March 11, 2008

Pac-10 All-Touranment Team

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Here are the members of the 2008 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament Team:

All-Tournament Team

Most Outstanding Player -- Candice Wiggins, Stanford (her second consecutive honor)

Dymond Simon, Arizona State
Jayne Appel, Stanford
Kayla Pedersen, Stanford
Taylor Lilley, Oregon
Devanei Hampton, California

That's it for me from San Jose!

Cardinal Rule

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- What was supposed to be a battle for the Bay Area in tonight's Pac-10 Championship Game ended up being no contest as Stanford handily beat Cal, 56-35.

Stanford is now not only the Pac-10 regular season champion, but als the conference tournament champion for the fifth time in the seven years the conference tournament has been played.

"I"m really proud of our team as our whole team has worked hard for this tournament and knew that Cal would give us a great game," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "We were a little bit more rested and more of the aggressor today."

Tonight's game was close for a little bit more than three minutes as Stanford only led by eight points. Yet with Stanford having the hot hands from all over the court, Cal never had a chance.

"Just disappointed in the outcome of the game and how we performed," said Cal coach Joanne Boyle. "I give total credit to Stanford. They are playing some great basketball right now and we just didn't compete tonight. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons and we can analyze the film, but I'm disappointed in the outcome."

Wiggins led all Stanford players with her 30 points and was followed by Kayla Pedersen's 13 points. Appel -- who set a new Pac-10 Tournament record with 12 blocks -- led the Cardinal on the boards with 14 rebounds.

Unfortunately for Cal, it just wasn't a good night to be a Golden Bear. The Bears shot 26.8% for the game from the field, 17.6% from three-point land and 33.3% from the free throw line. Leading scorers for the game were Alexis Gray-Lawson, Kelsey Adrian and Rama D'diaye wil six points each.

"You always think the shots are going to fall and then sometimes you just have a bad half," said Boyle. "In the first half they just got everything, including the tough shots. I racked my brain trying to figure out what to do to put ourselves in a position to score and it just did not happen."

There is a week to wait before Selection Monday, but Stanford being a No. 1 seed and in the Spokane Regional is a strong possibility. In addition, look for Cal and possibly Arizona State to also represent the Pac-10 as March Madness continues.

"I do," said VanDeveer when asked if she thought her team was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Stay tuned, All-Tournament Team to come.

Cardinal Sins

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Vatican announced today the addition of new sinful behaviors. These new behaviors include drugs, pollution, genetic manipulation and social and economic injustices.

After this weekend I think that the Stanford women's basketball team is going to add at least one new sin of their own -- you must show up to play. After yesterday's and today's Stanford games, if an opposing team does not show up to play then they will face the wrath of Wiggins and company. Personally, running lines never looked so easy compared to having to play against Stanford when they are in a zone.

Cal continues to look beat. Stanford on the other hand is barely breaking a sweat.

Stay tuned...

Cal 31
Stanford 56

Time: 3:40

March 10, 2008

Sensory Overload

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- This is the only way to describe so many aspects of this game.

First, I got a behind-the-scenes look at the Fox Sports Network production truck during Stanford's blistering 21-7 run since half time. The bank of TVs used to produce this game is a dream if you have attention deficit disorder. I just wondered if they had TiVo in the truck.

Second, I got up close and personal with one of the many San Jose Shark mobiles they have stored in the back area of the HP Pavilion and had a flashback to the first time I saw Jaws. I actually still have nightmares of that movie to this day.

Next, if you are a Stanford fan (Choops, are you watching AND reading my blog!!!) then it's hard not to feel like a kid in a candy store as Stanford is crushing Cal from just about every aspect of the game.

Stay tuned...

Cal 22
Stanford 50

Time: 8:58

The Better Half

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Was had by Stanford during the first half of this game.

The Cardinal did just about everything right as they poured it on against Cal.

Stanford shot 43.8% from the field and 50% from three-point land. Wiggins accounted for more than half of Stanford's 36 points with her 19 points.

Cal on the other hand, well, they are probably wishing they were home watching How I Met Your Mother right about now. The Bears are only shooting 19.4% from the field and their two leading scorers - Gray-Lawson and Rama N'diaye -- have four points each.

Stay tuned...

