No. 4/4 Stanford Cardinal (11-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
- vs. -
Oregon Ducks (9-2, 0-0 Pac-12)
Friday, January 3, 2014 – 6 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) – Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 47-8
Last Meeting: Feb. 24, 2013 (Stanford 74, Oregon 50) – Stanford, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Roxy Bernstein, Analyst: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude)
Webcast: Pac-12 Network Online (http://www.pac-12.com/live)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - Thirteen-time defending Pac-12 champion and fourth-ranked Stanford opens up conference play this weekend, hosting Oregon and Oregon State in its only scheduled meetings with the schools of 2013-14. The weekend begins Friday at 6 p.m. against the Ducks in a contest that will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude 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 completed an unbeaten month of December and wrapped up its non-conference slate last Saturday with an 86-54 victory at Fresno State. Four Cardinal players scored in double figures, led by the 20-point, 10-rebounds double-double of Chiney Ogwumike. Taylor Greenfield made her first start of the season and matched career highs with 18 points and six rebounds as she hit four 3-pointers. Amber Orrange scored 15 points with six assists, Bonnie Samuelson scored 14 points off the bench and Mikaela Ruef scored five points with seven rebounds and a career-high eight assists. Greenfield (four), Samuelson (four), Orrange (three) and Ruef (one) accounted for all of Stanford’s season-high 12 3-pointers in the win.
Oregon (9-2) brings a seven-game winning streak into Friday’s Pac-12 opener against the Cardinal. The Ducks boast the nation’s top offense, scoring 105.3 points per game, yet on the other side of the court they give up 88.5 points a game, a figure that ranks 340th out of 343 Division I teams. Oregon, with Paul Westhead in his fifth season at the helm, is led by a pair of players averaging over 20 points a game in freshman Chrishae Rowe (24.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and sophomore Jillian Alleyne (20.4 ppg, 14.3 rpg).
All-Time Against Oregon
Stanford leads the all-time series against Oregon, 47-8, and has won 17 in a row against the Ducks dating back to a 76-45 victory on Feb. 24, 2005. In fact, the Cardinal lost the first three meetings against the Ducks (1981, twice in the 1986-87 season) before winning 47 of the next 52 meetings. Stanford has won each of the past eight meetings by at least 20 points, with an average margin of victory of 30.5 points during that stretch.
In The National Rankings
Stanford remained at No. 4 in both the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll this week.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 30 Stanford ranks in the top three of eight categories: scoring defense (58.2 - first), scoring margin (+18.0 - first), field-goal percentage (46.6 - first), field-goal percentage defense (33.0 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.43 - first), assists (18.50 apg - second), blocked shots (4.33 bpg - second) and turnover margin (+1.7 - third). The Cardinal also ranks fourth in scoring offense (76.2), rebounding margin (+7.1) and offensive rebound percentage (38.4). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring (25.8 ppg), is second in field-goal percentage (63.3), and third in rebounding (11.3 rpg). Mikaela Ruef is sixth in rebounding (9.2 rpg) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.91) while Amber Orrange leads the loop in 3-point field-goal percentage (51.9), is fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.48), fifth in assists (4.33 apg) and seventh in field-goal percentage (53.1), and ninth in steals (2.00 spg).
In The National Stat Rankings
Through Dec. 29 Stanford ranked in the top 20 of four categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.43 - sixth), field-goal percentage defense (33.0 - 11th), assists (18.50 - 19th) and field-goal percentage (46.6 - 20th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike ranked fourth in scoring (25.8 ppg), seventh in field-goal percentage (63.3), ninth in double-doubles (eight) and 16th in rebounding (11.3 rpg).
Stanford Closes Successful Non-Conference Season
Stanford’s 86-54 rout of Fresno State completed a non-conference schedule in which the Cardinal won 11 of 12 games, falling only at No. 1/1 Connecticut on Nov. 11. The Cardinal’s 11 regular-season non-conference wins matches the program’s best mark, first set in 2007-08, and is the fifth time in the past seven seasons that the team has won at least 10 non-conference contests. This year’s non-conference slate featured four matchups with Top-25 teams, with the Cardinal going 3-1 in those games, gaining wins over No. 16/22 Purdue, No. 23/22 Gonzaga and No. 3/3 Tennessee.
Defending The Pac-12 Crown(s)
Friday tips off Stanford’s 28th Pac-12 campaign, and the Cardinal finds itself in a familiar situation: being the defending champion, or in this year’s case, the defending co-champion with California. Stanford has won or shared the past 13 regular-season conference titles, and overall has captured 22 of the 27 previous Pac-12 crowns. The Cardinal also owns a record of 24-3 in its conference openers.
Pac-12’s Best Offense and Defense Square Off
Friday’s matchup between Stanford and Oregon features the Pac-12’s (and the nation’s) top offense (Oregon averages 105.3 ppg) against its top defense (Stanford allows just 58.2 ppg). Based on past results, the odds favor the Cardinal Friday, as Stanford, since Paul Westhead took over in Eugene in 2009-10, has held the high-octane Duck offense to just 60.5 points a game over the last eight meetings. On the other side of that equation, Stanford has averaged 91.0 points over those eight wins against the Ducks.
