March 1, 2013
No. 4/5 Stanford Cardinal (27-2, 16-1 Pac-12)
- at -
Washington State Cougars (10-18, 6-11 Pac-12)
Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 12 p.m. PT
Beasley Coliseum (11,566) - Pullman, Wash.
Series History: Stanford leads 53-0
Last Meeting: Jan. 19, 2012 (Stanford 75, Washington State 41) - Pullman, Wash.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Krista Blunk, Analyst: Mary Murphy)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Preston Chin)
Game Notes vs. Washington State
Washington State Game Notes
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 4/5 Stanford can clinch at least a share of its 13th straight Pac-12 title, and 22nd overall, as well as the top seed at next week's Pac-12 Tournament with a win in Saturday's regular-season finale at Washington State. Saturday's 12 p.m. 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
The Cardinal brought itself one step closer to that 22nd conference title Thursday, locking down Washington for a 71-36 victory. Stanford's defense turned in one of its top efforts of the campaign, holding the Huskies to an opponent season low-matching 12 field goals and a season-low 16.9-percent mark from the field. The Cardinal also made 11 blocks, led by three apiece from conference leader Joslyn Tinkle and Chiney Ogwumike. Ogwumike burnished her national player of the year credentials with her 23rd double-double of the year, scoring 24 points with 13 rebounds and going 11-for-15 from the field. Tinkle and Amber Orrange each scored 12 points, Bonnie Samuelson hit five 3-pointers for 15 points and forward Mikaela Ruef grabbed 12 rebounds with six assists, two blocks and two steals in the win.
About Washington State
Washington State (10-18, 6-11 Pac-12) has lost four in a row and five of its past six heading into Saturday's finale. The Cougars, with June Daugherty in her sixth year at the helm, are led by the play of Lia Galdeira (14.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Tia Presley (13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg).
Against Washington State
Stanford is unbeaten in 53 previous meetings against Washington State. Saturday's contest will be the first meeting of the season between the teams, and Stanford captured last season's sole meeting, a 75-41 win on Jan. 19, 2012 at Maples Pavilion.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
Through Feb. 28, Stanford ranked in the top three of 13 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (51.9 ppg - first), scoring margin (+19.5 - first), field-goal percentage (45.7 - first), field-goal percentage defense (31.7 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (23.4 - first), free-throw percentage (72.5 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21 - first), scoring offense (71.4 ppg - second), assists (14.38 apg - second), blocked shots (5.21 bpg - second), defensive rebounds (29.7 drpg - second), rebounding defense (34.4 rpg - third) and rebounding margin (+8.4 - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (22.7 ppg), rebounding (12.7 rpg), field-goal percentage (58.7) and double-doubles (23), is second with a 80.9 free-throw percentage and third with 1.69 blocks per game. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle leads the conference with 1.90 blocks per game and is eighth with a 47.6 field-goal percentage. Amber Orrange is second in the Pac-12 with a 1.67 assist-to-turnover ratio and third with 4.31 assists per game.
In the National Statistics
Through the latest national statistical update (Feb. 28), Stanford ranked in the top 20 of nine categories: field-goal percentage defense (31.7 - second), 3-point field-goal defense (23.4 - second), turnovers per game (11.9 - fourth), field-goal percentage (45.7 - eighth), scoring margin (+19.4 - eighth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21 - 10th), rebound margin (+8.4 - 14th), scoring defense (52.0 - 17th) and personal fouls per game (13.1 - 18th). Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top five in scoring (22.7 ppg - third), field-goal percentage (58.7 - third) and rebounding (12.7 rpg - fifth) in addition to ranking second with 23 double-doubles.
One Win Away From 13th Straight Conference Title, 22nd Overall
A win Saturday in Pullman would clinch at least a share of Stanford's 13th straight Pac-12 title and 22nd overall. It would also clinch for Stanford the top seed at next week's Pac-12 Tournament, set for March 7-10 at Seattle's Key Arena. The last time the Cardinal failed to win outright or share the conference title was 1999-2000, when the team finished tied for second at 13-5.
