Dec. 27, 2011
No. 4/4 Stanford Cardinal (9-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
- at -
USC Trojans (5-5, 0-0 Pac-12)
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 - 7 p.m. PT
Galen Center (10,258) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 47-19
Last Meeting: Feb. 18, 2011 (Stanford 78, USC 64) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Webcast: USC All-Access
Radio: 90.1 KZSU (P-x-P: Kevin Zhang)
Game Notes vs. USC
USC Game Notes
STANFORD, Calif. - Eleven-time defending conference regular season champion Stanford opens Pac-12 play Thursday night, traveling to Los Angeles to begin the weekend with a 7 p.m. contest at USC. Thursday's contest will be webcast on USC's All-Access, and the contest will also be available on the airwaves at 90.1 KZSU with Kevin Zhang on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal won its 69th straight game at Maples Pavilion last Thursday afternoon with a 90-48 victory over CSU Bakersfield. Joslyn Tinkle started for the second time this season and led the Cardinal with her second career double-double, going 8-for-11 from the field (and 2-for-3 from behind the arc) for 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Defensively Tinkle blocked three shots. Freshmen Erica Payne (12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, nine rebounds) and Bonnie Samuelson (14 points, 2-for-4 on 3-pointers) each played at least 20 minutes and posted double-digit scoring figures. Four of the five Stanford starters played less than 15 minutes, with Nnemkadi Ogwumike going 4-for-6 for eight points in 13 minutes, Chiney Ogwumike scoring 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Toni Kokenis scoring eight points with six assists.
USC (5-5) snapped a two-game slide with a 75-71 overtime win at Pepperdine in its most recent action back on Dec. 21. The Trojans, with Michael Cooper in his third season at the helm, are led by the play of Briana Gilbreath (12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Cassie Harberts (11.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg).
All-Time Against USC
Stanford leads the all-time series with USC by a 47-19 margin. The Cardinal is currently on an eight-game winning streak against the Trojans, with the last loss coming back on Jan. 6, 2008, when a jumper from Camille LeNoir in the final seconds gave USC a 73-72 victory at the Galen Center.
Stanford In The Polls
Stanford remained at No. 4 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Polls this week.
In The Pac-12 Statistical Rankings
Through games of Dec. 23, Stanford ranks in the Pac-12's top three in: scoring (84.1 ppg - first), scoring margin (+24.4 - first), field goal percentage (48.0 - first), free-throw percentage (73.4 - first), rebounding (48.0 - first), assists (18.90 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.41 - first), 3-point field goal percentage (36.8 - second), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (24.7 - second), rebounding margin (+15.9 - second), offensive rebounding (18.3 rpg - second), offensive rebound percentage (48.0 - second), rebounding defense (32.1 - third) and 3-pointers per game (6.7 - third).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the conference with 24.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game and Chiney Ogwumike is fifth with 9.1 rebounds per game. Nneka also ranks third in field-goal percentage (64.0) and third in free-throw percentage (80.9). Freshman Bonnie Samuelson is second in 3-point field goal percentage (48.3) while Toni Kokenis leads the Pac-12 with a 2.57 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike Earns Conference, National Player Of The Week Honors
Senior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike's stellar week of basketball was recognized on both the conference and national levels, as she was named the Bank of the West Pac-12 Player of the Week Monday and the USBWA National Player of the Week Tuesday. Ogwumike earned the honors largely due to her national player of the year-worthy performance on Dec. 20 against sixth-ranked Tennessee, scoring a career-high 42 points on 19-of-27 shooting to go with 17 rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Pac-12 honor was the sixth of Ogwumike's career, putting her alone in fifth on Stanford's all-time list behind Candice Wiggins (nine conference player of the week honors), Nicole Powell (eight), Jayne Appel and Kate Starbird (seven apiece).
Ogwumike Among The Nation's Best
Nnemkadi Ogwumike's numbers so far this season in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage rank among the nation's best after the non-conference season. Entering this week, Ogwumike is the among the nation's best in scoring (24.0 ppg), rebounding (11.0 rpg) and field-goal percentage (64.0). Through the first 10 games this season, Ogwumike's play is a big reason for Stanford's 9-1 start and No. 4 national ranking. The Cypress, Texas native is a captain of a squad that started the season with six freshmen (three of which played significant time over the first 10 games) and just three players who had started more than 12 collegiate games. Her leadership and presence both on and off the court, in addition to her scoring and rebounding, continue to be Stanford's strongest assets this season.
