January 31, 2007

Candice is a contender for Pac-10 Player of the Year

By: Rick Eymer, Palo Alto Weekly

Candice Wiggins may not be the overwhelming favorite to win her third Pac-10 Player of the Year honor, but she's certainly stepped up her campaign.

When the Stanford women's basketball team needed Wiggins to deliver, she not only put her stamp on the game, she made sure it arrived first class. (More ...)

January 30, 2007

Candice is Pac-10 Player of the Week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--STANFORD junior guard Candice Wiggins has been named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 22-28, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.

The Cardinal extended their winning streak to 16 games with a pair of key road wins at the Arizona schools. Wiggins set the pace for Stanford, beginning with her 18 point, five rebound performance in the Cardinal's 86-76 win over the Wildcats on Thursday.

Wiggins' marquee performance came on Saturday, as she scored a season-high 30 points to lead Stanford to a 73-65 overtime win against 10th-ranked Arizona State. Wiggins carried the Cardinal in overtime after Stanford's vaunted front court tandem of Brooke Smith and Jayne Appel fouled out of the game, scoring 10 of Stanford's 14 points in the extra period. Wiggins also added seven assists and five rebounds and was perfect from the foul line (9-of-9) while playing all 45 minutes. Stanford's win snapped Arizona State's 22-game Pac-10 home winning streak.

For the week, Wiggins averaged 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.0 steals while shooting 44.1 percent from the field (15-of-34) and 93.3 percent from the foul line (14-of-15).

The Cardinal look to continue their unblemished Pac-10 mark (11-0) this week when they host rival California on Sunday. First up though is their final non-conference game of the regular season, a road contest at UC Santa Barbara this Thursday.

This is the fifth career Player of the Week award for Wiggins and the second this season. It is the 57th all-time for Stanford.

ALSO NOMINATED: Devanei Hampton, CAL; Eleanor Haring, ORE; Casey Nash, OSU; Lindsey Pluimer, UCLA; Jamie Hagiya, USC; Colleen Betteridge, WSU.

2006-07 PAC-10 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Nov. 20- Ashley Walker, CAL; Nov. 27- Chloé Kerr, USC; Dec. 4- Cameo Hicks, WASH; Dec. 11- Ashley Walker, CAL; Dec. 18- Cameo Hicks, WASH; Dec. 26- Danielle Orsillo, ASU; Jan. 1- Candice Wiggins, STAN; Jan. 8- Dymond Simon, ASU; Jan. 15- Devanei Hampton, CAL; Jan. 22- Ashley Walker, CAL; Jan. 29- Candice Wiggins, STAN.

January 28, 2007

Candice turns it on in overtime against ASU

Wiggins turns it on in OT

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

Leave it to Candice Wiggins. On a day that was looking increasingly shaky for No. 9 Stanford, that's exactly what the Cardinal did.

... But this was not a run-of-the-mill conference game, considering the Sun Devils' (18-3, 9-2) spot in the national rankings, their extraordinary ability to defend their home court (34-2 in the last 36 home games) and a national television spotlight. Yet Wiggins once again proved to be ASU's recurring nightmare. (More ...)

Wiggins' OT heroics lift Stanford to crucial win

By: Mark Heller, San Jose Mercury News

For the final five minutes of Saturday's game, 25 players, eight coaches and 4,300 fans inside Wells Fargo Arena knew what was coming.

But nobody could stop Candice Wiggins. (More ...)

Stanford still best in Pac-10

By: José E. Garcia, The Arizona Republic

How far will the Arizona State women's basketball team advance in the NCAA tournament? Basketball lessons don't always come neatly wrapped.

Some come with wrinkles that make players age. In the future, the young Arizona State Sun Devils should reach a level of maturity and toughness that will allow them to execute down the stretch against higher-ranked foes.

For now, they'll have to continue swallowing the hurt that Stanford administers. (More ...)

A little bravado from Charli

By: Paola Bolvin. The Arizona Republic

"People want to make it like we're some up-and-comer," [Turner thorne] said. "I don't feel we're an up-and-comer. I feel like (we've already arrived)."

