No. 6/5 Stanford Cardinal (22-2, 11-1 Pac-12)
- vs. -
No. 15/21 Arizona State (20-4, 9-3 Pac-12)
Friday, February 14, 2014 – 7 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) – Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 55-11
Last Meeting: Jan. 20, 2014 (Stanford 80, Arizona State 56) – Tempe, Ariz.
Webcast: Pac-12 Live Stream (http://pac-12.com/videos/stanford-university)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - It had been almost three months since No. 6/5 Stanford last suffered defeat before this past Sunday’s loss at Washington, and this Friday the Cardinal will aim to bounce back, hosting second-place No. 15/21 Arizona State at 7 p.m. Friday’s contest is available to watch online at http://pac-12.com/videos/stanford-university, and the contest can also be heard on 90.1 KZSU.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal suffered just its second defeat of the season Sunday afternoon, falling 87-82 at Washington. Stanford shot just 34.6 percent from the field and 22.0 percent (9-for-41) from behind the arc in the loss, while the Huskies had five score in double figures, led by Kelsey Plum’s 23 points, and shot a Stanford opponent-high 46.9 percent overall. The loss dampened a career day for forward Mikaela Ruef, who posted career highs of 16 points and 22 reounds, with her rebounding total ranking as the third-best in Stanford single-game history. Chiney Ogwumike posted her 18th double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Bonnie Samuelson (14 points, four 3-pointers) and Lili Thompson (13 points, three triples, five rebounds) combined for seven of the Cardinal’s nine makes from behind the arc.
About Arizona State
No. 15/21 Arizona State (20-4, 9-3 Pac-12) had its five-game winning streak snapped and missed the chance to move to within a game of the Cardinal in the Pac-12 standings with Sunday’s 68-49 upset loss at the hands of Arizona. With Charli Turner Thorne in her 18th season at the Sun Devil helm, Arizona State is led by the play of Deja Mann (11.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and Adrianne Thomas (9.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg).
All-Time Against Arizona State
Stanford is 55-11 all-time against Arizona State, and has won 15 in a row against the Sun Devils. The Cardinal captured the first meeting of this season with an 80-56 victory in Tempe back on January 20.
In The National Rankings
Stanford fell three spots to No. 6 in the Associated Press Poll and two spots to No. 5 in the USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll this week following Sunday’s loss at Washington.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through February 10 Stanford ranks in the top three of 12 categories: scoring defense (61.5 - first), scoring margin (+18.3 - first), rebounding margin (+8.6 - first), field-goal percentage (48.3 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.7 - first), field-goal percentage defense (35.5 - first), assists (19.21 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58 - first), scoring offense (79.8 - second), rebounding defense (34.9 - second), 3-point field-goal defense (29.6 - third) and defensive rebounding (30.2 drpg). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring (27.2 ppg) and field-goal percentage (63.2), and is second in rebounding (12.3 rpg) and blocked shots (1.75 bpg). Mikaela Ruef is fifth in rebounding (9.8 rpg), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75), and 11th in assists (3.21 apg), tops among all Pac-12 posts in the latter two categories. Amber Orrange leads the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.20) and is second in assists (4.67 apg). Lili Thompson (43.9) leads the Pac-12 in 3-point field-goal percentage while Bonnie Samuelson (41.7) is third, and Karlie Samuelson (40.8) is fifth. Thompson is also fourth with a 1.87 assist-to-turnover ratio.
In The National Stat Rankings
Through February 9 Stanford ranked in the top 20 of eight categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58 - fourth), field-goal percentage (48.3 - sixth), assists (19.21 - sixth), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.7 - seventh), turnovers per game (12.1 - seventh), scoring margin (+18.3 - 11th), field-goal percentage defense (35.5 - 18th), and rebound margin (+8.4 - 20th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in field-goal percentage (63.2 - second), scoring (27.2 ppg - third), and rebounding (12.3 rpg - eighth), and double-doubles (18 - sixth). Amber Orrange’s 3.20 assist-to-turnover ratio was sixth in the country.
Some Notable Streaks Snapped In Stanford’s 87-82 Loss At Washington
• Special thanks to STATS, LLC and the Associated Press’ Doug Feinberg for the following: Sunday’s loss to Washington snapped Stanford’s 166-game winning streak against non-ranked opponents. That streak was second only to Connecticut’s streak of 177 games from December 23, 2004 to February 18, 2012. Stanford’s last loss to an unranked foe was a 73-72 decision at USC on Jan. 6, 2008.
• Sunday’s loss also snapped Stanford’s 62-game road/neutral court winning streak against Pac-12 opponents. Before Sunday, the Cardinal’s last loss to a Pac-12 school away from Maples Pavilion was a 57-54 setback at California on Jan. 18, 2009.
• Stanford’s 14-game winning streak against Washington was snapped. The Cardinal’s last loss to the Huskies before Sunday was Dec. 22, 2005 (77-72) in Seattle.
• Stanford had won 56 straight games in the month of February before Sunday’s loss in Seattle. The Cardinal’s previous February loss before Sunday had been a 72-57 home loss to California on Feb. 4, 2007.
