Jan. 5, 2013
No. 4/3 Stanford Cardinal (12-1, 1-0 Pac-12)
- at -
Utah Utes (9-3, 0-1 Pac-12)
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 - 1 p.m. PT
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) - Salt Lake City, Utah
Series History: Stanford leads 14-0
Last Meeting: Feb. 25, 2012 (Stanford 69, Utah 42) - Stanford, Calif.
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Sam Fisher)
Game Notes vs. Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - No. 4/3 Stanford concludes the opening weekend of Pac-12 play Sunday in Salt Lake City, taking on Utah at 1 p.m. PT. Sunday's contest will be available online at http://pac-12.com/live/utahutes.aspx and the radio at 90.1 KZSU with Sam Fisher on the call.
Last Time Out
Stanford bounced back from its first loss of the campaign to open Pac-12 play with a 57-40 victory at No. 20/25 Colorado Friday. The victory extended the Cardinal's winning streak against Pac-12 competition to 79 games and marked the 25th time out of 27 Pac-12 seasons in which it has won its conference opener. Chiney Ogwumike posted her 10th straight double-double and 11th this year with 20 points and 11 rebounds while adding three blocks on defense. Joslyn Tinkle and Amber Orrange each went for 13 points, Tinkle adding six rebounds and three blocks while Orrange passed out six assists to go with five rebounds. Forward Mikaela Ruef grabbed eight rebounds and added four assists of her own as the Cardinal out-rebounded the Buffaloes 41-27. The Stanford defense clamped down on Colorado, limiting the Buffaloes to just 28.2 percent shooting (15-for-52) as the Buffs made just one of their first 18 field goals in the contest.
Utah (9-3, 0-1 Pac-12) dropped its Pac-12 opener 55-50 to California Friday night in Salt Lake City. After trailing 32-20 at halftime, the Utes fought back to within a possession late but could not overcome the seventh-ranked Golden Bears. Under the guidance of third-year head coach Anthony Levrets, the Utes are led by 2012 Canadian Olympic teamers Michelle Plouffe (16.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Taryn Wicijowski (16.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg).
Stanford enters Sunday's meeting with a 14-0 all-time record against Utah.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
Through Jan. 4, Stanford ranked in the top three of 11 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (51.5 ppg - first), field-goal percentage (48.1 - first), field-goal percentage defense (31.6 - first), defensive rebounds (31.2 drpg - first), scoring margin (+19.7 - second), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (24.6 - second), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.07 - second), rebound margin (+12.3 - second), free-throw percentage (72.3 - third), rebounding defense (31.9 rpg - third) and blocked shots (5.39 bpg - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (21.4 ppg), is second in rebounding (12.7 rpg) and fourth in field-goal percentage (57.9). Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is tied for second in the conference with 2.08 blocks per game and seventh with a 52.9 shooting percentage. Amber Orrange leads the Pac-12 with a 1.63 assist-to-turnover ratio and is tied for second with 5.00 assists per game. Taylor Greenfield's 43.6 3-point field-goal percentage leads the Pac-12 and Toni Kokenis' 90.0 free-throw percentage is fourth in the conference.
Stanford Continues To Roll in Conference Openers
Friday's victory at Colorado continued Stanford's roll in Pac-12/Pac-10 openers, marking the 25th time in 27 Pac-12/Pac-10 seasons that the Cardinal has opened with a victory. It was also just the third time, and the first since 1994-95 that Stanford opened conference play against a ranked foe. Stanford's only two losses in Pac-12/Pac-10 openers came in 1993-94 (78-61 at No. 22/25 Washington on Jan. 6, 1994) and 1999-2000 (74-68 at Arizona State on Jan. 6, 2000).
Pac-12 Winning Streak Continues
While the home winning streak came to an end Dec. 29, Stanford continued another impressive streak with Friday night's win at Colorado. That streak, against Pac-12 competition, was extended to 79 straight wins, a run that began with an 85-57 win at Oregon on Jan. 22, 2009. Stanford's last loss against a Pac-12 foe came Jan. 18, 2009 in a 57-54 decision at California. Following that loss, the Cardinal won its final 13 regular-season conference games and has since put together three straight 18-0 campaigns (2010-12). The streak also includes 11 wins at the Pac-12 Tournament.