Cal 15
Stanford 36

Bear-ly Making It

There's less than four minutes left in the first half and Cal may be crawling to the finish line at the end of the game tonight.

The Bears are being humiliated in their backyard as Stanford is piling on the points in this first half. Granted that Cal is struggling with their shots and not getting second chance shots as they are being out-rebounded, but it's no longer interesting.

Stay tuned...

Cal 8
Stanford 31

Time: 3:53

Tournament Record Falls

We have our first tournament record fall for the night as Appel just recorded her ninth block of the tournament.

The last player to set the block record was Stanford Alum Kristen Newlin who had eight.

There's still time to see if Wiggins will set any new records tonight.

Stay tuned...

Cal 6
Stanford 21

Game Time!

We are moments away from the starting tip of the championship final and with the number of Stanford fans out-numbering the Cal fans about 30-1, I feel like I am at a Stanford home game instead of being at a neutral site.

Here are your starting line ups for tonight's game:

Cal Bears
Ashley Walker - F/C
Devanei Hampton - F/C
Natash Vital - G
Lauren Greif - G
Alexis Gray-Lawson - G

Stanford Cardinal
Candice Wiggins - G
Kayla Pedersen - F
Jayne Appel - F/C
JJ Hones - G
Roslyn Gold-Onwude - G

Stanford vs. Cal -- Round III

SAN JOSE, Calif -- Good evening and welcome to the Championship Game of the Pac-10 Women’s Basketball Tournament also known as the Battle of the Bay III!

Considering that as of now, this is the last year that the Pac-10 women's tournament will be held here in the HP Pavilion, it's a fitting tribute that the two local Pac-10 schools and the No. 1 and No. 2 tournament seeds will be playing for the title tonight.

Top seed and No. 4 ranked Stanford (29-3, 16-2 Pac-10) comes in as the Pac-10 regular season champions, four-time conference tournament champions and are favored to win tonight. In addition to win giving the Cardinal the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament from the Pac-10, it will also give Stanford a perfect 3-0 record against Cal this season.

Why is Stanford so hot? Here's why:

Candice Wiggins
She's one of the elite in women's college basketball and has the numbers to prove it. First, she leads the Pac-10 in career points Cardinal in points (18.9 ppg), assists (97) and steals (68), so she knows how to share the ball nicely with the other kids. Probably every coach in the Pac-10 except one is happy that this is her last Pac-10 game.

Jayne Appel
Only a sophomore and one of the go-to players for the Cardinal. Appel was the 2007 Freshman of the Year and is not anywhere close to have a slump during her second season. With team-bests in blocks (75), rebounds (8.6 rpg) and other notable stats of 83 assists and 14.5 ppg (second behind Wiggins), Appel is not as sweet as she looks during game time.

Kayla Pedersen
Pederson is just the latest member of the Stanford program to earn 2008 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors and as the team's third best scorer (12.8 ppg), the torch is being passed to her to uphold Cardinal Law in the Pac-10 for the next three years.

After these three, you have your pick of talented players from the Stanford roster. Whether it's sophomore Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, senior Cissy Pierce, Sophomore JJ Hones or junior Jillian Harmon, Stanford has a deep bench that can be deadly for opponents.

The No. 8 ranked Golden Bears (26-5, 15-3 Pac-10) are not too shabby either. After all, they have their own roster full of talent that has nothing to lose tonight. Instead, Cal has an opportunity to claim a conference tournament title to help ease the pain of losing their share of the conference title when they dropped their final regular season game at Washington, 66-74.

Here's a look at what has made Cal so hot this season:

Devanei Hampton
At 6-foot-3, she is the anchor of the action in the paint for Cal and quite a force to be wreckon with. Hampton averages 14 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. She is the 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year and is finding her way to award watch lists left and right.

Ashley Walker
As the team's leader in points (15.4 per game), rebounds (9.3) and blocks (45), she will be counted on to perform tonight. She's not the tallest of Cal's trees in the middle at 6-foot-1 but she has a big time game that frustrates opponents.

Alexis Gray-Lawson
She's only 5-foot-8, but as the team's third-best scorer (11.8 ppg) she is a main contributor to this team's success.

