Dec. 11, 2012
No. 1/1 Stanford Cardinal (8-0)
- vs. -
Pacific Tigers (7-1)
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 - 7 p.m. PT
Maples Pavilion (7,329) - Stanford, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 16-3
Last Meeting: Dec. 1, 2005 (Stanford 109, Pacific 58) - Stockton, Calif.
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Joe Lami)
Game Notes vs. Pacific
STANFORD, Calif. - Final exams are finished, school is out until Jan. 7, and the top-ranked Stanford women's basketball team's 13-day break from competition ends Saturday, Dec. 15 as the Cardinal hosts Pacific at 7 p.m. Saturday's contest will not be available on live stream but will be carried on 90.1 KZSU with Joe Lami on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal went into this year's finals break on the heels of a 69-41 victory at Gonzaga Dec. 2 in a battle of two of the West Coast's top powers. Stanford's defense flexed its collective muscle for the second straight game, holding the Bulldogs to just 25.4-percent shooting (17-for-67) two days after holding UC Davis to just 12 field goals and an 18.2-percent showing from the field (12-for-66). Joslyn Tinkle blocked three Zag shots and made two steals on the defensive end to go with 16 points and eight rebounds. Chiney Ogwumike posted her fifth straight double-double, and sixth this season, with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Taylor Greenfield set new career highs for points (18) and 3-pointers made (six). Redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Cardinal's 44-34 advantage on the glass against Gonzaga.
Pacific (7-1) comes into Maples Pavilion off to the second-best start in school history at 7-1. The Tigers suffered their first loss of the campaign last Friday, falling 89-82 at Florida. Head coach Lynne Roberts, in her seventh season at the Pacific helm, oversees a team with victories over Fresno State and Santa Clara already under its belt, and led by the play of Kendall Kenyon (12.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 57.5 FG pct.) and Kendall Rodriguez (11.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg).
Saturday's meeting will be 20th all-time between Stanford and Pacific, with the Cardinal holding a 16-3 edge. The teams last met on Dec. 1, 2005 in Stockton, with Stanford claiming a 109-58 win.
Stanford In The National Polls
Stanford checked in at No. 1 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Polls for the fourth straight week. The Cardinal earned 22 of 40 first-place votes in the AP Poll and 24 of 30 in the Coaches Poll.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
Through Dec. 11, Stanford ranked in the top three of 14 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring offense (78.6 ppg - t-first), scoring defense (52.0 ppg - first), scoring margin (+26.6 - first), field-goal percentage (52.6 - first), field-goal percentage defense (32.0 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32 - first), defensive rebounds (31.9 drpg - first), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.1 - second), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (25.9 - second), rebounding defense (30.5 rpg - second), rebound margin (+13.9 - second), assists (15.88 apg - third), blocked shots (4.88 bpg - third), and defensive rebound percentage (71.6 - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (20.9 ppg), is second in rebounding (11.8 rpg) and field-goal percentage (63.6). Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is sixth with 16.6 points per game, fourth with a 58.2 shooting percentage and second with 2.00 blocks per game. Amber Orrange leads the loop with 6.13 assists per game and is third with a 2.13 assist-to-turnover ratio. Taylor Greenfield's 51.5 3-point field-goal percentage leads the Pac-12.
Stanford When Returning To Action After Final Exams
Saturday's contest against Pacific marks Stanford's return to action following its 13-day University-mandated break for final exams. The Cardinal has taken at least nine days off for the finals break since 1997-98, and over that time has gone 12-3 in the "return" game following exams. The three losses occurred in successive seasons (Dec. 1999-Dec. 2001), with the losses in December 2000 and 2001 coming against Tennessee. Since the 2001-02 campaign, Stanford has won 10 straight "return" games heading into Saturday. Saturday's contest against Pacific will also mark the third time that Stanford's first game after final exams will come against the Tigers, having played them previously on Dec. 14, 2002 (67-56 Stanford win at Pacific) and Dec. 12, 2003 (86-25 Stanford win at Maples Pavilion).
Going For Nine Straight
Should Stanford defeat Pacific Saturday, it would mark just the fifth time in program history that the Cardinal has opened a campaign 9-0. The last time Stanford opened a season with nine straight wins was 2009-10, with the other occasions being 1989-90, 1991-92 and 1996-97. Two of the previous four streaks (2009-10 and 1996-97) ended at nine, the 1991-92 streak ended at 10 and the 1989-90 streak extended all the way to 20, marking Stanford's longest season-opening win streak.
Get The Bags Packed Up
Following Saturday's game, the Cardinal will have a day to rest and pack up before taking off Monday on its longest trip of the season, a seven-day sojourn to Columbia, S.C. and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, Stanford takes on a pair of ranked SEC teams in No. 24/18 South Carolina (Wed., Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m. PT) and No. 13/12 Tennessee (Sat., Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. PT).