Stanford Stays On Pace For 13th Consecutive Pac-12 Title
Stanford, 12-time defending Pac-12 champion entering the 2012-13 campaign, got its path to a 13th straight title off to the right start with Friday's 57-40 win at Colorado. With the current run starting in 2000-01, the Cardinal has been the only regular-season champion that the Pac-12 (and previously the Pac-10) has known through the first 12 years of the new millennium. Overall, Stanford has won outright or shared the conference regular-season title 21 out of a possible 26 times, and since 2001-02 the only conference postseason trophies not won by the Cardinal have been Pac-10 Tournament titles in 2002 and 2006.
Defense, Defense, Defense
Stanford continued its dominant defensive play Friday night, holding Colorado to 40 points, 28.2 percent shooting and a 1-for-12 (8.3 percent) showing from behind the arc. The Cardinal, which entered the game leading the Pac-12 and seventh in the nation in field-goal percentage defense, held its sixth opponent of the season to a sub-30 percent shooting figure Friday, and in fact it marked the sixth time in the past eight games that a Cardinal opponent shot under 30 percent from the field. Overall this year, no Cardinal opponent has shot at least 50.0 percent this season, and only two opponents (Baylor - 45.2 on Nov. 16; Tennessee-Martin - 40.0 on Nov. 18) have managed to shoot at least 40 percent over Stanford's first 13 games. The 31.6 opponent field-goal percentage is also on pace to become the lowest in Cardinal history as the current benchmark is 33.6 percent set in 2010-11.
Another 20-Point Game, Double-Double For Ogwumike
Chiney Ogwumike went for 20 points and 11 rebounds Friday night in Boulder to post her 10th straight double-double and 11th of the season. Her 20 points scored also marked the ninth time this year that Ogwumike has hit that mark on the scoresheet. So far this season, the consensus preseason All-American and national player of the year candidate ranks in the national top 10 in scoring (21.4 ppg - ninth) and rebounding (12.7 rpg - fourth).
Denying The Paint
Stanford's interior defense, made up chiefly of the trio of Chiney Ogwumike, Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef, has made a name for itself this season with its dominance of the paint on both sides of the court. On the rebounding front, the trio averages a combined 25.0 rebounds a game, a figure that accounts for 56.6 percent of the Cardinal's total team rebounding production (44.2 rpg). This abundance of rebounding is highlighted on the defensive end, where the Cardinal averages a conference-leading 31.2 defensive rebounds per game. Another aspect of Ogwumike, Tinkle and Ruef's strong paint play comes in the category of blocked shots. Heading into Sunday, the trio has accounted for 59 of Stanford's 70 blocks, with Tinkle making a team-high 27. Should Stanford stay on this shot-blocking pace and play the maximum slate of 39 games this season, the Cardinal would break the program record of 196 blocks set in 2001-02.
Something About The Mountains
Senior forward and Missoula, Mont. native Joslyn Tinkle knows a thing or two about being around the mountains, and it seems that being back around the Rockies in Boulder brings out the best in her. In her first trip to Boulder a year ago, Tinkle went for 20 points in Stanford's 80-54 win, and in her encore at Coors Event Center Friday she went 5-for-8 from the field scoring 13 points with six rebounds and six blocked shots in Stanford's 57-40 win. Through 13 games Tinkle is enjoying a career year, averaging 12.9 points (second on the team), shooting 52.9 percent from the field (second), averaging 5.5 rebounds a game (third) and leading the Cardinal with 27 blocked shots, putting her well on pace to break her previous season-high of 47 set last year. She is also well within range of a personal milestone, needing just 164 more points to become the 34th member of Stanford's 1,000-Point Club.