As far as Stanford, a program that has won two national titles and advanced to 18 straight NCAA Tournaments under coach Tara VanDerveer?

"There's no gap anymore," Turner Thorne said. (More ...)

No Wiggins means no win for Sun Devils

By: Scott Bordow, East Valley [Arizona] Tribune

There’s an old college basketball joke that applies to the women’s basketball programs at Stanford and Arizona State. The Cardinal’s roster is filled with McDonald’s All-Americans. ASU’s players eat at McDonald’s.

OK, it’s a bit of an overstatement. Under coach Charli Turner Thorne, the Sun Devils have upgraded from fast food joints to elegant restaurants. (More ...)

Stanford's Stealth Player Extraordinaire

By Warren Grimes, The Bootleg

She does not often stuff the stat sheet. She is caught somewhere between the Cardinal's upperclass All-Americans and the fab freshmen.

Sophomore forward Jillian Harmon, however, is a big reason why Stanford is one of the hottest teams in the nation and still undefeated after Saturday's overtime battle at #10 Arizona State. Harmon played all 45 minutes, shuffled between positions and made plays. (More ...)

January 27, 2007

Candice still not 100%

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

It has been an atypical year for Stanford's two-time All-American in a handful of ways. As the No. 9-ranked Cardinal prepare for today's big Pac-10 matchup against No. 10 Arizona State in Tempe, Wiggins is still not playing at 100 percent. The first ankle sprain of her career is not fully healed. Neither is her nagging hamstring injury.

"I don't think I've played my best basketball, but I don't think it has to do with my ankle," Wiggins said. "This isn't a team that needs me to score 20 points a game. Maybe it appears like I'm not in the flow yet, but my role on the team is a lot different. Everything is so balanced and it is a different role, and I'm cool with that." (More ...)

Bracketology: The Cardinal is a solid Final Four threat.

This month Charlie Creme discusses the mid-majors -- the smaller leagues, like the WCC. He says, "Don't expect the smaller leagues to get any of the at-large bids." Not much here to interest Cardinal fans.

But his current analysis of the Pac-10 teams he has placed in the bracket are interesting:

Stanford: The Cardinal have been lights out since this bracketologist said Stanford wasn't among the elite. It certainly is now and is as solid a Final Four Threat as anyone.

Arizona State:Their only losses are to Tennessee and Stanford. But unless the Sun Devils can knock off the Cardinal on Jan 27, they have almost no way of improving their seeding.

California: Thanks to the play of Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton, the young Bears have withstood a rash of injuries and are the Pac-10's third best team.

Washington: Since letting one slip away at Arizona State, the Huskies were terrible until Washington State came to Seattle. UW was in danger of losing its spot in the field.

Here is the complete bracket.

January 26, 2007

Cardinal's first half better than Wildcats' second half

Stanford Played a Superb First Half

From: Mercury News Wire Services

Ninth-ranked Stanford played a superb first half. Coach Tara VanDerveer, however, is looking for a complete game.

Brooke Smith had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 9 Stanford to its 15th consecutive victory, 86-76 over Arizona on Thursday night.

The Cardinal, which faces Arizona State in a showdown for first place in the Pacific-10 Conference on Saturday, led by 19 at halftime and was dominating inside and getting open three-point attempts.

Instead of putting Arizona away, the Cardinal let the Wildcats cut a 22-point lead to seven with 6:40 left. (More ...)

Wildcats' Strong Second Half Not Enough

By Sarah Trotto, Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Wildcats had lost four in a row and nine of their last 10, but here they were, cutting ninth-ranked Stanford's 19-point lead to single digits in the second half.

Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer, a scowl on her face, called a timeout after the UA whittled the lead to nine. She barked orders at her players.

On the other end of the court, Arizona players hopped up and down as they ran to the bench. (More ...)

