November 30, 2009

Kayla is Pac-10 Player of the Week

Following a superb weekend highlighted by her scoring a career-high 30 points in Sunday's 105-74 victory over Gonzaga, Kayla was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, the conference announced today. This Pac-10 article reports all that Kayla achieved in the Utah and Gonzaga games to earn the honor.

In addition, Kayla has been the top scorer in four of the six games this season and the top rebounder in three of them. She leads the team in scoring with an average of 20.5 points per game and in offensive rebounds with 3.8 per game. As Tara says, "She’s a huge key to our team's success.”

Thanks Kayla ... and congratulations!

November 29, 2009

Cardinal zaps the Zags

Jayne was feeling better; Kayla and Nneka were on fire; the team made 50.7 % of its field goals, 50% of its threes and 87.5% of its free throws! Cardinal 105, Gonzaga 74.

Kayla and Nneka traded top scorer honors throughout the game. Kayla won by a nose with a career-high 30 points and became the 30th member of the Cardinal 1000-point club—she now has 1025 career points. She also had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Nneka also had a career-high— 29 points— and tied her career-best 13 rebounds. She also had three assists, two blocks and a steal.

Although Jayne was feeling way better than Friday, she still wasn't 100% and played just 23 minutes—during which she had a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), three assists, a block and a steal!

During the pregame chalk talk, someone questioned the Cardinal's 3-point shooting prowess. Kate Paye replied that in spite of their poor performance against Utah, the Cardinal were a very good shooting team. They proved her right today, making 10 of 20 from beyond the arc—three each by Kayla and Jeanette, two by JJ, and one each by Ros and Lindy.

Especially sweet for longtime Cardinal fans who remember the good old days when Stanford had the best free-throw percentage in the Pac-10, was their free-throw shooting today. They were perfect for most of the first half (14 of 14) and ended 21 of 24 or 87.5%

Here are the game reports:

The box score and play-by-play,

The press conference video,

The game highlights video,

And lots more photos:

November 27, 2009

Cardinal rebounds from poor shooting

Stanford's shooting was off tonight, but good defense led them to a 60-41 victory over Utah.

The Cardinal made just 33.9% of their field goals (down from their season average of 46.5%) and 18.5 % of their 3-point attempts (way down from their season average of 32.8%), but they outrebounded the Utes 47-27 and attempted 62 shots to their 45.

Jayne was suffering from a bout of what sounds like intestinal flu. She managed to play for 21 minutes, but had only two points and six rebounds. Kayla, Nneka and Jeanette more than made up for her virtual absence.

Kayla had her second double-double of the season—18 points and 12 rebounds— and three assists, a block and a steal.

Nneka had 17 points, eight rebounds and a steal.

Jeanette had 11 points (including three of the Cardinal's few 3-pointers), six rebounds and three steals.

JJ was her usual efficient self at the point—five assists with one turnover.

Here are game reports: The box score and play-by-play, the press conference video and more photos:

November 26, 2009

Kayla fills many roles for Stanford

Mechelle Voepel, ESPN correspondent, writes of Kayla:

There are versatile players, and then there are Pedersen-type versatile players. The former is of value because they can fill in at more than one spot in the case of injury or foul trouble or for matchup reasons.

The difference with the Pedersen-type -- not that there are many like her at any level of hoops -- is that she doesn't just "fill in." She can be an All-American at more than one position.


November 25, 2009

Next up: Utah & Gonzaga

The Cardinal's toughest nonconference season ever continues in earnest this weekend at Maples with games against two teams that went to the Big Dance last season — Utah and Gonzaga.

Utah Utes

Utah is firmly established in the top tier of the Mountain West Conference. Last season they were #1 with a 23-10 record. They lost to Maryland in the second round of the NCAAs.

They face a whole new set of challenges this season and have been picked to finish third in the MWC (after San Diego State and TCU). They return just two starters (Kalee Whipple and Halie Sawyer) who will have their work cut out for them leading nine underclassmen in the new season.

Their performance so far is about as expected early in a rebuilding season — one win and two losses. One of the losses was a 69-33 whupping by UCLA, which began with two points for UCLA with a shot by Utah (oh, blush!) into the wrong basket.