Interesting Start To Stanford’s Pac-12 Campaign
With the scheduling changes resulting from the addition of Utah and Colorado to the conference in 2011-12, there are four teams each season that the Cardinal plays only once during the regular season. This season begins the second of the scheduled two-year blocks, as the Cardinal will play Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado and Utah once apiece in 2013-14 and 2014-15. This year’s schedule adds an interesting twist, as the Cardinal plays its first four games against those teams, meaning its final 14 conference games will be a double round-robin against the rest of the Pac-12.
Ogwumike At Threshold Of Stanford, Pac-12 Rebounding Record
Chiney Ogwumike’s 10 rebounds at Fresno State brought her career total to 1,257, just nine behind former teammate Kayla Pedersen’s Pac-12 and Stanford career record of 1,266 rebounds. Averaging 11.3 rebounds a game so far in 2013-14, Ogwumike could break the record with 10 Friday against Oregon, a team against which she averages 16.7 points and 13.0 rebounds over six career games, including a Stanford single-game record 24 rebounds last Feb. 24.
December A Month To Remember For Cardinal
Saturday’s win at Fresno State also clinched an unbeaten month of December for the Cardinal. Since the 2007-08 season, Stanford owns a record of 31-6 in December, and has now won 17 of its last 18 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.
Get Your Popcorn Ready
Friday’s contest between Stanford and Oregon has the potential to be an entertaining, high-scoring affair, as it will feature three of the Pac-12’s top four scorers and three of its top seven rebounders. Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference with 25.8 points per game while Oregon’s Chrishae Rowe (24.5 ppg) and Jillian Alleyne (20.4 ppg) rank second and fourth, respectively. On the rebounding side of things, Alleyne leads the conference with 14.3 rebounds per game, while Ogwumike (11.3 rpg) and Mikaela Ruef (9.2 rpg) rank third and seventh, respectively. In the Stanford record book, the Cardinal’s top two single-game rebounding totals have been set against the Ducks over the past four years, as Nnemkadi Ogwumike grabbed 23 rebounds in Eugene on Jan. 23, 2010, and last Feb. 24 Chiney Ogwumike set the Cardinal single-game benchmark with 24 rebounds against the Ducks.
Deadly From Long-Range
Stanford used the long ball to great effect in last Saturday’s win at Fresno State, hitting a season-high 12 3-pointers. Those 12 triples were split amongst just four players doing the damage, as Taylor Greenfield and Bonnie Samuelson led the way with four apiece, Amber Orrange hit three and Mikaela Ruef hit one. The Cardinal performance topped the previous season high of 10 3-pointers made back on Nov. 27 against Florida Gulf Coast in Puerto Vallarta.
Greenfield On Fire In Her Return
Junior Taylor Greenfield missed the first eight games of this season due to a foot injury, and returned to action Dec. 14 against Gonzaga. Over the first four games of her return she has wielded a hot hand, averaging 10.3 points per game while shooting 56.0 percent from the field and 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from 3-point range. Greenfield followed up Dec. 21’s 11-point effort against No. 3/3 Tennessee, in which she went 3-for-5 from behind the arc, with career high-matching totals of 18 points and six rebounds in her first start of the season last Saturday at Fresno State.
Ogwumike Going For Another Pac-12 Player Of The Year Campaign
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike has followed up her 2012-13 All-America campaign with what is sure to be a third in a row in 2013-14, as she averages 25.8 points and 11.3 rebounds with a 63.3 field-goal percentage through the first 12 games. The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, Ogwumike is not only a leading candidate for national player of the year, but also to become the first Pac-12 player to capture consecutive player of the year awards since Candice Wiggins (2005-06).
Running The Show
Developing into a sharpshooter on top of her already well-earned rep as the ringmaster of Stanford’s offense, point guard Amber Orrange is among the Pac-12 leaders in multiple categories heading into the conference season. The Houston native ranks in the Pac-12 top five in assists (4.33 apg - fifth) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.48 - fourth), and has put herself amongst the top shooters in the conference, leading the loop with a 51.9 3-point field-goal percentage and sitting seventh in the conference with a 53.1-percent mark from the field.
Ruef Rules The Hustle Stats
The old saying, “It ain’t easy, but someone’s gotta do it” applies perfectly to redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef, whose rugged play has her on pace to exceed her career performance of 2012-13. Through the non-conference season Ruef has been a rock in the Cardinal starting lineup, and her selfless style of play has led to averages of 9.2 rebounds and 3.67 assists per game, both second on the team. In addition to her toughness on the boards, Ruef has also established herself as one of the top passing centers in the Pac-12, and in the country, as her 3.67 assists per game and 1.91 assist-to-turnover ratio are both tops among Pac-12 front-liners.
Strong Off The Bench
Saturday at Fresno State, junior forward Bonnie Samuelson came off the bench and scored in double figures for the Cardinal for the second time this season, netting 14 points in 16 minutes. The Huntington Beach native went 5-for-7 from the field and 4-for-6 from behind the arc while also battling her way to four rebounds. The performance was Samuelson’s highest since the season opener, when she came off the bench to hit three triples and score 15 points in Stanford’s 83-71 win at Boston College. On the year, Samuelson leads the Cardinal reserves with 5.6 points per game over 11.5 minutes a game, and is shooting 36.1 percent (13-for-36) from behind the arc.