STANFORD, Calif. - Senior Weekend begins for No. 4/5 Stanford and its Class of 2013 of Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef Friday night as the Cardinal hosts Oregon State in a 8 p.m. tip. 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 and Ashley Westhem calling the action.
Last Time Out Chiney Ogwumike got her national player of the year push off to a fantastic start Sunday, scoring 26 points with seven rebounds and four blocks in Stanford's 68-57 win at No. 15/16 UCLA. The victory, Stanford's eighth in 10 games this year against a Top-25 foe, kept the squad in a tie for first place atop the Pac-12 table at 13-1 and just as importantly clinched for the Cardinal a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament. Forward Mikaela Ruef continued her gritty and productive play as of late, posting her second double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Bruins while fellow post Joslyn Tinkle went for 10 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore point guard Amber Orrange enjoyed a fine all-around game, scoring nine points with seven assists, six rebounds and five steals.
About Oregon State
Oregon State (9-16, 3-10 Pac-12) heads into Maples Pavilion Friday on an eight-game slide, having most recently been swept at home by Washington State and Washington. Head coach Scott Rueck, in his third year at the Beaver helm, oversees a squad led by the play of Jamie Weisner (12.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Ali Gibson (8.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg).
Against Oregon State
Stanford leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 50-6, and is on a 26-game winning streak against the Beavers. Stanford is also 26-0 all-time against Oregon State at Maples Pavilion entering Friday's game.
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. 17, Stanford ranked in the top three of 13 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (52.6 ppg - first), scoring margin (+18.0 - first), field-goal percentage (46.2 - first), field-goal percentage defense (32.6 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (24.0 - first), free-throw percentage (71.9 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16 - first), scoring offense (70.6 ppg - second), assists (14.19 apg - second), blocked shots (4.69 bpg - second), rebounding defense (33.5 rpg - third), rebounding margin (+8.3 - third) and defensive rebounds (29.3 drpg - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (22.7 ppg), field-goal percentage (58.4) and double-doubles (20), is tied for the lead in rebounding (12.3 rpg), and fourth with a 79.7 free-throw percentage and 1.50 blocks per game. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is sixth in the conference with a 50.5 field-goal percentage, second with 1.85 blocks per game and fifth with a 3-point field-goal percentage of 35.0. Amber Orrange is second in the Pac-12 with a 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio and fourth with 4.27 assists per game.
In the National Statistics
Through the latest national statistical update (through Feb. 17), Stanford ranked in the top 20 of eight categories: 3-point field-goal defense (24.0 - third), field-goal percentage defense (32.6 - fourth), turnovers per game (12.3 - fifth), field-goal percentage (46.2 - eighth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16 - 11th), scoring margin (+18.0 - t-12th), scoring defense (52.6 - t-17th) and rebound margin (+8.3 - 17th). Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top 10 in scoring (22.7 ppg - third), field-goal percentage (58.4 - fourth) and rebounding (12.3 rpg - t-sixth) in addition to ranking third with 20 double-doubles.
Ogwumike Thrives Against Top-25 Competition
Sunday's 68-57 win at No. 15/16 UCLA was the 10th of the season for Stanford against a Top-25 team. So far this season, the Cardinal is 8-2 in those games thanks in part to the performance of Chiney Ogwumike, is making the best case for national player of the year honors. 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 10 games against Top-25 teams, averaging 21.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 53.5 percent.
Senior Weekend For Super Friends Ruef And Tinkle
This weekend's contests serve as Stanford's "Senior Weekend" in which the Cardinal will honor its Class of 2013 members Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef. The Cardinal's "Super Friends" who came to The Farm in summer 2009 will play their final regular-season games together at Maples this weekend, but they'll get a reprieve on their final game together as Stanford hosts NCAA Tournament First- and Second-Round games March 24 and 26. For Ruef, it may not even be her final game at Maples, as she has a fifth year of eligibility remaining should she be able to return for 2013-14.
Tinkle Ready To Join 1,000-Point Club This Weekend
Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle's career year, in which she has averaged career bests of 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds a game with 48 blocks, will get even sweeter this weekend as she sits just four points shy of becoming Stanford's 34th member of the 1,000-Point Club. The Missoula, Mont. native's push to 1,000 has been aided by her play over the past 10 games, as Tinkle is averaging 13.6 points, and 7.3 rebounds a game while shooting 50.0 percent (55-for-110) from the field and 46.9 (15-for-32) from 3-point range. This past weekend in Los Angeles she averaged 13.5 points and 10.0 rebounds including a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds Friday at USC.