Their starters this season have been:

6-0 senior forward Kalee Whipple is a three-time All-MWC player and is on the Naismith watch list. She is 10th all-time at Utah in scoring and has also been strong on defense. She currently leads the Utes in scoring (14.7 ppg) and is third in rebounding (5.3 rpg)

6'1" senior forward Halie Sawyer leads the defense with 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. She averages 6.3 points per game.

6'0" senior guard Sasha McKinnon has been hampered by injury most of her career, but looks to have a strong senior season. That expectation hasn't shown on the scoreboard yet. She averages 3.0 ppg.

5'6" sophomore point guard Janita Badon leads the team in assists (3.3 per game), but unfortunately has almost twice as many turnovers.

#11 6"3" freshman center Taryn Wicijowski is the preseason pick for MWC Freshman of the Year. She played for Canada in the FIBA U18 and U19 championships. That experience is paying off in college—she plays 30 minutes a game and is the Utes' second-best scorer (10.0 ppg) and rebounder (6.3 rpg).

Only three players come off the bench for a significant number of minutes —5'9" redshirt freshman guard Iwalani Rodrigues, 6'4" freshman center Diana Rolniak and 5'9" freshman guard Rachel Messer (the Utes' best 3-point shooter (67%)).

Utah is unranked. Their RPI is 139 and their strength of schedule is 39.

Here are their 2009-10 player statistics and their roster.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Zags were the West Coast conference champion last season and #1 in the WCC with a 27-7 record. They lost to Pittsburgh in the second round of the NCAAs.

They lost just two seniors to graduation and return 12 letterwinners, including four starters. They're picked to win the WCC again this season.

They are 3-1 for the season. Two of the victories were against Pac-10 teams—Washington and USC. Sunday's game will be the first-ever between Gonzaga and Stanford. However, the Zags have played at Maples once before—in the NCAA first round in 2007.

The Zags start three seniors and two juniors:

5'8" junior guard Courtney Vandersloot is the do-everything catalyst of the team. She averages 13.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 8.3 assists per game (her ATO is 1.9). She was the 2009 WCC Player of the Year and is on the Wooden Award watch list. In this article Graham Hays (ESPN) asserts, "... she might now be the best point guard in college basketball." Gonzaga head coach Kelly Graves calls her, "The heart and soul of our team."

6'2" senior forward Heather Bowman is the leading scorer (15.8 ppg, 44.9%) and second-best rebounder (7.3 rpg). She was the 2008 WCC Player of the Year and is on the Wooden Award watch list.

6'0" senior forward Vivian Frieson leads the defense with 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

5'10" senior guard Tiffanie Shives is the leading 3-point shooter (45.5%).

6'0" junior guard Janelle Bekkering averages 4.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Coming off the bench is 6'1" sophomore guard/forward Katelan Redmon, a transfer from Washington and the fifth Zag to average double-digit scoring (11.8 ppg)

Gonzaga is unranked, but received three votes in this week's AP poll and 19 in the ESPN/Coaches poll.

Here are their 2009-10 player statistics and their roster

November 24, 2009

KZSU needs our bucks

Did you miss being able to listen to the Old Dominion and Rutgers games on KZSU?

Their absence wasn't due to a lack of interest in Stanford Women's Basketball. It was due to lack of money. Coverage for each away game costs KZSU about $500—more or less, depending on the location. The cost includes airfare, lodging, food and phone line installation.

They currently have enough funds to cover:
  • All the home games
  • These away games:
    • Cal
    • Fresno State
    • The Los Angeles trip
    • The Oregon trip
    • The Pac-10 Tournament
They won't be able to cover the other away trips (Arizona, Washington, UConn, postseason) unless they raise more money. They're working hard for us and have landed five new underwriters this year, but need more bucks from listeners and fans to fully cover women's basketball.

KZSU has what we need: Enthusastic Stanford broadcasters of Stanford games.
We have what KZSU needs: Bucks. Send your bucks (check or money order) to:
KZSU Sports
PO Box 20190
Stanford, Ca 94309
Include a note with your donation: For Stanford Women's Basketball and indicate whether or not you'd like to be mentioned on air.