Rounding out the starting five are sophomores Natasha Vital (8 ppg) and Lauren Greif (6.1 ppg) who don't get banged around down low, but do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to bringing the ball down the court and feeding the posts down low.

With tonight's game involving both local Pac-10 schools that are ranked in the Top 10, we should see some good hoops and have a good crowd in attendance.

Stay tuned, we start at 7:30 pm PT.

March 09, 2008

Stanford Rolls Into Championship Final

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With this being the last year that the HP Pavilion and the Bay Area will host the Pac-10 women's tournament, Stanford made sure that tomorrow's championship final would have a fitting match up. After convincingly beating UCLA, 78-45, it's the Battle of the Bay that will be the story as No. 1 seed Stanford and No. 2 seed Cal face off for the third time this season.

"I thought we came out with a great defensive mentality that started with Roz doing a great job for us in guarding either Campbell or Morris," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "Kayla guarding Pluimer did an excellent job while other people did an excellent job. Our defense really set the tone for the game."

The defense that VanDerveer is speaking of is the effort that prevented UCLA from scoring for the first four minutes of the game, only allowed UCLA's offense to score a total of 16 points in the first half and forced UCLA to turn the ball over 13 times in the first half.

"Stanford is a very good basketball team and they showed that today as defensively they were very aggressive," said UCLA coach Kathy Olivier. "The first time we beat them we were the aggressors and today they attacked us. That was the difference in the game. They rebound very well when they are aggressive and have a lot of people step up so they have a lot of options. There's a reason why they are a top five team in the country."

With the game clearly out of reach for UCLA from the opening minutes, it was all the Bruins could do to not make the bleeding too bad. However Stanford had other plans in the way they focused on UCLA's individual strengths instead of weaknesses.

"We really focused a lot on taking away our opponents favorite moves," sadi VanDerveer. "Kayla worked really hard and I was really proud of the fact that when she was on Pluimer, she only got four points. Ros I thought did a great job on Morries, who had a great game last night against USC. Whether it was Candice guarding Campbell or Jayne guarding a variety of different post players. The best thing is that people did not get in foul trouble. They played smart, position defense and team defense. I think defense is a matter of will and they willed it that way."

If there is a will, there is a way, which is the best way to describe Wiggins' continuing to fire away despite not hitting her first basket of the game until 48 seconds left in the first half.

With Stanford dominating today's second game, it was no surprise to see four players scoring double figures (Appel led with 14, followed by Wiggins with 13, Hones with 12 and Pohlen came off the bench to score 10), everyone getting at least one rebound and everyone scoring at least one basket to make it a total team win.

UCLA on the other hand struggled for the entire game.

"Stanford is a very good basketball team and they showed that today," said UCLA coach Kathy Olivier. "They are very aggreesive and came out as more of the aggressors."

UCLA couldn't get much of anything going as they shot 26.7% from the field in the first half, 36.7% from the field in the second half and only hit 1-of-9 from three-point land and 6-17 from the free throw line.

The Bruins did not have any single player finish with double digits in scoring or rebounding.

That's it from the semifinal action today. Check back tomorrow for the championship final at 7:30 pm PT.

I'm Wrong

SAN JOSE, Calif -- This game can get worse.

First off, UCLA's Regina 'Gigi' Rogers has fouled out of the game. This is a huge loss for the Bruins as she does give the Cardinal a nice presence in the paint and she has the court vision of a guard even though she plays center.

Next, the refs seem to be helping this game move as fast as possible as they are not calling some obvious fouls. This always concerns me as at this point in the season, you don't want to see players getting hurt.

Lastly, Stanford just keeps pouring it on with points. The Cardinal have more than doubled UCLA's score, so the Stanford fans in attendance -- which out-number UCLA fans about 20-1 (which is understandable considering how close the HP Pavilion is to Palo Alto) -- are probably enjoying their school's exhibition-like game.

Meanwhile EVERYONE has now come off of Stanford's bench and I would bet that at least everyone on the roster will finish with at least one bucket in today's game.

Even though this game is pretty bad, I will give the Stanford band a little bit of credit as they are not being as obnoxious as they usually are.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 71
UCLA 31

Time: 6:32

Can it get any worse for UCLA?

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Yes, I am a USC alum and we never like to see UCLA excel in any sporting event, but I really don't think that things can get much worse for the Bruins today.

