STANFORD, Calif. - No. 4/5 Stanford makes its only trip to Southern California of the campaign this weekend, going for a regular-season sweep of USC Friday night at 8 p.m. Friday's contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy on the call, and on the radio at 90.1 KZSU and http://kzsulive.stanford.edu with Preston Chin calling the action.
Last Time Out
Stanford rolled to its eighth consecutive win and a sweep of the Arizona schools Sunday, defeating Arizona State 69-45 at Maples Pavilion. Chiney Ogwumike posted her 19th double-double of the season with 26 points and 14 rebounds, but it was sophomore Bonnie Samuelson who stole the show by hitting a season-high five 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 19 points. Samuelson accounted for all five of Stanford's makes from long range, and inside Joslyn Tinkle bruised her way to her first double-double fo 2012-13, scoring 13 points with 11 rebounds and making four blocks on defense. The Cardinal held its third straight opponent to under 50 points and limited the Sun Devils to just a 30.8-percent shooting figure (16-for-52) on the day.
USC (8-15, 5-7 Pac-12) enters Friday night's contest on a four-game slide and in a stretch of seven losses over its past eight games after suffering a sweep at the Washington schools this past weekend. With Michael Cooper in his fourth year at the helm, the Trojans are led by the play of Cassie Harberts (17.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Ariya Crook (13.8 ppg, 3.18 apg).
Stanford leads the all-time series with USC by a 50-19 margin and has won 11 in a row over the Trojans, including the first meeting of this season, a 75-66 decision on Jan. 20.
Stanford In The National Polls
Stanford remained at No. 4 in this week's Associated Press Poll and at No. 5 in the USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
Through Feb. 10, Stanford ranked in the top three of 13 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (52.3 ppg - first), scoring margin (+18.1 - first), field-goal percentage (46.6 - first), field-goal percentage defense (32.1 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (23.6 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.17 - first), defensive rebounds (29.8 drpg - first), scoring offense (70.4 ppg - second), free-throw percentage (70.7 - second), assists (14.13 apg - second), blocked shots (4.67 bpg - second), 3-point field-goal percentage (32.4 - third) and rebounding defense (33.7 rpg - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (22.4 ppg), rebounding (12.4 rpg) and double-doubles (19), is second in field-goal percentage (58.8), and fourth with a 78.8 free-throw percentage and 1.42 blocks per game. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is sixth in the conference with a 50.4 field-goal percentage and fourth with 1.83 blocks per game, while she is tied for fifth alongside Bonnie Samuelson with a 35.1 3-point field-goal percentage. Amber Orrange is third in the Pac-12 with a 1.50 assist-to-turnover ratio and fourth with 4.13 assists per game.
In the National Statistics
Through the latest national statistical update (through Feb. 7), Stanford ranked in the top 20 of six categories: turnovers per game (12.0 - third), field-goal percentage defense (32.3 - third), 3-point field-goal defense (24.3 - fourth), field-goal percentage (46.7 - seventh), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.17 - ninth) and scoring margin (+17.2 - 13th). Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in scoring (22.4 ppg - fourth), field-goal percentage (58.4 - sixth) and rebounding (12.4 rpg - seventh) in addition to ranking fifth with 17 double-doubles.
Ogwumike Approaching Stanford's Double-Double Records
Consensus national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike enjoyed yet another remarkable weekend, averaging 22.0 points and 13.0 rebounds and shooting 64.0 percent from the field over the Cardinal's sweep of Arizona and Arizona State. The Cypress, Texas native also recorded her 18th and 19th double-doubles over the weekend, going for 18 points with 12 rebounds Friday against Arizona and 26 points and 14 rebounds Sunday against Arizona State. The 19 double-doubles tied Stanford's single-season record, originally set by Chiney and older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike in 2011-12. For her career, Chiney now has 49 double-doubles, just two back of Nneka's (2008-12) career Stanford record of 51.
The Road Warriors Pack Bags For Yet Another Trip
Stanford heads to Los Angeles this weekend boasting a perfect 13-0 record away from Maples Pavilion. As of Feb. 12, Stanford leads the NCAA with 13 victories away from home (11 true road wins plus a pair of neutral-court victories in Honolulu over then-No. 1/1 Baylor on Nov. 16 and Tennessee-Martin on Nov. 18) and is tied for first with Hampton with 11 true road wins. Stanford's 13 wins away from home entering this weekend gives the Cardinal a chance to eclipse the program record of 20 (Pac-12/Pac-10 Tournament and NCAA Tournament games included) set in 2007-08.
