No. 5/4 Stanford Cardinal (27-2, 16-1 Pac-12)
- vs. -
Washington State Cougars (15-14, 9-8 Pac-12)
Saturday, March 1, 2014 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) – Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 56-0
Last Meeting: Feb. 7, 2014 (Stanford 77, Washington 69) – Pullman, Wash.
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 celebrates Senior Night this Saturday as it hosts Washington State in the regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will honor seniors Sara James, Toni Kokenis, Chiney Ogwumike and redshirt senior Mikaela Ruef following the game, which will air live on Pac-12 Network with Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy on the call. The contest can also be heard on 90.1 KZSU.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal avenged its only Pac-12 loss of the season Thursday night with an 83-60 victory over Washington. Chiney Ogwumike turned in her 12th 30-point performance and 21st double-double of the year with 32 points and 11 rebounds, while fellow forward Mikaela Ruef grabbed 14 rebounds with five assists. Bonnie Samuelson, making just her second-career start, hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points, and freshman guard Lili Thompson hit three triples of her own with 11 points in her return to the starting lineup after two games away. Thanks in part to the efforts of Ogwumike and Ruef on the boards, the Cardinal out-rebounded the Huskies, 50-32.
About Washington State
Washington State (15-14, 9-8 Pac-12) comes into Saturday’s finale off of a 75-68 overtime loss at California Thursday night. Prior to that the Cougars had won three of its past four games. With June Daugherty in her seventh year at the helm in Pullman, Washington State is led by the play of guards Tia Presley (19.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Lia Galdeira (17.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg).
All-Time Against Washington State
Stanford is unbeaten in 56 all-time meetings against Washington State entering Saturday’s contest. The Cardinal captured the first meeting of the season against the Cougars, escaping Pullman with a 77-69 victory.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through February 27 Stanford ranks in the top three of 12 categories: scoring defense (59.8 - first), scoring margin (+18.2 - first), rebounding margin (+8.7 - first), field-goal percentage (48.1 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.5 - first), field-goal percentage defense (34.9 - first), assists (18.38 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46 - first), scoring offense (78.0 - second), rebounding defense (34.5 - second), and defensive rebounding (30.6 drpg - second). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring (26.7 ppg) and field-goal percentage (62.2), and is second in rebounding (12.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.83 bpg). Mikaela Ruef is fifth in rebounding (9.6 rpg), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.78), and 12th in assists (3.14 apg), tops among all Pac-12 posts in the latter two categories. Amber Orrange leads the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.09) and is second in assists (4.69 apg). Lili Thompson (44.7) leads the Pac-12 in 3-point field-goal percentage while Bonnie Samuelson (42.4) is fourth.
In The National Stat Rankings
Through February 27 Stanford ranked in the top 20 of eight categories: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46 - fourth), field-goal percentage (48.1 - sixth), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.5 - seventh), assists (18.38 - eighth), field-goal percentage defense (34.9 - ninth), scoring margin (+18.2 - ninth), turnovers per game (12.6 - 13th), and rebound margin (+8.5 - 19th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in field-goal percentage (62.2 - third), scoring (26.7 ppg - third), and rebounding (12.0 rpg - eighth), and double-doubles (21 - seventh). Amber Orrange’s 3.09 assist-to-turnover ratio is seventh in the country.
Honoring The Seniors
Saturday night’s contest doubles as Stanford’s Senior Night in addition to being its regular-season finale. The contest will feature a busy postgame, as at the conclusion of the contest the Cardinal will be honored by the Pac-12 for its 14th straight and 23rd overall conference title before transitioning into the Senior Night presentation. The Cardinal will honor four departing seniors, recognizing Sara James, Toni Kokenis, Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef. Over the past three-plus seasons, since James, Kokenis and Ogwumike arrived on The Farm (Ruef is a fifth-year senior), Stanford has put together an overall record of 128-10 with a Pac-12 mark of 69-2 and four straight Pac-12 titles. The class has also captured three straight Pac-12 Tournament crowns heading into this year’s edition, and reached the NCAA Final Four in 2011 and 2012.
