No. 5/4 Stanford Cardinal (24-2, 13-1 Pac-12)
- at -
USC Trojans (16-10, 9-5 Pac-12)
Friday, February 21, 2014 – 6 p.m. PT
Galen Center (10,258) – Los Angeles, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 52-19
Last Meeting: Jan. 27, 2014 (Stanford 86, USC 59) – Stanford, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Krista Blunk, Analyst: Mary Murphy)
Webcast: Pac-12 Online (http://www.pac-12.com/live)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 5/4 Stanford makes its final road trip of the regular season this weekend, heading to Los Angeles for matchups at USC and UCLA. The Cardinal opens the trip Friday at Southern California, taking on the Trojans at 6 p.m. Friday’s contest will air live on Pac-12 Network with Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy on the call, and the game can also be heard on 90.1 KZSU.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal completed a home sweep of the Arizona schools on Sunday, defeating Arizona 74-48 behind a 13-for-22 performance by the team from 3-point range. Bonnie Samuelson led the way with five of those triples and 17 points. Stanford’s starters were able to enjoy light days, as none played more than 24 minutes. Senior Chiney Ogwumike played a season-low 22 minutes but still managed 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting and nine rebounds, while Amber Orrange scored nine points with nine assists. Erica McCall scored seven points with seven rebounds while fellow reserve Kailee Johnson grabbed four boards as the Cardinal out-rebounded the Wildcats, 42-28.
USC (16-10, 9-5 Pac-12) has lost four of its past six entering Friday, a stretch that began with Jan. 27’s 86-59 loss at Stanford. The Trojans most recently split its trip to Oregon last weekend, defeating Oregon before falling at Oregon State Sunday. With Cynthia Cooper-Dyke in her first season at the Trojan helm, USC is led by the play of Cassie Harberts (16.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Ariya Crook (15.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
All-Time Against USC
Stanford is 52-19 all-time against USC, and has won 13 in a row against the Trojans, including an 86-59 victory at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 27.
In The National Rankings
Stanford moved up a spot to No. 5 in the Associated Press Poll and up one to No. 4 in the USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll this week following last weekend’s sweep of Arizona State and Arizona.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through February 17 Stanford ranks in the top three of 12 categories: scoring defense (59.9 - first), scoring margin (+18.9 - first), rebounding margin (+8.7 - first), field-goal percentage (48.4 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage (39.2 - first), field-goal percentage defense (34.9 - first), assists (18.92 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.52 - first), scoring offense (78.8 - second), rebounding defense (34.6 - second), 3-point field-goal defense (28.8 - second) and defensive rebounding (30.5 drpg - second). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring (26.5 ppg) and field-goal percentage (63.6), and is second in rebounding (12.2 rpg) and blocked shots (1.65 bpg). Mikaela Ruef is fifth in rebounding (9.4 rpg), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75), and 12th in assists (3.15 apg), tops among all Pac-12 posts in the latter two categories. Amber Orrange leads the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.44) and is second in assists (4.77 apg). Lili Thompson (44.3) leads the Pac-12 in 3-point field-goal percentage while Bonnie Samuelson (42.2) is fourth and Karlie Samuelson (40.8) is fifth.
In The National Stat Rankings
Through February 16 Stanford ranked in the top 20 of eight categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.52 - fourth), field-goal percentage (48.4 - sixth), assists (18.92 - sixth), 3-point field-goal percentage (39.2 - fifth), turnovers per game (12.4 - 10th), scoring margin (+18.9 - 11th), field-goal percentage defense (34.9 - 11th), and rebound margin (+8.5 - 20th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in field-goal percentage (63.6 - second), scoring (26.5 ppg - third), and rebounding (12.2 rpg - eighth), and double-doubles (19 - sixth). Amber Orrange’s 3.44 assist-to-turnover ratio is third in the country.
Pac-12 Title Race And Tournament Seeding Update
Sunday’s 74-48 victory over Arizona improved Stanford to 13-1 in conference play and clinched for the Cardinal a bye into the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament, which is set for March 6-9 at KeyArena in Seattle. Entering the penultimate weekend of the regular season, Stanford is also on the verge of clinching its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title and 23rd overall. The Cardinal’s magic number to clinch the title outright is two heading into Friday’s game at USC. A win over the Trojans would clinch for the Cardinal a share of the Pac-12 title, and if California (10-4 Pac-12 record) were to also lose at UCLA Friday, that would give Stanford the outright title.
Also for Stanford, a win Friday night at USC even combined with a California win would clinch the Pac-12 Tournament’s top seed due to the Cardinal’s regular-season sweep of the Golden Bears.