Stanford's Blue-Collar Grit
Hailing from a state known for its blue-collar work ethic, Beavercreek, Ohio native Mikaela Ruef continued her productive, workman-like season for the Cardinal with eight rebounds and four assists Friday night at Colorado. The redshirt junior forward, bouncing back from a lost 2011-12 season in which foot injuries limited her to just three games, broke into the Cardinal starting lineup Nov. 16 against then-No. 1/1 Baylor and promptly grabbed a then-career-high 12 rebounds while providing great defense on national player of the year Brittney Griner. Since then she has been a force, posting double-digit rebounding outings at Gonzaga (10) and against Pacific (career-high 13). Ruef's production has not only been big on the glass, where she averages 6.8 rebounds per game, but also on defense where she is third on the team with 13 blocks, and in the offensive scheme where her 26 assists rank second.
Orrange Points The Way
After her least-productive outing of the season in which she recorded zero assists Dec. 29 against Connecticut, sophomore point guard Amber Orrange rebounded with a solid all-around effort of 13 points, six assists and five rebounds Friday at Colorado. Running the more free-flowing Cardinal offense full-time in 2012-13, Orrange has earned the respect of her older teammates and also proven herself a scoring threat, averaging 10.2 points per game. Friday night the Houston native went 6-for-11 from the field and used her speed to chase down five rebounds and improve her rebounding average to 3.7 per game.
Challenging Stretch Ahead For The Cardinal
Stanford's defense of its 12 straight conference regular-season titles will be tested right out of the gate in 2012-13 as the Cardinal is scheduled to face five ranked teams over its first eight contests. That stretch began with Friday's 57-40 at No. 20/25 Colorado, marking only the third time, and first since 1994-95, that the Cardinal opened Pac-12/Pac-10 play against a ranked conference opponent. In both 1993-94 and 1994-95 Stanford opened Pac-10 play against a ranked Washington squad, falling 78-61 to the No. 22/25 Huskies in Seattle on Jan. 6, 1994 and beating the No. 14/13 Huskies 68-54 at Maples Pavilion almost exactly a year later on Jan. 5, 1995.
Sunday the Cardinal will take on a 9-2 unranked Utah team then return to the Bay Area for a home-and-home with No. 7/7 California, battling the Golden Bears in Berkeley on Jan. 8, then hosting California Jan. 13 at Maples Pavilion. The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend features the Cardinal hosting No. 16/17 UCLA Jan. 18, and Colorado will come to Maples Pavilion Jan. 27.
Since the advent of Pac-12 women's basketball in 1986-87, Stanford has been far and away the class of the conference in terms of victories and end-of-season awards and honors. With its clinching of the 2011-12 Pac-12 title, the Cardinal has now won outright or shared the regular-season title 21 times out of a possible 26, while the next team on the list, Washington, has won the conference title just three times. Stanford has also dominated the Pac-12 Tournament, capturing nine of the 11 tournament titles since the inaugural draw in 2002. Through Jan. 4, 2013, Stanford has won a record 79 straight games against its Pac-12 foes (including Pac-10 and Pac-12 Tournament contests) dating back to Jan. 22, 2009. The team's 737-138 (.842) overall mark since 1986-87 and 411-58 (.876) mark in Pac-12 play (both through Jan. 4, 2013) are both by far the top marks in the conference.
On the awards and honors side of things, the Cardinal again out-paces its opponents. Following the announcement of the 2012 Pac-12 honors, a Stanford player has won or shared the conference's Player of the Year award 16 of 26 times since 1986-87, won the Freshman of the Year award eight times, Defender of the Year award twice and head coach Tara VanDerveer has been honored as the conference's Coach of the Year on 12 occasions, with current associate head coach Amy Tucker and Marianne Stanley sharing the honor in 1995-96 while VanDerveer was on sabbatical coaching the U.S. Olympic Team.
Stanford players have captured a conference-best 87 Pac-10/Pac-12 Player of the Week honors through Jan. 4, 2013. Finally, the Cardinal leads the conference with 58 All-Pac-10/All-Pac-12 first-team selections.