After the half was over, UCLA came back and tried to apply a full court press to stop the bleeding. It didn't even slow down Stanford as the one player they left open was found and easily in-bounded the ball to.
Since then it's been almost all Stanford as the Cardinal are on a 19-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half.

Making this run even worse for UCLA is that it is not just one player that is unstoppable, but all five players on the court for Stanford that are causing UCLA nightmares.

It's ugly, but stay tuned...

Stanford 53
UCLA 20

Time: 14:35

Half Time!

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Here we are at the half of the second semifinal game and there really aren't any surprises as Stanford is dominating.

Stanford's Hones and Appel are both already in double figures with 10 points a piece and all but one Stanford player -- Hones -- has at least one rebound in the half. The Cardinal are shooting 37.1% from the field, have 25 boards and 10 steals.

UCLA seems to have put themselves in a hole that I am not sure they can get out of. The Bruins' leading scorer -- Lindsey Pluimer -- has only two points in the half and their leading scorer for the game is freshman guard Doreena Campbell with four points. UCLA is only shooting 26.7% from the field and have yet to make a three-point shot (0-of-3) and free throw (0-of 4). With numbers like these from UCLA, the win over Stanford two months ago is looking more and more like a distant memory.

Stay tuned, we are about to start the second half.

Stanford 34
UCLA 16

Panic at the basketball game

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Yes, this is a take off from the band Panic at the Disco, but considering that it is a team's ability not to panic, I am going to borrow.

UCLA (16-14, 10-8 Pac-10) was able to not panic yesterday against USC to help them make it to today. Now if UCLA can keep that up while also getting Stanford's biggies in trouble, the Bruins may have a chance. After all, it was just two months ago when UCLA pulled off one of the biggest upsets in women's college basketball and Pac-10 play with their 69-56 win over Stanford at home.

Staying cool and collected may help UCLA today, they are also going to need some devine intervention to make it a game.

Stanford is just too strong of a team (yes, Choops, I wrote it) with so many great players that their off weekend in LA in January may be the last time we see them have at least one off game.

First, Stanford has the shooting touch and leadership of Candice Wiggins (team best 19.1 ppg) -- the All-Time Leading Scorer in the Pac-10, a Naismith Award finalist, etc, etc, etc. Add to that the presense of Jayne Appel (14.5 ppg) and Kayla Pedersen (third best 12.9 ppg) -- the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (the second consecutive award for the Stanford program). If this wasn't enough, Stanford is deep. From Jillian Harmon (7.2 ppg), Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (4.9 ppg) and JJ Hones 6.2 ppg), just about any combination the Cardinal puts on the floor is deadly for opposing teams.

There's 3:50 left in the half and Stanford is not even letting UCLA get close to their lead.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 27
UCLA 14

Game on!

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- We're half way through the first half and as expected, Stanford is owning UCLA.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 19
UCLA 8

Time: 8:51

January 20, 2008

As tough as it gets

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU football coach Dennis Erickson called this game before it even started when he told me that this was going to be a tough one.

Coach Erickson may know football, but it was his pre-game prediction of the 60-56 No. 7 Stanford (16-3, 6-2 Pac-10) victory over No. 25 ASU (11-7, 5-2 Pac-10) that is making him also look like his knows his women's college basketball.

"This is a tough place to play and coming in," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "I thought they had an enthusiastic crowd, they played hard, got us down, did things they really haven’t done since Charli has been here and we really struggled in the first half with finding the right shots we wanted."

It was the early minutes of the game where each team traded baskets which forshadowed a close game. Yet even after ASU jumped out to an eight point lead with 9:01 left in the first half, the Cardinal kept fighting back. ASU refused to let its lead slip away and even jumped out to as much as 14-points on Stanford, but it was a three-pointer by Stanford's JJ Hones with 1:06 in the half that was the beginning of Stanford getting the game back under control.

The first half was controlled by ASU, but it was the second half which would see Stanford take control of the game. The Cardinal took a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of the second half and then ultimately took the lead with 8:09 left to play.

"The run at the beginning of the second half gave us the confidence and maybe shook their confidence," said VanDerveer. "We got right back in it immediately in the second half and then we were right there. We just battled point-by-point. I thought we did some nice things, got some good shots and made some hustle."