The Ruef Is On Fire Mikaela Ruef heads into her Senior Weekend playing some of the best ball of her Stanford career. The gutsy forward from Beavercreek, Ohio has scored in double figures in three of Stanford's past four games, also posting the first two double-doubles of her career over that span. The stretch began Feb. 8 against Arizona, in which Ruef went for a then-career-high 11 points with 10 rebounds, and her second came Sunday at No. 15/16 UCLA, when the Battlin' Beaver from Beavercreek High fought her way to 10 points and 10 rebounds over a career-high 31 minutes. The heart of this Stanford squad, this year Ruef is in the squad's top three of the "hustle" stats, rebounding (6.2 rpg), assists (48) and blocks (16), and is averaging 9.5 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 58.3 percent from the field over the past four games.
Got The Keys To The Ride
This season, head coach Tara VanDerveer handed the keys to the Stanford offense to sophomore point guard Amber Orrange, and so far the soft-spoken speedster from Houston has taken good care of the ride. Averaging 4.44 assists per game, Orrange has found a new gear over the past three weeks, handing out 34 assists in the past six games as well as averaging 8.3 points a game. Orrange has also boosted her all-around play, cranking up the pressure on defense to the tune of 14 steals over this six-game stretch as the Cardinal has picked up the aggressiveness on both ends of the court.
Don't Pass Up Those Freebies
The best points are free points, and last weekend the Cardinal did an exceptional job of hitting its free throws, going a combined 37-for-45 (82.2 percent) in the sweep of USC and then-No. 15/16 UCLA. The weekend's pinnacle was an 18-for-20 (90.0 percent) effort in Sunday's 68-57 win over the Bruins, pumping up Stanford's Pac-12-leading percentage from the stripe to 71.9 percent.
The SWAT Team
Cardinal forwards Chiney Ogwumike and Joslyn Tinkle were key components to the Cardinal bringing the aggressive defense over the weekend in Los Angeles, making a combined nine blocks over the wins against USC and UCLA. Friday against the Trojans Tinkle, the team leader with 48 blocks and second in the Pac-12 with 1.85 per game, turned aside three shots while on Sunday at UCLA Ogwumike protected the paint by swatting away four shots as part of her 26-point, seven-rebound effort.
The Road Warriors Stay Perfect Away From Home
Last weekend's sweep of USC and then-No. 15/16 UCLA kept the Cardinal perfect this year away from Maples Pavilion, upping its road record to 15-0. Following Sunday's win at UCLA, Stanford leads the NCAA with 15 victories away from home (13 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 leads the nation with 13 true road wins. Stanford's 15 wins away from home, out of which six have come against Top-25 teams, 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
Stanford clinched a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament with Sunday's 68-57 win at UCLA. At the event, 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 after Sunday's wins both Stanford and California, tied atop the table with matching 13-1 records, are four games ahead of fifth-place Colorado (9-5) with four games remaining. With Stanford and California each owning the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Buffaloes, the Cardinal and Golden Bears cannot be denied a top-four seed.
Should Stanford and California each win out over the final two weekends 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.
Keep February Unblemished
In the month dedicated to Valentine's Day and other things related to love, what Stanford loves in February is winning. Sunday's 68-57 win at then-No. 15/16 UCLA brought the Cardinal's winning streak in the month of February to 52 games. The last time Stanford lost a game in February was a 72-57 loss to California on Feb. 4, 2007.
Stanford's Success Against Top-25 Teams
Sunday's 68-57 win over then-No. 15/16 UCLA was Stanford's 10th meeting with a Top-25 team this season, and the victory upped the Cardinal's mark this year to 8-2 against ranked foes. The contest at UCLA equaled 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 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.
Opponents Still Not Passing The 70 Barrier
Sunday's 68-57 win at UCLA was Stanford's program-record 44th straight game in which it held an opponent to under 70 points. The last Stanford opponent to break the 70-point barrier was California last Jan. 28 in the Cardinal's 74-71 overtime win at Maples Pavilion. The next longest streak of opponents not scoring 70 points in Cardinal history is 20 games, from Feb. 14, 2003 to Dec. 18, 2004. This current run is a large part of the Cardinal's 52.6 points allowed per game which is tops in the Pac-12 and on pace to break the program record of 53.9 points allowed per game set in 2009-10.