Dec. 18, 2012
No. 1/1 Stanford Cardinal (9-0)
- at -
No. 21/17 South Carolina (10-0)
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 - 4:30 p.m. PT
Colonial Life Arena (18,000) - Columbia, S.C.
Series History: Stanford leads 4-0
Last Meeting: March 24, 2012 (Stanford 76, South Carolina 60) - Fresno, Calif.
TV: Fox Sports South (PxP: Andy Demetra, Analyst: Debbie Antonelli)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Preston Chin)
Game Notes vs. South Carolina
Fox Sports South - DirecTV 646, Dish Network 420, AT&T U-Verse 724, 1724
FCS Atlantic - Comcast 413
Cardinal Land - Episode 2
STANFORD, Calif. - Top-ranked Stanford travels to SEC Country this week, visiting No. 21/17 South Carolina Wednesday night, Dec. 17 and closing the trip Saturday, Dec. 22 at No. 10/11 Tennessee. Wednesday's rematch of last year's Fresno Regional Semifinal against the Gamecocks will be televised on Fox Sports South at 4:30 p.m. PT with Andy Demetra on the call and Debbie Antonelli as analyst. Both contests will be available on 90.1 KZSU with Preston Chin on the call.
Last Time Out
If there was any rust to be shaken off after a 13-day break, the Cardinal hid it very well in Saturday's 78-43 victory over Pacific. Stanford shot 46.2 percent (30-for-65) in the contest and grabbed 52 rebounds to just 32 for the Tigers in the win. Junior Chiney Ogwumike posted a new career high with 31 points on 14-of-18 shooting to go with 13 rebounds, while redshirt junior Mikaela Ruef set new career highs for rebounds (13) and assists (five) while matching her career high with three blocks. Joslyn Tinkle scored 10 points while Amber Orrange scored nine and Toni Kokenis added eight. Off the bench, freshman center Tess Picknell scored three points and grabbed five rebounds.
About South Carolina
South Carolina (10-0) has bullied its way into the national polls with 10 straight wins to open the new season, most recently downing Furman 69-35 Dec. 9 in Columbia. With four-time U.S. Olympian Dawn Staley in her fifth year at the Gamecock helm, South Carolina is coming off of a run to the Sweet 16 last season and is currently led by the play of Aleighsa Welch (11.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg), Tiffany Mitchell (11.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Ashley Bruner (11.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg).
Against South Carolina
Stanford has won all four previous meetings between the two schools, most recently defeating the Gamecocks 76-60 in last year's regional semifinal in Fresno.
Stanford In The National Polls
Stanford checked in at No. 1 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Polls for the fifth straight week. The Cardinal earned 22 of 40 first-place votes in the AP Poll and 25 of 31 in the Coaches Poll.
In The Pac-12 Statistics
Through Dec. 17, Stanford ranked in the top three of 14 statistical categories amongst Pac-12 schools: scoring defense (51.1 ppg - first), scoring margin (+27.4 - first), field-goal percentage (51.8 - first), field-goal percentage defense (31.6 - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.33 - first), scoring offense (78.6 ppg - second), 3-point field-goal percentage (36.5 - second), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (25.8 - second), rebounding defense (30.7 rpg - second), rebound margin (+14.6 - second), defensive rebounds (32.0 drpg - second), assists (15.78 apg - third), blocked shots (4.89 bpg - third), and defensive rebound percentage (71.6 - third). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the conference in scoring (22.0 ppg), is second in rebounding (11.9 rpg) and field-goal percentage (65.6). Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is eighth with 15.9 points per game and a 55.0 shooting percentage, and tied for fourth with 1.89 blocks per game. Amber Orrange is second in the Pac-12 with 5.56 assists per game and a 2.00 assist-to-turnover ratio. Taylor Greenfield's 50.0 3-point field-goal percentage is tied for the Pac-12 lead.
In the National Statistics
The NCAA released the latest national statistical rankings Dec. 17, and Stanford ranks in the Top 20 of eight categories: turnovers per game (11.9 - second), field-goal percentage (51.8 - third), fouls per game (11.3 - fourth), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.33 - fifth), scoring margin (+27.4 - sixth), rebound margin (+14.6 - seventh), field-goal percentage defense (31.6 - ninth) and scoring (78.6 ppg - 12th). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the nation in field-goal percentage (65.6), is eighth in scoring (22.0 ppg) and 12th in rebounding (11.9 rpg).
Stanford, South Carolina Meet In Regional Semifinal Rematch
Wednesday night's contest in Columbia marks a rematch of last year's Fresno Regional Semifinal as well as the fourth meeting between Stanford and South Carolina in seven seasons. Last year at Fresno's SaveMart Center, the Cardinal defeated the Gamecocks 76-60 in the round of 16 behind 39 points and 10 rebounds from Nnemkadi Ogwumike. Toni Kokenis scored 12 rebounds with seven rebounds, Joslyn Tinkle scored seven points with three blocks while Amber Orrange passed out five assists. The Gamecocks hung tough with the Cardinal, trailing just 59-54 with just 7:02 to play but Stanford's size took over as the Cardinal went on a 14-2 run over the next 3:54 to seal the win.
