No. 6/4t Stanford Cardinal (8-1)
- vs. -
New Mexico Lobos (4-4)
Monday, December 16, 2013 – 7 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) – Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 2008 (Stanford 84, New Mexico 46) – Stanford, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Krista Blunk, Anaylst: Mary Murphy)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 6/4t Stanford hits the hump of its three-game homestand Monday night, hosting New Mexico in the first meeting of the schools since Nov. 2008. Monday night’s game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network with Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy on the call. The contest can also be heard on 90.1 KZSU and online at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal returned from a 16-day break for final exams Saturday, and rolled to a 73-45 win over a very good No. 23/22 Gonzaga squad. Eleven of the 13 Cardinal players that saw action Saturday scored, led by Chiney Oguwmike’s 19 points. Freshman forward Kailee Johnson posted season highs of 11 points and eight rebounds, while Amber Orrange was also in double digits with 10 points. Ogwumike and freshman Erica McCall each grabbed seven rebounds while Mikaela Ruef had five rebounds with four points and three assists. The Cardinal defense held the Zags to just 34.4-percent shooting, including an 0-for-14 showing from 3-point range.
About New Mexico
New Mexico (4-4) has recovered well from a three-game losing streak, winning three of its last four entering Monday night. The Lobos, with third-year head coach Yvonne Sanchez at the helm, are led by the play of Antiesha Brown (16.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Sara Halasz (10.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Ebony Walker (10.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg).
All-Time Against New Mexico
Stanford and New Mexico have played just twice, with the contests coming in back-to-back years. The Cardinal defeated the Lobos 73-54 in Albuquerque on Dec. 18, 2007, then captured an 84-46 victory on Nov. 20, 2008 at Maples Pavilion.
In The National Rankings
Stanford remained sixth in Dec. 9’s Associated Press Poll and is tied for fourth with Notre Dame in last Tuesday’s USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 14 Stanford ranks in the top three of five categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32 - first), scoring defense (59.2 - second), field-goal percentage (46.4 - second), field-goal percentage defense (34.2 - second) and assists (17.78 apg - second). The Cardinal ranks fourth in scoring margin (+16.0), 3-point field-goal defense (26.8), rebounding defense (35.4 rpg), rebounding margin (+8.3) and defensive rebounds (29.7 drpg). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is second in the Pac-12 in scoring (25.0 ppg), and third in rebounding (11.0 rpg) and field-goal percentage (63.4). Mikaela Ruef is sixth in rebounding (9.4 rpg) while Amber Orrange is third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.47), tied for third in 3-point field-goal percentage (45.0), tied for fifth in steals (2.11 spg), sixth in assists (4.11 apg) and ninth in field-goal percentage (51.9).
In The National Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 8 Stanford ranks in the top 20 of three categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.35 - 14th), field-goal percentage (46.6 - 19th) and assists (18.25 apg - 20th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike ranks sixth in scoring (25.8 ppg) and double-doubles (six), is 11th in field-goal percentage (63.4) and 15th in rebounding (11.5 rpg).
Stanford Returning From The Finals Break With A Win
Saturday’s win over Gonzaga was Stanford’s first game following its annual two-week break for final exams. In all, Stanford had a 16-day break between its final game on Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) and Saturday’s contest, the longest in Cardinal history. Since first taking a two-week break during the season for exams in 1999-2000, Stanford is now 12-3 in its first game back from the hiatus. Each of those three losses came in the first three seasons (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02) of Stanford taking the two-week break.
December A Month To Remember For Cardinal
The final month of the calendar year has been kind to the Cardinal as of late. Since the 2007-08 season, Stanford owns a record of 28-6 in December, and heading into Monday’s game against New Mexico has won 14 of its last 15 games during the month. That lone loss in the stretch was last year’s 61-35 defeat at the hands of No. 2/2 Connecticut on Dec. 29.