Your donation is tax-deductible.

November 22, 2009

Cardinal reaps benefits in Davis

One benefit was the Cardinal's fourth victory of the season, 76-51. Another is that they got it against 40 minutes of scrappy Aggie zone defense, an experience that may serve them well in future games.

The zone defense shut down Stanford's post game pretty well for a while, but Jayne kept fighting back and ended as the top scorer of the game with 18 points, to which she added nine rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

The Cardinal took advantage of the zone defense with eight three-pointers — three from JJ, two from Kayla, two from Jeanette and one from Lindy.
Kayla played the strong game we've come to expect from her — a double-double (17 points and 11 rebounds) in 36 minutes.

JJ and Nneka also scored in double digits. JJ had eleven points, three assists with just one turnover, and two steals. Nneka had eleven points and eight rebounds, in spite of getting into a bit of foul trouble and playing only 2 minutes.

Mel ran the point for ten minutes and had five assists with one turnover.

The five players who shot free throws were almost perfect. They hit 12 of 13, which is the performance that Cardinal fans have been hoping for.

Here are:

November 20, 2009

Is Stanford better this season?

Tara said they are in the press conference after the game against Pepperdine.

Jake Curtis thinks that can't be determined this early in the season. He looks at what the Cardinal has accomplished in the first three games — the good things and the question marks. Read more...

November 19, 2009

Cardinal rules the Waves

The Pepperdine Waves brought their best game to Maples. So good that the score was tied 13-13 eleven minutes into the game. Then JJ came in and calmed everyone down and Jeanette started a 29-3 Cardinal run with layup, layup, free throw, steal, layup in 40 seconds! The outcome was never again in doubt. The final score was 99-50.

The Waves never let up on their pressure defense. Tara liked that, "It helps us get ready for what's coming."

Kayla was the top scorer for the second time in three games with 22 points, which included four of six threes. She also had nine rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Jeanette was not far behind with 20 points, three of five three-pointers, a rebound, a block, three assists and three steals.

Three other players scored in double digits: Jayne (18 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and three assists), Nneka (14 points and seven rebounds) and JJ (a perfect 10 points on four of four field goals, two of them three-pointers). Here are:

Next up: Pepperdine & UC Davis

After a great start on the road, the Cardinal plays its first home game of the season tonight against the Pepperdine Waves. If you're a Stanford student, come to Maples early tonight and eat some free BBQ from Jimmy V before the game. Everyone: Enjoy the unicycle basketball at halftime—it should be amazing.

Then the Cardinal hits the road again, but only for 114 miles, to UC Davis on Sunday.

Pepperdine Waves

Cardinal fans are always happy to welcome back Pepperdine head coach Julie Rousseau, who was an assistant coach at Stanford. This is Rousseau's sixth season at Pepperdine. She was an assistant coach for USA Basketball at the World University Games this summer.

Pepperdine went 16-13 last season, #3 in the WCC. They lost two starters to graduation and are now a very young team with six freshmen, five sophomores, and just two seniors. They have begun this season well, with two victories against Northern Arizona and San Jose State.

Their three leading scorers are:
  • Senior forward/center Miranda Ayim, pictured on the right, is the team captain and leading scorer (15.5 ppg). She was named Pepperdine's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2008-09
  • Sophomore guard Jazmine Jackson averages 14.0 ppg
  • Sophomore guard Lauren Bell averages 12.0 ppg and is the leading 3-point shooter (33.3%)
The Waves will have a struggle with Stanford's Bigs. Miranda Ayim is 6-3. Their other tall forward/center, sophomore Alex Jarell, is 6-4. Between them, they average eight rebounds per game.

So far this season, the Waves are 2-0. They are #1 in the WCC and their RPI is 135. Here are their 2009-10 Team Statistics and their roster.

UC Davis Aggies

Yet again this season, the Donaghe sisters will not face up to each other on the basketball court. Hannah is out this season. Last year, big sister Haylee was out with an ACL—she's a red-shirt senior this season.