The Second City Sparkplug
Sophomore guard Toni Kokenis, a native of the Chicago suburb Oak Brook, Ill., boosted her solid second season with a career week over Stanford's wins over Tennessee and CSU Bakersfield. On Dec. 20 against sixth-ranked Tennessee, Kokenis scored a career-high 26 points and set new career bests in field goals (eight), 3-pointers made (five), free throws made (five) and minutes played (38). Two days later, Kokenis, in just 14 minutes of action against CSU Bakersfield, scored eight points and passed out six assists in Stanford's 90-48 win. Over the two games, Kokenis passed out 10 assists against just three turnovers, improving her assist-to-turnover ratio to a Pac-12-leading 2.57. Entering Pac-12 play this week, she is averaging 10.0 points and 3.60 assists per game while shooting 39.5 percent (15-for-38) from 3-point range.
Home Winning Streak Nears 70
Stanford's 90-48 victory over CSU Bakersfield upped the Cardinal's program-record home winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 69 games. That number moves the Cardinal's streak into a tie for second-longest home winning streak in Division I history with those of Tennessee (1990-96) and Connecticut (2000-04). A victory in the next contest at Maples Pavilion, set for Jan. 5 against Oregon, will run the streak to 70 games, putting it alone in second behind Connecticut's current run of 91 straight home wins (as of Dec. 27).
Cardinal Cruises Into Pac-12 Play
Stanford completed its November-December slate of non-conference action Dec. 22 with a 90-48 victory over CSU Bakersfield. The win capped a 9-1 start to the season that included wins over ranked teams such as Tennessee and Texas, in addition to defending conference champions Gonzaga (WCC), Xavier (Atlantic-10) and Princeton (Ivy League). With one more non-conference game remaining this season (Feb. 29 vs. Seattle University), the Cardinal could end up with 10 non-conference wins for the third time in five seasons (2007-08, 2009-10).
New Name, Hopefully Same Finish
Thursday's contest at USC marks Stanford's first conference game under the new Pac-12 banner, but the Cardinal hopes that the slate ends the same way it has for each of the past 11 seasons and for 20 of the past 25, with a conference title. This weekend will also mark the fourth time in the past six seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2011-12) that Stanford's first conference road trip has been to Los Angeles to face USC and UCLA.
Since the advent of Pac-10 women's basketball in 1986-87, Stanford has been far and away the class of the conference in terms of victories and end-of-season awards and honors. Following the 2010-11 regular season, the Cardinal has won outright or shared the regular-season title 20 times out of a possible 25, while the next team on the list, Washington, has won the conference title just three times. Stanford has also dominated the Pac-10 Tournament, capturing eight of the 10 tournament titles since the inaugural draw in 2002. Currently, Stanford has won a record 57 straight games against its Pac-10 foes (including Pac-10 Tournament contests) dating back to Jan. 22, 2009. The team's 690-135 (.836) overall mark since 1986-87 and 391-58 (.871) mark in Pac-10 play (both through the end of the 2010-11 season) are both by far the top marks in the conference.
On the awards and honors side of things, the Cardinal again out-paces its opponents. Following the announcement of the 2011 Pac-10 honors, a Stanford player has won or shared the Pac-10 Player of the Year award 15 of 25 times since 1986-87, won the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award eight times, the Pac-10 Defender of the Year award once and head coach Tara VanDerveer has been honored as the conference's coach of the year on 11 occasions, with current associate head coach Amy Tucker and Marianne Stanley sharing the honor in 1995-96 while VanDerveer was on sabbatical coaching the U.S. Olympic Team.
Stanford players have captured a conference-best 80 Pac-10/Pac-12 Player of the Week honors through Dec. 26, 2011. Finally, the Cardinal leads the conference with 54 All-Pac-10 first-team selections.
Freshman guards Jasmine Camp (stress fracture revealed Dec. 19) and Alex Green (torn Achilles' tendon suffered Nov. 18) will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season. Forward Mikaela Ruef (foot) has not played since Nov. 17 against Old Dominion. Taylor Greenfield (hamstring) was held out of Dec. 22's game against CSU Bakersfield but is expected to be fit for Thursday's game at USC.