Jan. 5, 2011
No. 4/4 Stanford Cardinal (10-2, 1-0)
- vs. -
Arizona Wildcats (11-2, 2-0)
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 - 7 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,329) - Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 53-12
Last Meeting: March 12, 2010 - (Stanford 72, Arizona 52) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: TBA)
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 4/4 Stanford opens its Pac-10 home slate this weekend, beginning Thursday, Jan. 6 with a 7 p.m. battle with the Arizona Wildcats. The Cardinal will look to extend its 52-game winning streak at Maples Pavilion against the Wildcats. Thursday night's contest will be carried live on 90.1 KZSU.
Last Time Out
Stanford capped off one of its best weeks in recent memory by traveling to Berkeley and trouncing cross-Bay rival California, 78-45, in Sunday's Pac-10 opener for both teams. Jeanette Pohlen continued her recent tear by scoring a game-high 15 points and passing out four assists. Fellow senior Kayla Pedersen came within a rebound of posting her third double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds, while junior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 14 points and seven rebounds in the win. The Cardinal bench had the chance to show its stuff in the big win, with Toni Kokenis hitting a trio of 3-pointers and scoring 12 points, while Joslyn Tinkle went for six points and five boards and Sara James scored five points with a pair of rebounds. Stanford held California to just 34.5 percent shooting (20-for-58) in the game, and outrebounded the Golden Bears by a whopping 49-26 margin.
Arizona has gotten off to one if its best starts in recent years heading into Thursday's matchup, bringing an 11-2 overall record and 2-0 Pac-10 mark into Maples Pavilion after sweeping Oregon and Oregon State at home over the weekend. Led by third-year head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats are paced by the play of All-Pac-10 performer Ify Ibekwe (15.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 54.0 FG pct.), Soana Lucet (13.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Davellyn White (14.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.00 apg).
All-Time Against Arizona
Stanford leads the all-time series against Arizona, 53-12, heading into Thursday's first meeting between the schools this year. The Cardinal also currently boasts a 17-game winning streak against the Wildcats.
A Look At The National Polls
Stanford rose to No. 4 in both the Associated Press Poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll this week after last week's wins over No. 4/4 Xavier, No. 1/1 Connecticut and California.
In The National Rankings
Through Jan. 2, Stanford ranks in the national Top 20 of the following statistical categories: field-goal percentage (47.7 - seventh), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21 - 10th), turnovers per game (14.3 - 11th), rebound margin (+9.6 - 19th) and assists (17.17 apg - 20th). Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike (57.5 percent) is 16th in the nation in field-goal percentage while Jeanette Pohlen is 17th with a 44.7-percent 3-point field-goal percentage.
In The Pac-10 Rankings
In the Pac-10 statistical rankings through Jan. 2, Stanford leads the conference in scoring margin (+18.8), field-goal percentage (47.7), 3-point field-goal percentage (37.4), free-throw percentage (75.5), field-goal percentage defense (34.7), rebounding margin (+9.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21), while ranking second in rebounding defense (33.9 rpg) and defensive rebounding (29.3 rpg). Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike are second and third in field-goal percentage with marks of 57.5 and 56.6, respectively. Jeanette Pohlen leads the conference in free-throw percentage (86.7) and 3-pointers per game (2.8) while also ranking second in scoring (16.8 ppg) and third in 3-point field-goal percentage (44.7), and fourth in assists (4.33 apg) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.41). Nnemkadi Ogwumike ranks fourth in scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). Kayla Pedersen ranks fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.42).
Pohlen Named Pac-10 Player Of The Week
Senior guard Jeanette Pohlen was named Pac-10 Player of the Week Monday, the second time that she has been so honored in her career as well as the first such award for the Cardinal in 2010-11. Pohlen claimed the honor based on her spectacular performances over Stanford's 3-0 week that consisted of convincing wins over No. 4/4 Xavier, No. 1/1 Connecticut and California. The Brea, Calif. native averaged 21.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.33 assists while shooting 50.0 percent (21-for-42) from the field over the three victories, including a monster 31-point, nine-rebound, six-assist line against Connecticut.