January 24, 2007

Stanford controls the Pac-10 race

By: Rick Eymer, Palo Alto Weekly

Stanford enters the second half of the Pac-10 women's basketball season controlling its own destiny. The ninth-ranked Cardinal (9-0, 16-3) head to Arizona this weekend for a showdown in the desert and there is plenty at stake.

The Cardinal, riding a 14-game winning streak, has had its share of trouble in both Tucson, where Arizona (1-8, 7-14) awaits for a 6 p.m. (PT) tipoff on Thursday, and in Tempe, where 10th-ranked Arizona State (8-1, 18-2) rubs it collective hands in anticipation of revenge in the rematch on Saturday. (More ...)

Pac-10 review from CSTV

From: Oregon Daily Emerald via CSTV U-WIRE

The first half of the Pacific-10 Conference season is almost here and outside of a few surprises here and there, the standings reflect what coaches predicted. Here's an update on the conference: (More ...)

January 23, 2007

Stanford Sports Radio Show

Tara, Brooke and Clare were guests on the Stanford Sports radio show, which originated from the Old Pro restaurant on January 22. John Soo was there and took these photos.

January 21, 2007

Cardinal finish strong against OSU

The Cardinal Finish Strong

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

Maybe it was all getting a little too staid -- the blowouts, the wide margins, the no-sweat second halves. So the No. 9 Stanford women's basketball team upped the excitement factor Saturday afternoon at Maples Pavilion.

After turning in their lowest-scoring half of the season and facing an 11-point deficit against Oregon State, the Cardinal quickly and emphatically reversed course in the second half, outscoring the Beavers 46-21 over the final 20 minutes to finish with a 69-55 victory. (More ...)

Stanford Rallies to Victory After a Lackadaisical Start

By: Dylan Hernandez, San Jose Mercury News

Stanford won its 14th game in a row Saturday by beating visiting Oregon State 69-55, but Coach Tara VanDerveer was disappointed.

VanDerveer didn't see what she wanted until the second half, which the Cardinal (16-3) opened with a furious 20-6 run. Stanford had a 26-5 edge in rebounds in the second half, during which it made 61.1 percent of its shots. (More ...)

Second Half Does it for the Card

By: John Reid. Palo Alto Daily News

Sometimes one needs the midget to take a swing at you every once in awhile to get a dose of humility, even if the blow lands in the right knee cap. Oregon State, with only nine players suited and its tallest player on the floor listed at 6-foot-1, burrowed like determined, little Beavers in the first 20 minutes as No. 9 Stanford backpedaled to the nearest ropes.

The Cardinal took its sweet time getting going, mainly because it had trouble getting the ball in the old peach basket. Perhaps it was the 2 p.m. start, but Stanford missed several layups in the early parts of the contest. It was as if the person in charge of tightening the rim got carried away, at least on Stanford's end of the floor. (More ...)

January 19, 2007

Oregon Post-Game Quotes

By: Mike Eubanks, The Bootleg

It was sluggish early for Stanford, with injured superstar Candice Wiggins languishing and the offense struggling most of the first half. Yet the Cardinal defense and rebounding kept the lead while the Ducks shot 20%. Then Stanford started to roll, with big sparks on both ends of the floor by Cissy Pierce. The junior had a career night and talked afterward with Tara VanDerveer and Kristen Newlin. (More ... )

Stanford / Oregon Audio Slide Show

Here is an audio slide show of the Stanford / Oregon game from The Mercury News.

Cissy has career-high game against Oregon

Pierce pumps in 14 as injured Wiggins struggles to score

By: Dylan Hernandez, San Jose Mercury News

Like everyone else at Maples Pavilion on Thursday night, Cissy Pierce noticed that Candice Wiggins wasn't herself.

Pierce's solution?

To score. And score she did, pumping in a career-high 14 points in No. 9 Stanford's 70-48 victory over Oregon that extended the Cardinal's winning streak to 13 games. (More ... )

Stanford comes alive, cruises

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

The No. 9 Stanford women's basketball team literally rebounded from a shaky start to its usual dominating finish, continuing to steamroll through the Pac-10 with a 70-48 win over Oregon Thursday night at Maples Pavilion.

