No. 3/5 Stanford Cardinal (1-1)
- vs. -
Cal Poly Mustangs (0-2)
Friday, November 15, 2013 – 7 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) – Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 5-1
Last Meeting: Dec. 12, 1980 (Stanford 78, Cal Poly 72) – Stanford, Calif.
Webcast: Stanford Webcast
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Preston Chin, Ashley Westhem)
Last Time Out
The Cardinal suffered its first setback of the campaign last Monday, falling 76-57 to top-ranked Connecticut in Storrs. A 6-0 run to end the first half turned a close game into a 13-point advantage for the Huskies at halftime and the Cardinal could not recover. In the loss Amber Orrange scored a career-high 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting while Chiney Ogwumike posted her 60th-career double-double, scoring 16 points with 13 rebounds. All five Cardinal freshmen saw action, combining for 14 points led by six (on a pair of 3-pointers) from guard Lili Thompson.
About Cal Poly
Cal Poly, which won the Big West Tournament last season and appeared in the NCAA Tournament, has opened the new campaign with a pair of losses. The Mustangs traveled to Chicago for the Maggie Dixon Classic at DePaul, falling to Duquesne and Harvard. Guided by head coach Faith Mimnaugh in her 17th year in San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly is led by Jonae Ervin (21.0 ppg, 57.1 3-pt FG pct.) and Molly Schlemer (15.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg).
All-Time Against Cal Poly
Stanford leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 5-1, but the teams have not met since a 78-72 Cardinal victory at Maples Pavilion on Dec. 12, 1980. Stanford’s only loss in the series came on Feb. 14, 1978, when Cal Poly captured a 66-60 victory in San Luis Obispo.
In The National Rankings
After the first week of the season Stanford remains ranked third in the Associated Press Poll (which came out before Monday’s loss at Connecticut), but in Tuesday’s USA Today Sports Coaches’ Poll dropped to No. 5.
In The Pac-12 Rankings
Through Nov. 13 Stanford ranks in the top three of just one category: offensive rebounding percentage (41.3 - third). Stanford does rank fourth in field-goal percentage (44.7) and rebounding defense (34.0 rpg), while coming in fifth in rebounding margin (+9.0). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike is second in the Pac-12 with 13.5 rebounds per game and fourth with 23.0 points per game. Amber Orrange is sixth with 5.50 assists per game and ninth with 20.5 points per game, while Mikaela Ruef ranks sixth with 9.5 rebounds per game.
VanDerveer Knocking On 900-Win Club
Head coach Tara VanDerveer is in her 35th season as a head coach and 28th at the Stanford helm in 2013-14. Her career record of 895-204 after Monday’s loss at Connecticut keeps her just five wins away from becoming the fifth women’s basketball coach to win 900 games, joining Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt, C. Vivian Stringer and Sylvia Hatchell in the exclusive club. This season Stanford’s sixth, seventh and eighth games take place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, meaning VanDerveer could very likely hit the 900-win mark on foreign soil.
Ogwumike Earns Record 10th Pac-12 Player of the Week Honor
While many knew that Chiney Ogwumike entered the season on pace to set a number of new career records, the first of those came Monday when she was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for a record 10th time. After setting the single-season mark with six such honors last season, Ogwumike captured the first of the 2013-14 campaign thanks to Saturday’s 30-point, 14-rebounds effort at Boston College. Her 10th honor put her past former Stanford All-Americans Candice Wiggins (2004-08) and Jayne Appel (2007-10), who each earned the weekly honor nine times.
Monday’s 76-57 loss at top-ranked Connecticut was the earliest loss in a campaign for the Cardinal since the 2008-09 campaign, when Stanford also lost its second game. On that occasion the Cardinal fell 81-65 at Baylor. Stanford will attempt to bounce back from the setback Friday night when Cal Poly comes to Maples Pavilion, and odds are that the Cardinal will as it has not lost back-to-back games in three years, when it fell at DePaul (91-71) and Tennessee (82-72 in overtime) on Dec. 16 and 19, 2010.
Orrange Is Making A Statement
Junior point guard Amber Orrange has wasted little time making her case to be considered among the top players in the country, averaging 20.5 points and 5.50 assists over the Cardinal’s opening weekend. After coming within a rebound of Stanford’s first triple-double since 2002 last Saturday at Boston College (19 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds), Orrange fearlessly put up a career-high 22 points and went 8-for-14 from the field in Monday’s loss at Connecticut. An All-Pac-12 performer last year, Orrange is aiming higher in 2013-14 and surely opened some eyes among All-America voters on the East Coast.
Another Double-Double For Ogwumike
Monday’s game at Connecticut featured two of the top preseason candidates for national player of the year as Chiney Ogwumike and Breanna Stewart faced off. Ogwumike, despite constant double teams, managed to grind her way to her 60th-career double-double, scoring 16 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out with 37 seconds remaining. Stewart, meanwhile, scored nine points with four rebounds in just 17 minutes due to foul trouble.
Bleeding The Freshmen
The opening weekend provided head coach Tara VanDerveer with a great opportunity to get her five freshmen valuable playing time and experience against a championship-caliber opponent. Forward Kailee Johnson started both contests, highlighted by four points and seven rebounds at Connecticut, while fellow forward Erica McCall scored a combined seven points with three rebounds on the weekend. Lili Thompson paced the guards with six points on a pair of 3-pointers over a productive 19 minutes at Connecticut while Karlie Samuelson hit her first collegiate 3-pointer at Boston College and Briana Roberson made her collegiate debut with three minutes of time against Connecticut.
Furious Battle Of The Boards
The size of both Stanford and Connecticut was on display Monday and the Cardinal did well to give as well as it took as the two teams pushed and elbowed to a 42-42 stalemate in the rebounding battle. Stanford was led by Ogwumike’s 13 rebounds while Mikaela Ruef grabbed nine and freshman Kailee Johnson battled her way to seven, including five on the offensive glass.
Make Those Free Throws
Despite splitting the weekend’s results, Stanford could point to many things it did well, such as rebounding (43.0 rpg) and passing (12.00 apg). However, the opening weekend did provide a few things that the Cardinal could mark for improvement, and at the top of the list would be its free-throw shooting. After being one of the Pac-12’s top team’s from the line in 2012-13, shooting 71.8 percent, the Cardinal struggled last weekend, shooting just 59.2 percent (29-49) including a 17-for-31 effort at Boston College.
The Five-Year Mission
Like the U.S.S. Enterprise, redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef is on her five-year mission which will culminate in 2013-14. The Beavercreek, Ohio native opened her final campaign doing what she does best, doggedly battling in the paint and pulling down difficult rebounds. Over the Cardinal’s two games Ruef averaged 9.5 rebounds, with 10 at Boston College and nine at Connecticut. She even managed to get in some offense, scoring eight poinrs at BC.
Juniors Taylor Greenfield (foot) and Erica Payne (offseason knee surgery) did not make the trip east with the Cardinal last weekend. Greenfield remains on a game-by-game basis while Payne is not expected to be back on the court until Pac-12 play begins in January.