STANFORD, Calif. - No. 4/4 Stanford returns to Seattle for the second straight week, this time in search of its seventh straight Pac-12 Tournament title and 10th overall. The event, which runs March 7-10 at KeyArena, opens Friday, March 8 at 6 p.m. for the Cardinal, which will face the winner of Thursday's first-round matchup of No. 8 seed Washington State and No. 9 Arizona State. Friday's quarterfinal 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 Ashley Westhem calling the action.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal clinched a share of its 13th straight Pac-12 title and 22nd overall with Saturday's 72-50 victory at Washington State. Chiney Ogwumike scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to bring her season haul to 381 become Stanford's and the Pac-12's new single-season rebounding leader, passing the previous mark of 376 set by older sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike in 2009-10. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle scored 13 points with a pair of blocks and Sara James went for nine points and a career-high six rebounds to add to the effort. Stanford's defense limited the Cougars to just 28.6-percent shooting and only one 3-pointer in 14 attempts.
Stanford's Road To Its 10th Pac-12 Tournament Title
With a bye to Friday's quarterfinal round, Stanford needs to win three games in three days to capture it's 10th Pac-12 Tournament title and seventh in a row. That journey begins Friday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Thursday's first-round matchup of No. 8 Washington State and No. 9 Arizona State. Should Stanford win Friday, it will move on to Saturday's semifinal, where at 8:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network it will face either No. 4 Colorado, No. 5 Washington or No. 12 Oregon. Sunday's championship game is set for Sunday, March 10 at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.
Against Washington State And Arizona State
Stanford is unbeaten in 54 previous meetings against Washington State, most recently defeating the Cougars 72-50 this past Sunday in Pullman. The Cardinal, 54-11 overall against Arizona State, defeated the Sun Devils 69-45 on Feb. 10 at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford In The National Polls
Stanford remained at No. 4 in this week's Associated Press Poll and moved up a spot to No. 4 in the USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
At the end of the regular season, Stanford ranked in the top three of 12 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (51.9 ppg - first), scoring margin (+19.6 - first), field-goal percentage (45.6 - first), field-goal percentage defense (31.6 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (23.0 - first), free-throw percentage (72.1 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.22 - first), scoring offense (71.4 ppg - second), assists (14.37 apg - second), blocked shots (5.23 bpg - second), defensive rebounds (29.7 drpg - second) and rebounding margin (+8.0 - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (22.9 ppg), rebounding (12.7 rpg), field-goal percentage (59.1) and double-doubles (24), is second with a 80.4 free-throw percentage and third with 1.70 blocks per game. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle leads the conference with 1.90 blocks per game and Amber Orrange is second in the Pac-12 with a 1.71 assist-to-turnover ratio and third with 4.33 assists per game.
In the National Statistics
Through the latest national statistical update (March 4), Stanford ranked in the top 20 of 10 categories: field-goal percentage defense (31.6 - second), 3-point field-goal defense (23.0 - second), turnovers per game (11.8 - third), scoring margin (+19.5 - seventh), field-goal percentage (45.6 - eighth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.22 - 10th), scoring defense (51.9 - 15th), rebound margin (+8.0 - 17th), personal fouls per game (13.2 - 17th) and blocked shots per game (5.23 - 19th). Chiney Ogwumike is the only player to rank in the national top five in scoring (22.9 ppg - third), field-goal percentage (59.1 - second) and rebounding (12.7 rpg - fifth) in addition to ranking second with 24 double-doubles.
Ogwumike, Tinkle, Orrange, VanDerveer Recognized By Pac-12
The Pac-12 announced its regular-season awards and All-Pac-12 teams Tuesday and Stanford earned its big haul of the honors.
Junior forward Chiney Ogwumike became the first player to sweep the Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards, being named the conference's top player for the first time and its top defender for the second straight year. She also earned her third straight nods to the All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive Teams for the third straight year. Ogwumike, currently the only player to rank in the national top five in scoring (22.9 ppg), rebounding (12.7 rpg), field-goal percentage (59.1) and double-doubles (24), leads the Pac-12 in all four categories and was instrumental in Stanford claiming its 13th straight and 22nd overall Pac-12 regular-season title in 2012-13.
Tinkle and Orrange each earned the first All-Pac-12 nods of their careers. Tinkle followed up her breakout 2011-12 season with career highs of 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds and a Pac-12-leading 1.90 blocks per game this season. Orrange, meanwhile, averages 10.2 points a game and ranks second in the Pac-12 with a 1.71 assist-to-turnover ratio and third with 4.33 assists per game.
VanDerveer was named John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the 13th time and third year in a row after leading the Cardinal to its 13th straight Pac-12 regular-season title.
Stanford Earns Share Of 13th Straight Pac-12 Title, 22nd Overall
Saturday's 72-50 win at Washington State gave Stanford a share of its 13th straight Pac-12 regular-season title and 22nd overall. Stanford officially goes down as Pac-12 Co-Champion with California, which also finished the conference slate 17-1. Out of its 22 conference titles, Stanford has now shared the title just four times (1990, 2001, 2004, 2013).
Stanford At The Pac-12 Tournament
Entering the 12th edition of the Pac-12 Tournament, Stanford has won nine previous titles, including the past six in a row, and owns a tournament record of 30-2. In Friday's 6 p.m. quarterfinal contest, the Cardinal will await the winner of Thursday's first-round battle between No. 8 Washington State and No. 9 Arizona State. Regardless of which team the Cardinal faces Friday, it will be the first time Stanford has met the Sun Devils or Cougars in the quarterfinal round. While it would be Stanford's fifth tournament meeting with the Sun Devils, a meeting with the Cougars would be the first between the schools at the Pac-12 Tournament.
One Of Stanford's Best Defensive Teams?
Saturday's defensive effort at Washington State continued the Cardinal's stellar performance this season on that side of the court. In Saturday's win the Cardinal held the Cougars to 52 points on 28.6-percent shooting. Washington State's point total and shooting percentage lowered Stanford's opponents scoring (51.9 ppg) and field-goal percentage (31.6 percent) to figures 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.
Yes, We Heard You...The Ruef Is On Fire
Redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef has proven herself one of Stanford's most indispensible commodities, bulldozing her way to career highs of 6.7 rebounds and 2.13 assists per game in 2012-13. This past weekend Ruef continued her strong play heading into the postseason, grabbing 11.0 rebounds and passing out 4.50 assists over the Cardinal's road sweep of Washington and Washington State. Over the past eight games Ruef is averaging 9.1 rebounds and 3.25 assists as one of Stanford's grittiest and hard-working players on the court.
Keep Those 3s Raining Down
One big part of Stanford's game that it hopes continues to improve entering the postseason is it's 3-point shooting. The Cardinal hit 15 triples last weekend in Washington, led by sophomore Bonnie Samuelson's seven, which included five for 15 points in Thursday's 71-36 win at Washington. Two days later the Huntington Beach native went 2-for-7 from behind the arc for six points at Washington State.
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.
Return Of The Road Warriors
This past weekend's sweep of Washington and Washington State brought Stanford's record away from home to a national-best 15-0. That record includes neutral-court victories over then-No. 1/1 Baylor and Tennessee-Martin at the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu on Nov. 16 and 18, and Stanford's 13 true road wins also lead the nation. Overall, Stanford's 15 wins away from home, out of which five have come against Top-25 teams, entering this weekend's Pac-12 Tournament 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.
Opponents Still Not Passing The 70 Barrier
Saturday's 72-50 win at Washington State was Stanford's program-record 48th 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, which includes no opponents breaking the 70-point barrier so far this season, is a large part of the Cardinal's 51.9 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.