Stanford Puts Nation's Longest Home Winning Streak On The Line Again Saturday
Stanford will put its national-best 81-game home winning streak on the line Saturday against Pacific. The Cardinal extended the streak to 81 on Nov. 25 with a 77-41 win over Long Beach State. Following Saturday's game Stanford, which began the streak back on Nov. 28, 2007 with a 96-61 victory over San Francisco, next plays at Maples Pavilion Dec. 29 against No. 2/2 Connecticut.
Pac-12 Standing Tall
Through the first six weeks of the campaign, the Pac-12 has lifted its game with solid results and key wins around the country. The conference boasts the nation's top-ranked team in Stanford, and along with California (No. 9) and UCLA (No. 14) boasts three teams in the top 15 of the Associated Press Poll, tied with the Big East and SEC.
Hail To The Stanford D
While players are most often lauded for offensive fireworks, the Cardinal has made a statement with its defensive play through the first eight games of 2012-13. As of the start of this week Stanford leads the Pac-12 in allowing just 52.0 points per game as well as holding opponents to just 32.0-percent shooting from the field. The defense bared its teeth two weekends ago at UC Davis and Gonzaga, holding the two schools to a combined shooting percentage of 21.8 percent (29-for-133) and blocking 16 shots (10 by Joslyn Tinkle).
Just as much as an electrifying offense and stingy defense serve a team well, coaches will always preach that discipline is the hallmark of a superior squad. So far this season, Stanford has played well-disciplined basketball, committing just 12.0 turnovers per game (third-best in the nation) and committing just 11.8 personal fouls per game (seventh-best in the nation). Additionally, the Cardinal's discipline with the ball continues to be a strong point, as the team's 1.32 assist-to-turnover ratio not only leads the Pac-12 but ranks fifth nationally.
Older Sister Knows Best
Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle capped off a memorable weekend Dec. 2 with 16 points and eight rebounds in the 69-41 win over Gonzaga, which featured younger sister Elle Tinkle, a freshman for the Zags. In front of numerous family members and friends, Tinkle was one of three Stanford players to score in double figures and led all players with three blocks, contributing to a defensive effort that held Gonzaga to a 17-for-67 showing (25.4 percent) from the field. While Tinkle averaged 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds over Stanford's wins at UC Davis on Nov. 30 and at Gonzaga two days later, she also demonstrated her defensive prowess, blocking 10 shots, including seven against the Aggies, to improve her team-leading total to 16 (2.00 per game) on the year.
Ogwumike Takes Opponents To In-N-Out
Stanford's opponents can be forgiven if they think they're taking a trip to West Coast favorite In-N-Out Burger when they take on the Cardinal because consensus preseason national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike has done nothing but serve up double-doubles to her foes. Ogwumike has posted double-doubles in six of Stanford's eight games this season, including each of the past five. At UC Davis on Nov. 30, the Cypress, Texas native matched a career high with 27 points to go with 13 rebounds, then followed with a 21-point, 11-rebound effort in the Dec. 2 win at Gonzaga. After becoming just one of four players to average a double-double for the season last year, Ogwumike is on pace to do it for a second straight year, currently averaging 20.9 points and 11.8 rebounds over Stanford's 8-0 start.
Dealing The Hot Hand
Sophomore forward Taylor Greenfield has provided the Cardinal with production off the bench this season, averaging 8.4 points a game. Her biggest contributions have come from behind the arc, where the Huxley, Iowa native is shooting a Pac-12-best 51.5 percent (17-for-33). Since opening eyes from long range in a 16-point effort in which she hit four 3-pointers against then-No. 1/1 Baylor on Nov. 16, Greenfield showed it was no fluke as she went a combined 8-for-12 from downtown at UC Davis and Gonzaga. Her weekend included a performance at Gonzaga in which she posted career bests of six 3-pointers made and 18 points.
I'm In Charge
Running the Pac-12's top-ranked offense isn't the easiest job but someone has to do it, and that someone is sophomore Amber Orrange. The Houston native has become adept at quietly and methodically dissecting opposing defenses, finding lanes and open teammates for an offense that is scoring 78.6 points per game. Her passing has led to her dishing out a conference-leading 6.13 assists per game (which also ranks 18th in the nation) and ranking third in the Pac-12 with a 2.13 assist-to-turnover ratio. Orrange has proven that she can score when called upon, averaging 10.8 points per game, as well as defend, as her eight steals paces the team.
One of Stanford's top success stories so far this season has been the strong return from injury of redshirt junior forward Mikaela Ruef. After missing all but three games due to foot injuries last year, Ruef cracked the starting lineup for the first time in her Stanford career Nov. 16 against Baylor and promptly grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds while providing the bulk of defense against reigning national player of the year Brittney Griner. Since then, Ruef has stuck in the starting five, becoming Stanford's "Chaos Agent" with her disruptive defense, hustle and tenacity. Through the first eight games of the campaign Ruef is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds and 2.00 assists per game, and against Gonzaga on Dec. 2 grabbed 10 rebounds, her second double-digit effort of the year.