. . . But it was Wiggins' classmate, junior guard Cissy Pierce, who had the coming-out party, putting up a career-high 14 points. Brooke Smith and Jayne Appel added 12 points each, while Kristen Newlin pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. (More ... )

No fight in ducks

By: Scott Bland, The Stanford Daily

Thirteen did not prove unlucky for the Stanford women’s basketball team on Thursday night as they beat Oregon 70-48 for their 13th consecutive victory.

“It was kind of one of those mellow games,” coach Tara VanDerveer said. “It wasn’t real exciting, but we had some real nice big plays that we got excited about.” (More ... )

January 18, 2007

More exposure for the Final Four?

The NCAA is considering moving each round of the women's basketball tournament forward one week in order to give the women's game more exposure.

This article from the NCAA News describes the proposal in detail.

This article from the Arizona Daily Star reports what Joan Bonvicini, Charli Turner Thorne, Kathy Olivier and Tara VanDerveer think of the proposal.

Michelle Smith thinks that the NCAA is tinkering with the wrong things.

Oregon schools are next for Bay Area

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

Stanford and Cal represent a 2-for-1 for Pac-10 opponents this season, but it has been no bargain.

Both the No. 9 Cardinal and the No. 21 Bears have size and skill inside, presenting foes with the opportunity to prepare one game plan for post defense and a way to score through what Oregon coach Bev Smith calls "the trees."

"They are two very good teams, but their personnel is very different," said Oregon State coach LaVonda Wagner, whose team faces Cal on Thursday night while Oregon faces Stanford at Maples Pavilion. The two swap opponents at 2 p.m. Saturday. (More ...)

January 17, 2007

Injury Update

From: GoStanford.com

She practiced with the team on Tuesday and is expected to be available when Stanford hosts Oregon (on Thursday).

January 14, 2007

Still perfect against Cougars

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

When Stanford plays its annual game at Washington State, there are two truisms: The trip is never easy, but the game usually is.

But with All-America guard Candice Wiggins out of the lineup, the 10th-ranked Cardinal found themselves in a surprisingly competitive game against the last-place Cougars on Saturday at Beasley Coliseum. (More ...)

January 13, 2007

Ankle sprain may sideline Candice

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

The No. 10 Stanford women's basketball team played its first two road games of the Pac-10 schedule without Candice Wiggins, and the Cardinal may be doing it again today.

The two-time All-American guard sat out Stanford's practice Friday in Spokane and is unlikely to participate in today's 2 p.m. game at Washington State. (More ... )

January 12, 2007

Photos of Cardinal vs. Huskies

Here are some photos of the game at Washington from Sportspage Magazine.

Appel leads win over UDub

Appel leads Stanford

By Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

Stanford's post rotation is so abundant that just three nights after senior Brooke Smith dominated the paint in her best performance of the season, it was already somebody else's turn on Thursday.

Freshman Jayne Appel, continuing to adjust well to the rigors of high-level college basketball, turned in a game-high 19 points and combined with Candice Wiggins, who recorded her fourth career double-double, to lead No. 10 Stanford (13-3, 6-0) to an unexpectedly easy 77-56 win over Washington at Bank of America Arena. (More ...)

Huskies women cut down to size by Stanford

Tim Booth, Seattle Times

Too tall, too slick, too much.

Against a high-rise interior defense and a nimble offense that always seemed to get the ball to an open shooter, the Washington women's basketball team proved no match for 10th-ranked Stanford on Thursday night, falling 77-56. (More ...)

Appel gives Stanford early lead for win over Washington

From ESPN.com

Jayne Appel dominated the interior against an undersized Washington frontline, and had enough energy leftover to give Candice Wiggins a lift.

There was concern after the game when Wiggins came in for interviews with a protective boot on her right foot. Wiggins, Stanford's leading scorer, came down awkwardly on her right foot in the first half and said she sprained her ankle for the first time in her life.

She hopped on Appel's back for a lift back to the Cardinal locker room after speaking. (More ...)