However the Cardinal could only see their lead grow to as much as six points as ASU never gave up on trying to not be swept at home this weekend. Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, it was the Cardinal who gave them a devil of a time by holding onto the lead until it was solidified with a pair of freethrows by Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen with six-tenths of a second left on the clock.

"That's kind of the story of this team right now -- finishing things and staying with things consistently through the course of an entire basketball teams," said ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne, whose team has not been swept at home during Pac-10 play since the 2002-03 season against the Bay Area schools. "We can get away with some teams in playing 30 minutes or so, but obviously with a team like Stanford, it has to be 40 minutes. You have to finish out the game and keep your aggressiveness. Our goal was to stay energized and aggressive, and we didn't do that."

Statistical leaders for Stanford included Candice Wiggins with 18 points, Jayne Appel with 16 points and Kayla Pedersen with 12 points. Appel and Pedersen co-led the Cardinal with eight rebounds each.

ASU was paced by Briann January's 20 points and Kayli Murphy's 12 rebounds.

Stanford will next host No. 8/9 California on January 26 in what could be a preview of the Pac-10 tournament final while ASU travels up to face the Washington schools next weekend.

That's it for the Pac-10 blogapalooza this weekend!

Make the freebies!

TEMPE, Ariz -- Of all my pet peeves in women's basketball, ASU's Dymond Simon just illustrated one of them -- missing the free throw.

Yes, you've worked so hard to draw and get the foul called against the other team, so once you get to the free throw line, please make your shots! Instead, Simon missed the first of two and with Stanford widening its lead, this is not the time to miss those free shots.

Stay tuned...it's crunch time!

Stanford 53
ASU 47

Time: 1:29

Cold as ice

TEMPE, Ariz -- Stanford's Wiggins won the battle of 'ice vs. ace' last month when Stanford played Tennessee, but right now, she is shooting cold as ice in this game.

Wiggins is shooting a dismal 4-for-14 from the field and 2-for-7 from three-point land for the game.

Burr...

Stay tuned...

Stanford 47
ASU 42

Time: 3:55

Oh Noe You Don't!

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU's Jill Noe (pronounced no) just drove the lane into Stanford's trees and was quickly shown to a seat on the floor.

After trading baskets, Stanford is enjoying the lead for the moment, 43-40.

Stay tuned...

Time: 6:59

It's all about the knees

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU is currently up by four points during our time out and with so many ACL injuries in women's college basketball this season, it's about time to start a knee brace or taped knee count.

In this game ASU has 1 taped player (January) and two braces (Dymond Simon and Sybil Dosty) while Stanford is 0-2 in the count.

Since starting this entry Stanford has chopped-up ASU's lead and taking over with a slight edge.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 39
ASU 38

Time: 9:12

Running down a lead

TEMPE, Ariz -- It's the first time out of the second half and Stanford has come out with guns blazing.

The Cardinal are on a 7-0 run here in the first three minutes of the half and just warming up.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 27
ASU 31

Time: 17:00

Bad Karma Boyko?

TEMPE, Ariz -- ASU's Briann January just took down Stanford's Candice Wiggins to the ground on an out-of-control layup. Everyone gasped, either in fear of one of the players being injured or to see how Wiggins would react. Instead, Wiggins quickly jumped up to her feet and moved away from January laying on the floor. While Wiggins was being surrounded by her teammates Hays raised an eyebrow in my direction.

Before the game I was telling Hays the story about the incident at the end of the UCLA at USC women's game yesterday when it was determined that if another altercation breaks out in today's game, I may be the bearer of bad karma in a game.

Yeah, I may have a few women's basketball sports information directors not allow me to cover the games if I go 2-for-2 this weekend in altercations.

ASU is on a high as they have extended their lead to 11 in this heated battle.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 17
ASU 28

Time: 1:38

Get rid of the lid

TEMPE, Ariz -- My title may be what is going through the mind of the Stanford players right now.

The Cardinal are shooting a sad 20% from the field while ASU is lighting up the scoreboard with its 44% shooting.

Yes, Stanford is taking some bad shots, but there have been more than a few shots that have gone in and out of the basket.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 11
ASU 17

Time: 7:27

The Yellow Submarine Strikes First

TEMPE, Ariz -- The Beatles are one of my favorite bands of all time and with the sea of ASU yellow in the crowd, I am reminded of a certain song by the Beatles that shares this color.