Pac-12 Title Race Update
Stanford’s loss at Washington dropped the Cardinal to 11-1 in Pac-12 play, but fortunately for the Cardinal second-place Arizona State was also upsetSunday, falling at Arizona. Arizona State’s loss keeps the Cardinal, seeking its 14th straight Pac-12 regular season title and 23rd overall, two games ahead of the Sun Devils with six to play heading into Friday’s critical meeting. Should the Cardinal defeat the Sun Devils Friday, it would push Stanford’s lead atop the table to three games with five remaining. More importantly, it would also line Stanford up for the Pac-12 Tournament’s top seed, as the Cardinal would own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Sun Devils due to the season sweep, effectively making Stanford’s lead four games with a victory. Stanford’s magic number for a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament from March 6-9 in Seattle is at two entering Friday night, as any combination of Stanford wins and Oregon State (fifth at 7-5) losses equaling two would clinch the bye for the Cardinal.
Bouncing Back After Losses
If recent history is any indication, Stanford should bounce back well from Sunday’s loss at Washington, as the Cardinal has only lost consecutive games twice since 2007-08. In January 2008, the Cardinal dropped two straight when it was swept by UCLA (Jan. 4) and USC (Jan. 6) in Los Angeles, and the only other occasion over the past seven years took place December 16 and 19, 2010, when the Cardinal fell at No. 22/25 DePaul and No. 6/6 Tennessee, respectively.
Chiney Ogwumike Against The Top-25
Friday’s matchup with Arizona State is Stanford’s ninth against a Top-25 team this season. Over the Cardinal’s 7-1 showing against Top-25 teams, it’s received great performances from numerous players, most notably national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike, the only player in the country to rank in the national Top 10 in scoring (27.2 ppg - third), rebounding (12.3 rpg - eighth), field-goal percentage (63.2 - second), and double-doubles (18 - sixth). Over eight games against Top-25 teams this year, Ogwumike is averaging 25.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and shooting 57.3 percent with 13 blocked shots. Below is a game-by-game breakdown of Ogwumike’s lines against those teams:
Career Day For Ruef
Redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef turned in a career performance despite Stanford’s 87-82 loss at Washington Sunday, posting career bests in points (16), field goals made (seven) and rebounds (22). Ruef’s 22-rebound performance is the third-best in Stanford single-game history, just two behind the record of 24 set by Chiney Ogwumike against Oregon on February 24. 2013. In fact, Ruef’s rebounding effort is the best in Stanford history by a player not named “Ogwumike” as the elder Ogwumike, Nnemkadi, is second on the list with 23 against the Ducks on January 23, 2010. Ruef’s performance is the latest highlight in an outstanding senior season that should earn her at least a selection to the All-Pac-12 Team, as this year she is averaging career highs of 7.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.21 assists per game. She also leads all Pac-12 posts in assists per game and a 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Hopefully The Exception, And Not The Rule
Stanford’s 3-point shooting, and its shooting overall, underwent a rare cold spell in Sunday’s loss in Seattle. The Cardinal’s 34.6 field-goal percentage in the loss marked just the fourth time this season, and the first time since shooting 32.3 percent at Texas on Nov. 23, that the team had finished below the 40-percent mark from the field. It ended a streak of 18 straight games in which the Cardinal had shot at least 40 percent. From behind the arc, while the Cardinal’s nine triples were its highest since dropping 15 on Arizona Jan. 17 in Tucson, it took a season-high 41 attempts to get nine, making for a 22.0-percent success rate. That percentage marked just the third time over the last 19 outings, but second over the past four, that the Cardinal finished under the 30.0-percent mark from downtown.
Taking Advantage Of Freebies
One shooting aspect that the Cardinal did well on Sunday, and has significantly improved upon over the past month has been its free-throw shooting. As recently as January 21 (through the games of January 20), Stanford ranked dead last in the Pac-12 with a free-throw percentage of 65.3. Over the past six games, starting with Jan. 24’s game against UCLA, however, the Cardinal has raised its team percentage from the line to 68.5 percent and moved up to fifth in the conference rankings. That rise has been due to the team going 85-for-108 (78.7 percent) during that span, highlighted by Karlie Samuelson (15-for-15, 100.0 percent), Mikaela Ruef (16-for-19, 84.2 percent), Amber Orrange (14-for-17, 82.4 percent) and Lili Thompson (7-for-8, 87.5 percent).
Controlling The Boards
Even in defeat Sunday, Stanford dominated the glass against Washington, setting a season high with 57 rebounds and out-rebounding the Huskies 57-38. The Cardinal effort was led by Mikaela Ruef’s career-high 22 rebounds while Chiney Ogwumike added 14, as the pair came within two boards of matching the Huskie total. On the year, Ogwumike (12.3 rpg) and Ruef (9.8 rpg) are averaging a combined 22.1 rebounds per game, second in the Pac-12 to Oregon’s Jillian Alleyne (15.3) and Chrishae Rowe (7.1), who combine for 22.4 rebounds per game. Ogwumike and Ruef, however, are the only pair of teammates to each rank in the top five on the Pac-12 rebounding list, as Ogwumike is second and Ruef fifth.