If Stanford and California each win Saturday, the teams would be labeled "co-champions" for the regular-season title, but the Cardinal would earn the Pac-12 Tournament's No. 1 seed based on the third tiebreaker, a higher overall winning percentage.
Last Time The Title Came Down To The Final Game
If this year's Pac-12 regular-season title situation sounds familiar, with Stanford and California coming down to the final day knotted atop the Pac-12 table and needing wins in Washington to share the crown, that's because it is.
On Saturday, March 2, 2008, both teams were 15-2 heading into the regular-season finale. Stanford defeated Washington State 74-52 in Pullman but California fell 74-66 at Washington to give the Cardinal sole possession of the title. Five years later, on March 2, 2013, Stanford and California will travel to the same places to play the same schools while tied atop the Pac-12 table at 16-1.
One Of Stanford's Best Defensive Teams?
Thursday's defensive effort against Washington continued the Cardinal's stellar performance this season on that side of the court. In Thursday's win the Cardinal held the Huskies to just 36 points on 16.9-percent shooting, both opponent season lows. Washington's point total and shooting percentage lowered Stanford's opponents scoring (52.0 ppg) and field-goal percentage (31.7 percent) to figures well below the program single-season records of 53.9 points per game and a 33.6 opponents' field-goal percentage. All this season, Stanford has not allowed an opponent to score 70 points, currently on pace to become the first Stanford team to do that for a full season.
Ogwumike Nearing More Stanford Records
Chiney Ogwumike has skyrocketed up the national player of the year rankings thanks in part to her record-breaking season in 2012-13. The Cypress, Texas native has already joined the 1,000-Point and 1,000-Rebound Clubs this year, and on Feb. 24 against Oregon not only set Stanford's single-game record with 24 rebounds but also the school's career mark for double-doubles, as her 27-point, 24-rebound effort was the 52nd double-double of her career. Heading into Saturday's regular-season finale at Washington State, Ogwumike is just eight rebounds away from tying (and nine from breaking) the Stanford and Pac-12 single-season record of 376 held by older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009-10).
Ogwumike is also on pace to set Stanford single-season records for points scored (currently at 659, record is 809), points per game (22.7 ppg, currently first) and rebounds per game (12.7, currently first). At the career level, she owns Stanford's top rebounding average (10.1 rpg) and at 1,624 points is 10 shy of entering Stanford's top 10 (Jennifer Azzi is 10th with 1,634 points).
Ruef Not Afraid Of Dirty Work
Everyone loves an unselfish teammate and redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef embodies that for the Cardinal. Thursday night in Seattle, she again selflessly dove into the fray, fighting for rebounds, playing her usual dogged defense and made smooth passes to keep the offense humming. The Beavercreek, Ohio native may have scored just two points Thursday night, but her calling card comes with thriving in the sometimes unglamorous stats as she grabbed 12 rebounds, passed out a season high-matching six assists, blocked two shots and made a pair of steals. On the year, Ruef is second on the team with 6.6 rebounds and 2.10 assists per game and third with 20 blocks.
Another Perfect February In The Books
Thursday's game at Washington was Stanford's February finale, and the Cardinal's 71-36 win capped a perfect 9-0 month. It marked the sixth straight year in which the Cardinal went undefeated in February, and the win was Stanford's 55th straight win in the month. Stanford's last loss in the month of February was a 72-57 setback against California on Feb. 4, 2007.
Bombin' Bonnie At It Again
The Cardinal hit nine 3-pointers in Thursday night's 71-36 win at Washington, just one shy of matching its season high of 10 which it has accomplished thrice this season. Five of those nine treys came from sophomore bomber Bonnie Samuelson, who finished the game with 15 points. It was the second time this season that Samuelson had hit five triples in a game, and on the year the Huntington Beach native leads the Cardinal with 37 3-pointers made.
Ogwumike Thrives Against Top-25 Competition
Feb. 17's 68-57 win at then-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, who 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.
Opponents Still Not Passing The 70 Barrier
Thursday's 71-36 win over Washington was Stanford's program-record 47th 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 52.0 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.