It early in the game and if these two teams can keep up their intensity for next 35 minutes, this may be another game this weekend that will come down to the wire.

After trading missed opening shots, ASU got on the board first and is currently holding a slight edge over Stanford.

Stanford has opted for a man defense in the opening minutes while ASU is in a 3-2 zone.

ASU just did its first mass substitution to keep fresh legs on the floor and we are at a time out.

Stay tuned...

Stanford 6
ASU 10

Supporting The Sun Devils

TEMPE, Ariz -- We still have a few minutes before starting here in the Wells Fargo Arena and while walking back from the press room with and savoring my last bites of pizza, I see ASU football coach Dennis Erickson walking down the ramp towards the court.

Yup, the Pac-10 Football Coach of the Year is on hand to support one of the other ASU teams.

Before he took his seat here is what Erickson told me of his impression of today's match-up:

"This is going to be a tough one."

Stay tuned...

Of Sun Devils and Trees

TEMPE, Ariz -- It's a blogapalooza for Pac-10 women's basketball this weekend as we are llive from downtown Tempe for No. 7/6 Stanford visiting No. 25 ASU.

This was supposed to be one of the biggest match-ups of the year in Pac-10 women's basketball, but with Stanford having dropped two Pac-10 games while in Los Angeles two weeks ago and ASU having a rough time during the preseason, both teams still have a lot of questions surrounding them.

Stanford is coming off a Thrusday night 89-64 blowout of Arizona in Tucson and looking to make it two weeks in a row of sweeping their opponents. In their last game the Cardinal were led by Arizona native and freshman Kayla Pedersen with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds. Sophomore Jayne Appel recorded her fifth double-double of the season with her 16 points and 11 rebounds. In total there were five Stanford players who finished with double-doubles (senior Candice Wiggings, sophomore JJ Hones and junior Morgan Clyburn rounded out the five) and the team finished with a season-high 60.7% shooting.

Yet with all of the momentum the Cardinal have coming in today, the Sun Devils are hoping to pick-up another Pac-10 win after losing to visiting Cal, 51-64, on Thursday. In addition, it was a year ago when these two teams duked it out through overtime only to see Stanford come out on top, 73-65.

ASU is being paced by junior transfer Lauren Lacey's 12.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg and junior Briann January's 11.8 ppg. The real key for the Sun Devils is how long it will take for them to find their identity for this season. The Sun Devils entered this season with lots of momentum after finishing in the Elite Eight -- the program's best finish in its history -- but not enjoying the same kind of success. ASU finished the preseason with a 6-5 record and has dropped to the bottom of the top 25 after being ranked No. 12 in the preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll.

Today's game should be lively as it is part of the NCAA's "Pack the House Challenge" and there's a full house along press row. Along with sitting next to Graham Hays of ESPN.com, Fox Sports is to my right, the Sun Devil Sports Network radio is to my left and across the court there is media sitting on the floor among the officials.

Stay tuned, we are tipping off in 30 mintues...

January 06, 2008

An LA Story

The last time Stanford lost back-to-back Pac-10 games while in LA was in the 1993-94 season. History repeated itself this weekend as a new LA story was written thanks to a 73-72 win by USC.

"It’s such a big win, part of the reason is because I have so much respect for (Stanford coach) Tara VanDerveer as she is an awesome coach," said USC coach Mark Trakh who has never beaten a Stanford team in his 15 years of coaching at the Division I level. "I think this is why this means so much. Stanford is the benchmark for all of us. We are all reaching to be like Stanford."

Helping to make this LA story so exciting was the game-winning bucket by junior guard Camille LeNoir with eight seconds left and then fifth-year senior Allison Jaskowiak-Kennedy stopping a last-second shot by Stanford's senior Candice Wiggins. After the final buzzer sounded, it was an emotional scene on the court.

"I wasn't thinking of anything as the play was supposed to go to (junior) Nadia Parker, but she wasn't open so we set another pick-n-roll screen," described LeNoir. "I just let it go and it went in. I've never jumped this high in my life with my two bad hips."