What A Week
Three days between Stanford's previous game (Sunday at California) and its next one (Thursday against Arizona) has been the Cardinal's biggest break since returning to campus from its Christmas break, and the team enjoyed its breather after one of its most hectic and successful six-day stretches. The week included wins over two top-four teams in No. 4/4 Xavier on Tuesday, No. 1/1 Connecticut Thursday, and at California in the teams' Pac-10 opener on Sunday. The Cardinal went 3-0, won the games by an average margin of 27.3 points, and catapulted back into the top-five in the national rankings.
Home Streak Is Alive And Kicking
Last Thursday's 71-59 victory over Connecticut at Maples Pavilion extended Stanford's winning streak at home to 52 games, just seven short of the top streak of 59 that lasted from Nov. 25, 1994 to March 14, 1998. With nine more home regular season contests as well as at least one NCAA Tournament home game remaining, Stanford could set the new benchmark if it maintains the streak through the Feb. 26 game at Maples against Oregon, the team's penultimate regular-season home date.
Pedersen Plows Ahead
Senior tri-captain Kayla Pedersen enjoyed a fine week of her own against some of the nation's elite, averaging 11.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and shooting 45.2 percent from the field in wins over No. 4/4 Xavier, No. 1/1 Connecticut and California. Pedersen, considered one of the most versatile players in the nation, turned in a 14-point, six-rebound effort against Xavier to start the week, then followed that up with eight points against Connecticut while dominating the boards to the tune of a game-high 11 rebounds. She completed the week with an 11-point, nine-rebound effort at California, proving that over the three games, when called upon to either handle the scoring or to crash the boards, Pedersen is the Cardinal's ultimate ace in the hole.
With Dec. 30's 71-59 victory over No. 1/1 Connecticut, Jeanette Pohlen closed the book on a red-hot December in which she averaged 20.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.50 assists per game and shot percentages of 50.6, 53.5 and 86.4 from the field, three-point range and the free-throw line, respectively, over Stanford's 4-2 showing. Pohlen's month included three 20-game efforts, highlighted by a career-high 31 points against Connecticut, and she hit 23 3-pointers out of 43 attempts.
Playing Like The All-American She Is
Junior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, a 2010 State Farm All-American and Associated Press second-team All-American, proved her worthiness once again over Stanford's 3-0 stretch last week. Ogwumike opened the week with a dominant 23-point, 11-rebound double-double in the 89-52 win over No. 4/4 Xavier, and went on to performances of 12 points and six rebounds against No. 1/1 Connecticut and 14 points and seven rebounds at California. For the week, Ogwumike averaged 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and shot 56.8 percent (21-for-37) from the field.
James And Kokenis Shine In Their Time
Freshman guards Sara James and Toni Kokenis defined the old adage, "using your time wisely" on Sunday at California, as each rookie wowed spectators with their performances. Over 17 minutes, Kokenis went 4-of-7 from the field, including 3-for-5 on 3-point attempts, for a season-high 12 points along with three rebounds and three assists. James, meanwhile, played nine minutes, and was just as hot from the field, going 2-for-3 and hitting a 3-pointer out of her two attempts for five points to go along with two rebounds and a steal. The two freshmen each earned praise from Tara VanDerveer following the game for their strong efforts.
Don't Forget Our Other Freshman!
Who can forget rookie forward Chiney Ogwumike? The consensus high school player of the year a season ago has started 11 games for Stanford this year, and last week stepped it up on both ends of the court. Ogwumike, the younger sister of junior forward Nnemkadi, averaged 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds over Stanford's 3-0 week, but it was her defense that stole the show. In Dec. 30's 71-59 win over No. 1/1 Connecticut, Ogwumike drew the main task of defending two-time reigning player of the year Maya Moore, and the rookie elevated her game and held Moore off the scoreboard for nearly 17 minutes to open the game and held the superstar to a 5-for-15 shooting night.
The Health Report
Heading into Thursday's game against Arizona, forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike is expected to play following a shoulder injury that forced her to leave Sunday's game at California. As for Stanford's long-term injured, Melanie Murphy continues rehabbing after undergoing microfracture surgery on her knee in May, and at the moment is expected to be activated sometime during the Pac-10 season.