Going For 10 Straight To Open The Season
Saturday's win over Pacific gave Stanford just its fifth 9-0 start in program history, and a win over South Carolina Wednesday would make for just the third 10-0 start for the Cardinal, and first since 1991-92. That year the 10-game streak to open the campaign ended there, with a 74-65 loss at California on Jan. 10. In 1989-90, the only other time Stanford opened a season 10-0, the streak extended all the way to 20, marking Stanford's longest season-opening win streak.
Stanford Against The SEC
Heading into Stanford's two-game trip to South Carolina and Tennessee this week, the Cardinal owns an all-time record of 27-28 against the SEC (not including new members Missouri and Texas A&M). Take away the Cardinal's 7-22 all-time record against Tennessee and Stanford is 20-6 against the rest of the conference. The only SEC schools the Cardinal has never faced are Kentucky and Mississippi State.
Pac-12 Remains Among The Best
Through the first seven weeks of the campaign, the Pac-12 continues to prove that it is one of the top women's basketball conferences in the country. From last Friday to Sunday, the Pac-12 was involved in six Top-25 games, and the conference posted a 5-1 mark in those contests, including wins by Colorado and Washington State over No. 8 Louisville and No. 20 Ohio State, respectively. In this week's national polls, the Pac-12 is one of three conferences (along with the Big East and SEC) that boasts three teams in the Associated Press Poll Top 15 with Stanford at No. 1 for the fifth straight week, California at No. 8 and UCLA at No. 12. Overall, four teams are in the AP Top 25, as Colorado checked in at No. 25.
Making More Than They Miss
It goes without saying that making more field goals than you miss is one of the keys to success in basketball, and Stanford has played that quality up to the hilt. Through the first nine games of the season the Cardinal is shooting 51.8 percent from the field, tops in the Pac-12 and third-best in the nation. Leading the way is junior forward Chiney Ogwumike who paces the NCAA with a scorching 65.6 field-goal percentage, boosted in part by her 14-for-18 performance last Saturday against Pacific. She's not the only hot shooter on the team, as senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is shooting 55.0 percent from the field (eighth-best in the Pac-12) while Toni Kokenis is hitting 50.0 percent of her attempts and Taylor Greenfield is hitting at a 49.0-percent clip, including 50.0 percent on 3-point attempts. Overall, Stanford's five starters (Ogwumike, Tinkle, Orrange, Kokenis and Mikaela Ruef) are shooting a combined 55.0 percent (220-for-400).
Career Performances For Ogwumike, Ruef Against Pacific
The conclusion of finals week marked the Cardinal's return to action for the first time in 13 days Saturday night against Pacific, and two players in particular surely were aching to play hoops again as Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef each put up a career-best performance in Stanford's 78-43 win.
Ogwumike, a consensus preseason All-American and leading national player of the year candidate entering 2012-13, posted her sixth straight double-double and seventh of the campaign thanks to a career-high 31 points to go with 13 rebounds. The Cypress, Texas native also hit a career-high 14 field goals out of 18 attempts for an astonishing 77.8-percent performance from the field. On the year, Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 with 22.0 points per game and is second with 11.9 rebounds per game and a 65.6 field-goal percentage.
Ruef, a redshirt junior forward from Beavercreek, Ohio, continued her feel-good comeback story Saturday after missing all but three games last season with a foot injury. Against the Tigers, Ruef posted new career highs with 13 rebounds and five assists while matching her career best of three blocks on defense. Ruef, playing center for the Cardinal, has continued her rugged ascent which began with Stanford's 71-69 win over then-No. 1/1 Baylor in Honolulu Nov. 16, where she made her first collegiate start and grabbed 12 rebounds while providing the first line of defense against reigning national player of the year Brittney Griner. So far this year, Ruef is averaging a career-best 6.8 rebounds per game and is second on the team with 21 assists.
Putting Together A Career Year
Building splendidly off of her breakout 2011-12 season, senior forward Joslyn Tinkle is putting together a career year in 2012-13, averaging 15.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while posting field-goal percentages of 55.5 percent overall and 32.3 percent from 3-point range. The Missoula, Mont. native scored 10 points in Stanford's 78-43 win over Pacific last Saturday, bringing her career scoring total to 80, just 199 away from becoming the 34th member of Stanford's 1,000-Point Club. Defensively, Tinkle has proven to be one of the Cardinal's anchors in the paint, leading the team with 17 blocks.
On The "Block"
A key part of Stanford's defensive effort in holding opponents to just 31.6 percent from the field is the presence of Joslyn Tinkle and Chiney Ogwumike inside. Together the Cardinal teammates have combined to block 27 shots, with Tinkle leading the team with 17. Tinkle's 1.89 blocks per game has her ranked tied for fourth in the conference, while as a team the Cardinal is registering just under five blocks a game, third-best in the Pac-12. The presence of Stanford's inside duet has forced opponents to settle for more shots from the outside, leading to lower field-goal percentages and more Cardinal defensive rebounds.