Ogwumike About To Move Into The NCAA Rebounding Top 10
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike became the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder back on Jan. 3, passing former Cardinal teammate Kayla Pedersen’s mark of 1,266. Heading into this weekend’s trip to Los Angeles, Ogwumike, with 1,437 career rebounds to her name, is on the precipice of breaking into the top 10 of the NCAA career rebounding list. She is currently second among active players behind Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou (1,439) and 12th on the NCAA list. The No. 10 spot on the list is currently occupied by Judy Mosley, who grabbed 1,441 rebounds for Hawai’i from 1986-90.
Nice And Rested
The dog days of February can catch up to any team, but this past weekend Stanford was able to help combat them with a pair of big wins which allowed the Cardinal starters to play less minutes. Just one Stanford starter, point guard Amber Orrange, played 30 minutes in either game, hitting the amount right on the nose Friday against Arizona State. The combined minutes for each Stanford starter over the weekend were 54 for Orrange, 49 for Chiney Ogwumike, 46 for Lili Thompson, 38 for Mikaela Ruef and 34 for Taylor Greenfield.
Night And Day From Downtown
Stanford’s fortunes in its 3-point shooting varied wildly this past weekend against Arizona State and Arizona, but fortunately for the Cardinal ended at a good spot. Friday night against the Sun Devils, the Cardinal went 0-for-4 from behind the arc, the first time since Jan. 8 of last year at California that the Cardinal had failed to hit a triple. Sunday, however, told a different story as Stanford came out firing, hitting 10 3-pointers in the first half en route to a 13-for-24 performance in the 74-48 win. Leading the way in this barrage was junior forward Bonnie Samuelson, who went 5-for-8 on her long-range attempts and scored a game-high 17 points. Amber Orrange hit three triples while Taylor Greenfield and Lili Thompson each hit a pair and freshman forward Kailee Johnson added one.
Chiney Ogwumike Against The Top-25
Last Friday’s 61-35 win over Arizona State improved Stanford’s record against Top-25 teams this season to 8-1. Over those nine games, Stanford’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) through Feb. 9. Over nine games against Top-25 teams this year, Ogwumike is averaging 25.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and shooting 59.4 percent with 14 blocked shots.
A Good Look At The Reserves
The large margins of victory over the Arizona schools this weekend allowed Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer not only to get her starters some valuable rest but also get a good look at the Cardinal reserves. Most notable was junior forward Bonnie Samuelson, who came off the bench Sunday to hit five triples and score 17 points in 16 minutes of action. Some of those players who took advantage of the extra minutes were freshmen, as forward Erica McCall played 18 minutes in each of the wins, grabbing a total of 12 rebounds to go with nine points, seven of each coming Sunday against Arizona. Guard Briana Roberson played 12 minutes against Arizona State then 20 against Arizona, scoring four points with a steal in Sunday’s win over the Wildcats, and forward Kailee Johnson averaged 12.0 minutes a game, grabbing four rebounds in each contest and hitting a 3-pointer with two assists Sunday.
No Threes For You! Come Back, One Year!
If an opponent doesn’t put up its 3-pointer and move to the side, Stanford’s defense has shown it will refuse 3-point service. That was the case against Arizona State and Arizona this past weekend, as the Cardinal held Arizona without a triple in five tries, and Arizona State to just one in 12 attempts for an overall 1-for-17 performance from behind the arc by the Cardinal opponents. The Sun Devils’ 12 first-half points also matched a Stanford record against a Pac-12 opponent for lowest scoring total over the opening 20 minutes. On the year, Stanford owns the second-best 3-point field-goal defense in the Pac-12, holding opponents to just a 28.8-percent mark from downtown. Arizona, in its only trip to Stanford this season, became the second team this year that the Cardinal has denied a triple, joining Gonzaga, which went 0-for-14 on Dec. 14.
Great Weekend From Orrange
Junior point guard Amber Orrange bounced back well this weekend from a 2-for-15 shooting performance in February 9’s loss at Washington. The Houston native shot a combined 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) from the field and Sunday against Arizona went 3-for-4 from behind the arc. The soft-spoken leader let her play in all facets of the game do the talking, matching a career high with five steals Friday against Arizona State, then scoring nine points with nine rebounds and five assists in Sunday’s 74-48 win over Arizona.
More Strong Guard Play
Amber Orrange wasn’t the only Cardinal guard playing some efficient basketball over the weekend, as freshman Lili Thompson averaged 8.5 points and 2.50 rebounds and shot 58.3 percent from the field. Thompson opened the weekend with eight points and an assist in Friday’s 61-35 win over Arizona State, the finished strong with nine points and four assists along with a pair of triples in Sunday’s win over Arizona.