January 10, 2007

Stanford puts first place on the line

By: Rick Eymer, Palo Alto Weekly

The Stanford women's basketball team puts its unblemished Pac-10 record on the line Thursday in its visit to the not-so-friendly confines of Bank of America Arena in Seattle for an important contest against Washington.

Stanford doesn't always have an easy time of it in Seattle. The Huskies have won four of the past seven meetings between the teams in Washington. (More ...)

Photos of our Pac-10 competitors

Here are some photos of our primary competitors from Sportspage Magazine.

Stanford enters top 10 in coaches' poll

From: ESPN.com

ACC rivals Maryland, North Carolina and Duke held the top three places for the third straight week in the ESPN/USA Today women's college basketball coaches' poll, while Tennessee remained fourth after winning its annual showdown with Connecticut.

Stanford moved up two spots to get back in the top 10. They've won nine straight since starting 2-3. (More ...)

January 09, 2007

Brooke's hook is unbelievable

Smith Sparks Stanford

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

If this was supposed to be a ho-hum Monday night game against a nonconference opponent, somebody forgot to tell Brooke Smith.

Smith was 14 of 17 from the field in 40 minutes -- matching her career high for field goals set in March in the NCAA Tournament against Oklahoma. She paid the price for her dominance, getting knocked around in a physical matchup with the Gamecocks, who regularly dish it out with some of the country's best teams in the SEC. (More ...)

Smith's hot shooting keys Stanford victory

By: Dylan Hernandez, Mercury News

The way Brooke Smith shot the ball Monday night for Stanford in its 69-54 victory over South Carolina, the visitors could only marvel at what they had seen.

Said Gamecocks guard Stacy Booker: "Her hook shot is unbelievable. I've never seen anything like that." (More ...)

Sloppy SEC Success

By: Haley Murphy, The Stanford Daily

After a month-long series of dominant wins, the No. 10 women’s basketball team opened its return to Maples Pavilion last night looking like shadows of their December selves. Although the Cardinal defeated the University of South Carolina 69-54, Stanford’s 15 turnovers allowed the Gamecocks to hang around.

What is more, the offensive balance that Stanford had recently established faded into the background of the Smith-Wiggins Show, in which senior center Brooke Smith starred with a season-high 28 points. Head coach Tara VanDerveer praised all aspects of Smith’s performance. (More ...)

Stanford / South Carolina Audio Slide Show

Here is an audio slide show of the Stanford / South Carolina game from The Mercury News.

January 08, 2007

Cardinal is 7-0 for winter break games

By: Scott Brand, The Stanford Daily

The No. 12 women’s basketball team wrapped up its slate of winter break games with a perfect 7-0 record after an emphatic 69-44 victory over No. 21 California on Saturday.

Junior guard Candice Wiggins rebounded from a knee injury to propel the Cardinal to a 7-0 record over break. Stanford opened the Pac-10 season a perfect 4-0 with wins over the LA schools and the Arizona schools. The Cardinal face South Carolina tonight at Maples Pavilion. (More ...)

January 07, 2007

Cardinal routs the Bears

Ranked Bears just rank

By: Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

Cal was hoping for a showdown when Stanford came to Haas Pavilion Saturday afternoon. Instead, the No. 12 Cardinal showed the Bears how to push a team down and keep them there. (More ...)

Still no Bay Area rivalry in women's basketball

By: Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle

. . . But all disclaimers and excuses aside, Saturday's game was a giant disappointment. Cal's recent progress in the sport promised to do more than humble folks on the Farm. Women's basketball needs a hearty rivalry on the West Coast, something to counter the growing oligarchy in the ACC, which holds the top three spots in the national poll (Maryland, North Carolina and Duke). (More ...)

Cal still can't find a way past Stanford

By: Dylan Hernandez, The Mercury News

A national ranking and a record gate at Haas Pavilion couldn't keep Cal from another blowout at the hands of Stanford. The Cardinal dealt the Bears a crushing defeat Saturday, 69-44, to extend Stanford's win streak in the lopsided series to 14 games. The turnstile count was the only evidence that the rivalry had grown in significance; the 5,027 fans on hand qualified as the most ever at a Cal women's basketball home game. (More ...)

