time, but you can still buy tickets from Ticketmaster.

Or you can try to buy tickets from one of the schools whose section is adjacent to Stanford's. Stanford has sections 128, 101 and 102. Arizona (ticket office: 560-621-2287 or 800-452-2287) has section 127 and Washington (ticket office: 206-543-2200) has section 103.

If nine basketball games isn't enough for you, you can also attend some special events sponsored by the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI): The semifinal and championship games on Sunday and Monday will be televised by Fox Sports. The games on Friday and Saturday will be video-streamed. (Don't Click to play yet; it may hang up your browser.)

A big day for the Cardinal

Yesterday was a big day for the Cardinal and their fans:
  • Candice broke Lisa Leslie's Pac-10 career scoring record.

    Tara spoke for all of us, “That's a tremendous accomplishment and it could not happen to a better person, a better basketball player, a better leader.” (Read more ... )

  • The Cardinal clinched the Pac-10 season title.

    Stanford outplayed Washington State in every possible way: they shot effectively, rebounded well and held the Cougar offense in check throughout the game. (Read more ... )

  • Cal's loss to Washington gave us sole possession of the title.

    The hallmark of Cal's impressive run through the Pac-10 this season has been the Bears' ability to stay steady and composed. With the exception of two losses to Stanford, they had been unflinching in their ability to finish, even on days when they didn't bring their best to the floor.But on Sunday in Seattle, the Bears finally flinched and it cost them a share of the conference title they wanted so desperately. (Read more ... )

  • Cy-Fair won the University Interscholastic League 5A State Championship

    Big finish for Ogwumike: If you think I'm exaggerating, you haven't seen Nneka Ogwumike play. She's 6-2. She's also quick, smart and instinctive. On both ends of the floor. She's headed for Stanford, and you haven't heard the last of her. (Read more ... )

Among the 675 people in attendance at Pullman was a photographer for the Associated Press.