However, as is the case with many Cardinal senior classes, this year’s quartet has a chance to return to Maples Pavilion during the postseason. With Stanford hosting an NCAA Regional from March 29-April 1, the group could return home with a chance at its third Final Four in four years.
Stanford Clinches 14th Straight Pac-12 Title, Top Seed At Pac-12 Tournament
February 23’s 65-56 win at UCLA clinched for Stanford the outright Pac-12 regular-season title, the Cardinal’s 14th in a row and 23rd overall. Stanford had locked up a share of the title as well as the top seed at the Pac-12 Tournament, set for March 6-9 at KeyArena in Seattle, with Friday’s 64-59 come-from-behind victory at USC. The Cardinal has now won outright or shared the Pac-12 title 23 times out of a possible 28, and as the conference tournament’s top seed now has a bye into the tournament’s quarterfinals, where on Friday, March 7 it will meet the winner of next Thursday’s (March 6) No. 8 vs. No. 9 first-round game.
Paid Back In Full
Stanford avenged its only loss in Pac-12 play Thursday night, defeating Washington 83-60 at Maples Pavilion. With the win the Cardinal avoided back-to-back losses to the same Pac-12 opponent for the first time since dropping consecutive decisions to UCLA on January 27 and March 6. The Cardinal held the Huskies to just 37.3 percent shooting from the field Thursday, and used nine 3-pointers over 24 attempts to build some big runs and put Washington into early holes.
Unbeaten Against Washington State
Entering Saturday’s contest against Washington State, Stanford owns an all-time record of 56-0 against the Cougars. The series dates back to February 1, 1983, when the Cardinal defeated the Cougars 78-64 at Maples Pavilion. In the last matchup of the teams, back on February 7 in Pullman, the Cougars came the closest it had been in nearly seven years to breaking the streak, as the Cardinal needed a late rally to nab a 77-69 victory. It was only the fourth time since the 1999-2000 campaign that the Cardinal and Cougars had played a game decided by a single-digit margin.
Chiney Ogwumike Against The Top-25
February 14’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. Below is a game-by-game breakdown of Ogwumike’s lines against those teams:
A Tale Of Two Bigs
Two of Stanford’s seniors, Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef, have provided the Cardinal with one of the most dominant and versatile inside presences in the nation. The pair averages 33.7 points and 21.6 rebounds per game and shoots a collective 56.9 percent from the field, and Thursday night against Washington gave another example of its control of the paint. Ruef, who had grabbed a career-best 22 rebounds in February 9’s meeting with the Huskies, grabbed a game-high 14 and led the Cardinal with five assists Thursday while Ogwumike added 11 boards with 32 points. While the pair controls the glass, their collective defense has helped limit opposing posts on the scoresheet, while Ruef’s passing presence makes her the top passing post in the Pac-12 with 3.14 assists per game and a 1.78 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Wonder Twin Powers Activate
Stanford’s sister act on the court didn’t end when Nnemkadi Ogwumike graduated, it just took a year off until Karlie Samuelson joined the Cardinal to play side-by-side with older sister Bonnie in 2013-14. Together the Samuelsons, feared as remorseless 3-point gunners, average 12.8 points per game and have made a combined 72 triples in 179 attempts for a 40.2-percent mark. Thursday night, the sisters combined for 22 points in Stanford’s 83-60 win over Washington, with Bonnie making the second start of her career and hitting four triples with 14 points, and Karlie going 5-for-5 from the line with eight points. For Bonnie it was her third game scoring in double figures over Stanford’s past four.
Ogwumike On The Cusp Of 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. After grabbing 11 rebounds in Thursday’s win over Washington, Ogwumike, with 1,470 career rebounds is 11th on the NCAA career-rebounding list behind two players tied for ninth, current active rebounding leader Artemis Spanou of Robert Morris (1,484 through February 27) and Olivia Bradley, who grabbed 1,484 rebounds for West Virginia from 1982-85.