Stanford women put shackles on Bears

By: David Schoen, The Oakland Tribune

As the Cal women's basketball team struggles to find its identity, Stanford's is becoming clear. The Cardinal is turning into a defensive juggernaut. (More ...)

January 06, 2007

Stanford women look to keep it going at Cal

By: Darren Sabedra, San Jose Mercury News

Near the end of a blowout victory Tuesday at Fresno State, Stanford's two biggest stars got to talking. This is what we expected all along, Candice Wiggins and Brooke Smith concluded.

"We just feel that we've come a long ways,'' Smith said a few days later.

"It's starting to all piece together,'' Wiggins added. "This is so exciting.''

The 12th-ranked Cardinal will try to add to the excitement today when it visits No. 21 Cal. Stanford has defeated the Bears 13 games in a row and 28 of 29 -- nearly all routs -- but expects a tougher test this time. (More ...)

January 04, 2007

Women Feast in Fresno

By: Tom Knecht Jr., The Bootleg

Many of us crafted resolutions for the New Year. By the looks of the carnage left by the Cardinal at Fresno State, Stanford Women's Basketball is embarking on a diet of field goals and rebounds. In a 28-point win at the Save Mart Center, where Fresno State had beaten two Top 25 teams this season, Stanford gobbled the glass and scored from every position. (More ...)

January 03, 2007

Stanford tutors the Bulldogs

By: Jeff Davis, The Fresno Bee

It was more like an intense study session for Fresno State, and No. 12 Stanford left the Bulldogs with enough homework to last a month into the Western Athletic Conference season.

The Cardinal, one of the nation's elite women's basketball teams, came to the Save Mart Center in hopes of getting a feel for a potential return in March for the NCAA Tournament Regionals.

"I don't see how they're not a Final Four team," Bulldogs coach Adrian Wiggins said after his team's 80-52 thumping by the Cardinal. (More ...)

January 02, 2007

Fresno is looking forward to Candice

By: Jeff Davis, The Fresno Bee

... Now a junior, Wiggins faces Fresno State tonight as the most heralded women's basketball player to step onto the Save Mart Center court. She leads the No. 12 Cardinal's balanced attack with 16.4 points per game.

"No one with higher accolades has ever come here," Bulldogs coach Adrian Wiggins said of the daughter of former major leaguer Alan Wiggins. (More ...)

January 01, 2007

Candice is Pac-10 Player of the Week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- STANFORD junior guard Candice Wiggins has been named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 26-31, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.

Wiggins, a native of San Diego, Calif., averaged 16.5 points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal in two games as the Cardinal defeated Arizona and upset No. 10/11 Arizona State. On the week, she shot 40.7 pecent from the floor (11-of-27) and 52.9 percent from three-point land (9-of-17).

After sitting out the first two games of her career with a hamstring injury two weeks ago, Wiggins made up for lost time by returning to the court for the first time since Dec. 16, and becoming one of five Cardinal players to score in double-figures with 12 points (all three-pointers), while dishing out four assists in 16 minutes in an 86-58 win over Arizona on Thursday.

Two days later, she single-handedly directed Stanford to its biggest win of the year in a 77-71 thriller over the Sun Devils. After a sluggish first half (0-4 from the field, 2 points), Wiggins erupted in the second half, finishing with a game-best 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, five three-pointers, four rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes of action.

Currently, she leads the Cardinal in scoring (16.4 ppg) and three-pointers (25), while also ranking second in steals (18) and third in assists (31) through 10 games.

Stanford (9-3 overall, 4-0 Pac-10) will play at Fresno State on Tues., Jan. 2 on CSTV, only to return to the Bay Area for a Sat., Jan. 6 game at California.

The Player of the Week honor is the fourth for Wiggins and the 54th all-time selection for Stanford.