The Aggies return eleven letterwinners this year and are looking to make a run for their first Big West Conference championship. Here's more about their expectations.

Their top players three games in to the season are:
  • Junior post Paige Mintun, pictured on the right, is their top scorer (15.0 ppg) and rebounder (4.7 rpg).
  • Senior wing Heidi Heintz averages 10.0 ppg.
  • Sophomore wing Kasey Riecks averages 9.7 ppg and is 35.7% on 3-pointers.
  • Sophomore wing Cortney French averages just 7.7 ppg, but is the most prolific beyond the arc—seven of 12 in three games for 58.3%
The Aggies have begun their quest for the Big West championship with two victories and one loss—to Washington State in Pullman. Their RPI is 202. Here are their 2009-10 Team Statistics and their roster .

November 18, 2009

The Bigger The Better

Kelli Anderson (Sports Illustrated) writes, "With Jayne Appel in the middle of a lineup that opponents have to look up to, Stanford spies a national title within its reach."

She continues with lots of good words about Stanford's Bigs: Jayne, Kayla, Nneka, Sarah, Joslyn, Ashley. Read more...

Photos from Rutgers

SportsPageMagazine has published a photo gallery from the Stanford/Rutgers game, including this one of some great Cardinal defense.

Chasing the Huskies

In an article to be published in Sports Illustrated, Richard Dietch writes that UConn is still the team to beat, regardless of the problem they may have with replacing Renee Montgomery—their first test won't come until Stanford visits on December 23rd.

He then discusses other teams that will be chasing the Huskies, beginning with Stanford. He says that Stanford must improve its perimeter shooting (33.4%) if it's going to challenge Connecticut. (It's early days yet, but Stanford's 3-point shooting has improved to 39.1% against ODU and Rutgers.)


November 17, 2009

First impressions of the season

Michelle Smith gives her impressions of the brand new women's basketball season. Of Stanford:
  • Nneka is going to have a bust-out year.
  • Jayne isn't 100% yet.

November 16, 2009

Nneka is Pac-10 Player of the Week

For the first time in her college career, Nneka has been named the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week. Read more...

November 15, 2009

Cardinal RACs up another victory

The Scarlet Knights brought some tough defense to the Rutgers Athletic Center, but it wasn't enough to stop:
who played 39 minutes and didn't let up for a single one of them. She led all scorers with 22 points—nine of them on 3-of-6 three-pointers—and had eight rebounds.
who had 21 points, seven rebounds, and three steals (there's a great photo of one of them in the photo gallery below). She focused and made nine of her twelve free throws, and had just one turnover.
who had a double-double (11 points and 12 rebounds) in spite of being the focus of much of the Rutgers' defense.
who had the hot hands tonight. She hit five of 11 three-pointers.
The eight Stanford players,
who combined for 28 O-boards and a total of 50 rebounds to Rutgers' 33.
Oh yes, Stanford won 81-66.

Here are lots of game reports and commentary:
The box score and play-by-play.
A photo gallery from the Associated Press.
A photo gallery from SportsPageMagazine.

November 14, 2009

ESPN picks Jayne & Kayla as preseason All-Americans

ESPN has picked Jayne as a member of their preseason All-America first team:

Virtually unstoppable on the low block, it's news when she misses her patented baby hooks. -- Charlie Creme

Appel finished first in the Pac-10 in blocks, second in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, but perhaps the most telling number in explaining why she's more than "just" an elite post is that she ranked No. 11 in the conference in assists per game. -- Graham Hays

Improved fitness elevated her as a junior, and she has a lot of post talent around her to make her senior season perhaps even better. -- Mechelle Voepel

and Kayla as a member of the second team:

One of the overlooked stories of Stanford's run to another Final Four was how well Pedersen adjusted to playing on the wing. Find another 6-4 player who is equally comfortable guarding posts and shooting 44 percent from the 3-point line in Pac-10 play. -- Graham Hays

She can do just about everything -- post up strong or move all the way to the shooting guard if needed. -- Mechelle Voepel

See the other picks here.

More from Norfolk

Here's another game report, from the Virginian-Pilot and more photos.