Defense Shuts Down The Zags
Stanford’s defense looked like it hadn’t missed a beat Saturday against Gonzaga despite a 16-day break from competition. The Cardinal held the Zags to just 34.4-percent shooting from the field, and set season bests in holding Gonzaga to just 45 points and zero 3-point field goals. Gonzaga’s 0-for-14 showing from 3-point range marked the first time Stanford had held an opponent without a triple since Jan. 18, 2013, when UCLA failed to hit a 3-pointer.
Ogwumike Approaches Exclusive Club
Entering Monday, Chiney Ogwumike needs just five points to reach 2,000 for her career. Hitting 2,000 points would make her only the fifth Stanford player to join the 2,000-Point/1,000-Rebound Club, joining older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2008-12), Jayne Appel (2006-10), Nicole Powell (2000-04) and Val Whiting (1989-93).
Big Homestand For The Cardinal
Saturday’s game against Gonzaga opened up a big three-game set at Maples Pavilion for the Cardinal which continues with Monday night’s game against New Mexico and next Saturday’s clash with No. 3/3 Tennessee at 1:30 p.m. All three games on the homestand are set for live broadcast on the Pac-12 Network, highlighted by Dec. 21’s matchup with Tennessee, in which the Cardinal will attempt to win its third straight against the Lady Volunteers for the first time in the series. Monday’s contest against New Mexico will also be just the third meeting between the schools and the first since Nov. 20, 2008, an 84-46 Cardinal win in Albuquerque.
Ogwumike Gets The Cardinal Started
Chiney Ogwumike played a big role in Saturday’s 73-45 win over Gonzaga. Besides being the game’s leading scorer with 19 points, Ogwumike scored Stanford’s first six points and eight of the team’s first 13 as the Cardinal jumped out to a 21-8 lead. All four of those buckets came from deep inside the paint, and forced the Zags to tighten up their defense on the All-American, which opened up the Cardinal perimeter. Those open looks for Stanford’s shooters resulted in them going 8-for-16 (50.0 percent) from 3-point range, the Cardinal’s second-best single-game percentage of the season (after the 55.6 percent against Purdue on Nov. 26), and highest when the team attempts at least 10 triples. Stanford went 5-for-9 against Purdue.
Johnson Continues To Impress
Another solid day for Stanford’s freshman class Saturday was highlighted by the performance of forward Kailee Johnson, who posted season highs with 11 points and eight rebounds. Johnson went 4-for-7 from the field, including 2-for-3 from behind the arc, and also grabbed five of her eight rebounds off the offensive glass in 19 minutes off the bench against Gonzaga. The Portland, Ore. native continues to be a strong contributor for the Cardinal, averaging 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds over the past four games.
Fellow rookies Erica McCall and Lili Thompson were also in action Saturday. McCall helped contribute to the Cardinal’s rebounding edge, grabbing seven rebounds, and scored five points in 19 minutes. Thompson, meanwhile, started for the seventh time this season, passing out a pair of assists and being a part of a fine defensive performance that held Gonzaga to a Stanford opponent season-low 45 points.
Stanford’s outside shooting corps put together a good day in the win over Gonzaga, going 8-for-16 from behind the arc. Jasmine Camp, Sara James and Kailee Johnson each hit a pair of triples, while Amber Orrange and Bonnie Samuelson dropped one apiece. Stanford’s 50.0-percent showing was its best this year when attempting at least 10 3-pointers, as the team’s best percentage of the year regardless of attempts is 55.6 percent in a 5-for-9 outing against Purdue on Nov. 26.
Greenfield, Payne Return To Action
The 16-day break in action helped the Cardinal on the health side of things as juniors Taylor Greenfield and Erica Payne got additional rest and were able to return to action Saturday against Gonzaga. Each player had missed the first eight games of this season, Greenfield due to a foot injury and Payne due to rehab from offseason arthroscopic surgery on her knee. Saturday Greenfield scored four points and grabbed a pair of rebounds in 11 minutes, while Payne played two minutes late.