No. 3/3 Stanford Cardinal (21-1, 10-0 Pac-12)
- at -
Washington State Cougars (12-10, 6-4 Pac-12)
Friday, February 7, 2014 – 6 p.m. PT
Beasley Coliseum (12,058) – Pullman, Wash.
Series History: Stanford leads 55-0
Last Meeting: Feb. 7, 2014 (Stanford 79, Washington 60) – Seattle, Wash.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Krista Blunk, Analyst: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude)
Webcast: Pac-12 Online (http://www.pac-12.com/live)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 3/3 Stanford jumps right into the post-Super Bowl party in Washington this weekend, first hitting Pullman for a visit to Washington State then arriving in the home of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks to take on Washington Sunday afternoon. Thursday’s game will air on Pac-12 Network with Krista Blunk 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 its sweep of the Battle of the Bay against No. 21/19 California Sunday afternoon with a 79-64 victory in Berkeley. The veteran leadership of Chiney Ogwumike (29 points, eight rebounds, four assists) and Mikaela Ruef (nine points, game-high 11 rebounds, five assists) paced Stanford to victory not just with their offense, as defensively the pair held the top three Golden Bear posts to just 11 combined points and a collective 4-for-16 shooting effort from the floor. Amber Orrange (13 points, three assists) and Karlie Samuelson (16 points) carried the Cardinal back court as Stanford took control late in the first half and stretched its lead to 19 in the second.
About Washington State
Washington State (12-10, 6-4 Pac-12) enters Thursday’s game having dropped four of its last five decisions after opening the conference season 5-0. The Cougars are in a logjam of teams fighting for a top-four spot and bye into the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals. With June Daugherty in her seventh year at the helm, the Cougars are led by the play of Tia Presley (18.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Lia Galdeira (18.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg).
All-Time Against Washington State
Stanford is unbeaten in 55 meetings all-time against Washington State. Last season the Cardinal defeated the Cougars twice in a six-day span, winning 72-50 in Pullman on March 2, then 79-60 in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals March 8 in Seattle.
In The National Rankings
Stanford moved up a spot to No. 3 in both the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll this week.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through Feb. 2 Stanford ranks in the top three of 11 categories: scoring defense (60.0 - first), scoring margin (+19.9 - first), rebounding defense (35.0 - first), rebounding margin (+7.8 - first), field-goal percentage (49.1 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage (40.3 - first), field-goal percentage defense (34.7 - first), assists (19.82 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.62 - first), scoring offense (79.8 - second), and 3-point field-goal defense (28.8 - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring (27.0 ppg) and field-goal percentage (63.3), and is second in rebounding (12.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.86 bpg). Mikaela Ruef is fifth in rebounding (9.3 rpg), seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76), and 10th in assists (3.36 apg), tops among all Pac-12 posts in the latter two categories. Amber Orrange leads the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.25) and is second in assists (4.73 apg). Lili Thompson (45.6) and Bonnie Samuelson (44.1) are 1-2 in the Pac-12 in 3-point field-goal percentage while Karlie Samuelson (42.4) is fourth. Thompson is also fourth with a 1.94 assist-to-turnover ratio.
In The National Stat Rankings
Through Feb. 2 Stanford ranked in the top 20 of seven categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.61 - third), field-goal percentage (49.1 - fourth), 3-point field-goal percentage (40.3 - fifth), assists (19.82 - fifth), turnovers per game (12.3 - eighth), field-goal percentage defense (34.7 - ninth), scoring margin (+19.9 - 10th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in field-goal percentage (63.3 - second), scoring (27.0 ppg - third), rebounding (12.0 rpg - ninth) and double-doubles (17 - ninth). Amber Orrange’s 3.25 assist-to-turnover ratio is sixth in the country.
Ogwumike Earns Record Seventh Pac-12 Player Of The Week Honor Of Season
Add yet another record to Chiney Ogwumike’s collection as the national player of the year candidate earned her record seventh Pac-12 Player of the Week honor Monday, eclipsing her mark of six set last year. Ogwumike averaged 27.3 points and 10.7 rebounds while shooting 58.9 percent from the field over Stanford’s three wins last week (USC, twice against California). She also holds the career mark for most Pac-12 weekly honors with 16, seven more than the next players on the list. Through Sunday Ogwumike continues to be the only player to rank in the national top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and double-doubles.
Winning In Washington
Stanford has enjoyed much success in the state of Washington for the past 10 years, especially against the Pac-12. While the Cardinal has never lost to Washington State, it has defeated Washington six straight times in Seattle, last losing to the Huskies on the road in a 77-72 contest on Dec. 22, 2005. Stanford also defeated Washington State, Colorado and UCLA to capture last year’s Pac-12 Tournament title in Seattle, and has won the Spokane Regional two times in three trips, advancing to the Final Four in 2008 and 2011. Last year, regional semifinal loss to Georgia in Spokane was the Cardinal’s first loss in the state since the aforementioned defeat at the hands of Washington.