Pac-12 Tournament Seeding Outlook
Sunday's win over Arizona State dropped Stanford's magic number to two to clinch a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament, set to be held at Seattle's Key Arena from March 7-10. The top four teams on the Pac-12 table earn byes into March 8's quarterfinal round, and entering this weekend Stanford and California, tied atop the table with matching 11-1 records, are four games ahead of fifth-place Colorado (7-5). Any combination of Stanford wins and Colorado losses adding up to two over the final six games of the Pac-12 slate clinches a bye for Stanford, meaning the Cardinal could clinch a bye with a sweep of USC and UCLA this weekend.
Should Stanford and California each win out and finish tied atop the Pac-12 table at 17-1, Stanford would earn the tournament's No. 1 seed based on its higher overall winning percentage.
Ogwumike Thrives Against Top-25 Competition
Sunday's matchup with No. 15/16 UCLA will be the 10th of the season for Stanford against a Top-25 team. So far this season, the Cardinal is 7-2 in its prior games against a team ranked in the Top 25 as of the date of the meeting, thanks in part to the performance of consensus national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike. The junior forward, who is the only player in the nation ranked in the NCAA's top six in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and double-doubles entering this week, has turned up her performance over this season's nine games against Top-25 teams, averaging 20.8 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting 54.0 percent.
Tinkle's "Grand" Milestone Upcoming
Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle has been on a tear over the last eight games, averaging 13.6 points while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 50.0 percent (13-for-26) from 3-point range. This stretch has brought her career scoring total to 969 points entering this weekend's trip to Los Angeles, leaving her 31 points away from becoming the 34th member of Stanford's 1,000-Point Club. It would be a fitting honor for Tinkle, who worked her way into a full-time starting spot last January as she posted a breakout junior season, then continued that roll with a career year so far in 2012-13, averaging 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds, shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from 3-point range and blocking a career-high 44 shots.
Career Day For Bombin' Bonnie
Sophomore forward Bonnie Samuelson enjoyed a career day Sunday against Arizona State, scoring a career-high 19 points behind the strength of a season-best five 3-pointers. The performance, in which Samuelson went 6-for-12 from the field and 5-for-11 from behind the arc, capped off a solid weekend in which she averaged 13.5 points over the weekend sweep. Her 3-point percentage also bumped up to 35.1 percent, tying her for third in the Pac-12 rankings with teammate Joslyn Tinkle, with whom she shares the Stanford team lead with 26 3-pointers this year. This weekend, the Huntington Beach native returns to her Southern California roots as the Cardinal visits USC and No. 15/16 UCLA.
Double-Doubles To Go Around Last Weekend
While there may not be an In-N-Out Burger located in Palo Alto just yet, there were plenty of double-doubles being served at Maples Pavilion last weekend against Arizona and Arizona State. IN Friday's 73-43 win over the Wildcats, Chiney Ogwumike went for 18 points and 12 rebounds but the big story was the performance of redshirt junior Mikaela Ruef, who posted the first double-double of her career with a career-high 11 points to go with 10 rebounds. Two days later, Ogwumike scored 26 points with 14 rebounds to post her Pac-12-leading 19th double-double while senior Joslyn Tinkle registered her first of the season with 13 points and a season-high 11 rebounds in the 69-45 win over the Sun Devils.
Keep February Unblemished
In the month dedicated to Valentine's Day and other things related to love, what Stanford loves in February is winning. Last weekend's sweep of Arizona and Arizona State brought the Cardinal's winning streak in the month of February to 50 games. The last time Stanford lost a game in February was a 72-57 loss to California on Feb. 4, 2007.
Green Returns After 15-Month Layoff
Sunday's 69-45 win over Arizona State also featured the return to action of guard Alex Green, who saw her first action on the court in 15 months since tearing her Achilles' tendon in Nov. 2011. The injury curtailed Green's freshman season after she played in two of the team's first three games. Sunday, she played the final three minutes of the victory, and going forward head coach Tara VanDerveer could utilize the Dallas native as a defensive stopper in the Cardinal back court.
Stanford's Success Against Top-25 Teams
Sunday's matchup with No. 15/16 UCLA will be Stanford's 10th meeting with a Top-25 team this season, and first since a 69-56 victory over No. 20/23 Colorado on Jan. 27. The contest at UCLA will equal the highest amount of Top-25 teams Stanford has faced in a regular season (excluding NCAA Tournament games), last facing 10 ranked foes during each of the 1997-98 and 1998-99 campaigns. The Cardinal, which is 7-2 against Top-25 opponents this year, went 6-4 against those 10 ranked teams in 1997-98 then posted a record of 4-6 the following season.
Stanford will more than likely will face at least one of the Pac-12's other three ranked teams (California, UCLA, Colorado) at the Pac-12 Tournament from March 7-10, and depending on its NCAA Tournament draw, could potentially face more from around the country.