Stanford Picks Up Seventh Top-25 Win Of Season
Stanford collected its seventh straight win over a Top-25 team with Sunday’s 79-64 win over No. 21/19 California. Currently 7-1 against Top-25 teams, the Cardinal lost its first matchup with a ranked foe back on Nov. 11, falling 76-57 at No. 1/1 Connecticut. Since that loss, the Cardinal has defeated No. 16/22 Purdue in Puerto Vallarta, No. 23/22 Gonzaga, and No. 3/3 Tennessee at home, and No. 17/18 Colorado and No. 14/24 Arizona State on the road while sweeping No. 21/19 California in a home-and-home Jan. 30 (at Stanford) and Feb. 2 (in Berkeley).
Ruef, Ogwumike, McCall Perform Feats Of Strength
While last week’s sweep of No. 21/19 California pushed the Cardinal to 10-0 in conference play and reinforced Stanford’s hold atop the Pac-12 table, it also served as a late (early?) Festivus celebration through the feats of strength from Cardinal forwards Chiney Ogwumike, Mikaela Ruef and Erica McCall. Going up against one of the best frontcourts in the Pac-12, if not the country, in California’s Reshanda Gray, Gennifer Brandon and Justine Hartman, the Stanford trio decisively controlled all aspects of play. Thursday night at Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal trio out-rebounded the Golden Bear trio by a 28-17 margin, led by 12 apiece from Ruef and Ogwumike, while Sunday in Berkeley it was a 20-11 edge on the boards for the three Stanford players, led by Ruef’s game-high 11.
Defensively, the Cardinal trio locked down the paint. The California trio entered the week averaging a collective 27.2 points per game, with Gray the team’s leading scorer with a 17.3 average, however in Thursday’s game Stanford’s trio held them to just 17 combined points, and 11 Sunday. Ruef, who was responsible for matching up against Gray, held the Golden Bear star scoreless Thursday and for the weekend to seven points, 10 rebounds and 3-for-9 shooting.
Chiney Ogwumike Against The Top-25
Stanford hasn’t collected seven wins over Top-25 competition by accident. It’s received great performances from the team, 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 (third), rebounding (ninth), field-goal percentage (second) and double-doubles (ninth). 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.
Getting Better And Better
Redshirt senior Mikaela Ruef’s career year in 2013-14 continues to elevate, with last week’s three-game effort the latest example. Over the three wins, one against USC and two against California, Ruef averaged 9.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.67 assists, reaching double figures in rebounds in each game. The Beavercreek, Ohio native also stood out with her defense. After drawing the assignments of defending the leading scorers for each team (Cassie Harberts of USC, Reshanda Gray of California), Ruef more than held her own. Against USC on Jan. 27, Ruef held Harberts to just five points on five attempts in the first half as the Cardinal rolled to an 18-point halftime lead en route to an 86-59 win. Over the two games against the Golden Bears, Ruef held Gray, who averaged 17.3 points a game entering the home-and-home, scoreless in Thursday’s 70-64 win and to just seven points in Sunday’s 79-64 win in Berkeley.
First Taste Of The Rivalry For The Freshman
This past week’s home-and-home against California provided the first taste of the intense Bay Area rivalry for Stanford’s rookies, and they passed with flying colors. Guards Karlie Samuelson and Lili Thompson fearlessly drove the lane against the Golden Bears, wearing down the defense. Samuelson scored 14 and 16 points, respectively, in the two wins, shooting 66.7 percent (8-for-12) overall and 60.0 percent (3-for-5) from behind the arc, while Thompson passed out a career-high eight assists Thursday at home, then, battling illness that kept her out of practice the day before, scored seven points on 3-for-3 shooting in Sunday’s win. Forward Erica “Bird” McCall flew high, scoring eight points on 4-for-5 shooting with four rebounds in Thursday’s win at home.
That Escalated Quickly
Entering this season Stanford’s 3-point shooting was in a rut. Since shooting 39.6 percent from behind the arc as a team in 2006-07, the Cardinal failed to crack 34 percent in six of the next seven seasons, with the percentages in 2011-12 (31.1) and 2012-13 (31.9) being the two lowest marks in program history. This season didn’t start any better, as the Cardinal shot just 26.7 percent (23-for-86) from behind the arc over the first five games. But starting with Nov. 26’s game against No. 16/22 Purdue in Puerto Vallarta, Stanford has shot 44.3 percent (128-for-289) and made at least seven triples in 10 of 17 games.
Driving The “Point” Home
Junior point guard Amber Orrange bounced back from Thursday’s tough outing with a strong effort in Sunday’s win at California. Orrange scored just four points Thursday despite passing out three assists, but three days later went 5-for-10 from the field, scoring 13 points, only her second game in double figures over the past seven, with five rebounds and three assists. On the year she is sixth in the country and leads the Pac-12 with a 3.25 assist-to-turnover ratio while ranking second in the conference with 4.73 assists per game.
A Perfect First Half Against The Pac-12
Stanford enters this weekend’s games with a perfect 10-0 mark in Pac-12 play and has a chance to record its eighth unbeaten (18-0) conference season should it win out over the final four weekends. Last Thursday’s 70-64 win over No. 21/19 California brought Stanford to 9-0, which marked the 11th time that the Cardinal went unbeaten over the first half of Pac-12 play.