From the USC team celebrating one of the biggest upsets of the year and Stanford suffering its first back-to-back conference loss on the road since the 2003-04 season when they lost at the Arizona schools, history was made in the Galen Center today.

"I thought we did a much better job this afternoon than Friday night against UCLA," said VanDerveer. "Credit USC, they made big plays when they needed to. We did not do a good job from the three-point line or the free-throw line. We did a great job rebounding (38) and took care of the ball. We played hard enough to win, but had some defensive breakdowns that hurt us and I thought they made a lot of big shots."

Helping USC hold on and win today was their ability to never let Stanford get too far ahead or make too much of a run during the game. The most Stanford led at any point in the game was five points and each time USC came through with clutch shots to keep it close.

"Both teams were scoring on each other and it was a matter of who was going to have the ball last," said Trakh. "(Sophomore) Jayne Appel was a monster down there and really had no answer for her or (freshman) Kayla Pedersen. This is big for us as if we want any NCAA [Tournament] consideration at the end of the year, we needed to win."

Unlike the last time USC and Stanford met during the Pac-10 women's tournament last March when Wiggins had a career and conference tournament record-breaking night by hitting eight three-point shots, it was the Women of Troy who were deadly from three-point land. USC hit 57.9% of their three-point shots while Stanford struggled from outside the arch by shooting 15%. In addition, USC also edged Stanford out at the free-throw line by
connecting on 57.1% of their shots as opposed to Stanford's 55% shooting from the line.

The big shot at the end by LeNoir capped off her team-leading 21 points for the night. Meanwhile sophomore Heather Oliver chipped-in with 13 points of her own and Parker rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12. USC's bench contributed with a total of 12 points.

"Obviously everybody wearing cardinal and gold is happy tonight," said Trakh.

Meanwhile for Stanford it was Appel who paced the Cardinal with 22 points and 11 boards. Wiggins finished with 17 points while Pac-10 Freshman of the Year candidate Pedersen finished with 14 points of her own. Stanford's bench only accounted for five points, all by sophomore Rosalyn Gold-Onwude.

USC will travel to the Washington schools next weekend with their current 9-6 and 2-2 Pac-10 records while Stanford gets to stay home to host the Oregon schools with their new 12-3 and 2-2 Pac-10 records.

That's it from LA where history was made all over town this weekend.

And the winner is...

USC 73-72...

OH MY...

Stay tuned...post-game report to come...

Alli J is in da house!

This game is far from over thanks to a nice three-pointer just hit by USC's Allison Jaskowiak-Kennedy.

Stanford is only ahead by two, but there's 1:31 left and the Trojans are heating things up.

It's 71-69 so it's far from being over.

Stay tuned...

Nothing against nothing

There's seven minutes left here and Stanford is up by one, 56-55.

Neither team is playing with a lot of confidence today and it is showing. From half-hearted and rushed shots to poor shooting percentages (neither team is shooting better than 50%). It's as if the gloom from outside has come inside to the Galen Center.

If I could sneak down to each bench and pass out some chocolate to give each team some energy I would as each team needs a shot of something to get something going before the final buzzer.

Stay tuned, something exciting has to happen here soon...

It's wacky out here in the west...

So who would've thought that UCLA would beat Stanford on Friday night and then take Cal to overtime and lose in the final minute on Sunday?

Meanwhile here at the Galen Center USC is now up 48-43 in the second half and this could be another legendary game in the making.

Stay tuned...

Wow, wow, wow...

It's halftime and we are all tied up here at the Galen Center.

USC's LeNoir is leading the Trojans with 13 points and Appel is leading Stanford with 10...

It's 32 all and time for a break.

Be back soon.

Upsetting news

Just heard that UCLA and Cal are in overtime over at Pauley Pavilion. If the Bruins can pull off a second upset of the weekend here in LA, the Pac-10 needs to start a coach of the week honors with Kathy Olivier as the first.

Meanwhile Stanford is now on top 24-21 here with seven minutes to play. Still lots of time, but if Wiggins gets hot with her shot this game will be uglier than LA traffic during Storm Watch 2008 (hint: us Angelenos can't drive in the rain very well because we don't see rain enough to know how to drive in it).

Who's in control?

It's six minutes into the game here at the Galen Center and neither team seems ready to take control of the game.

USC has a slight edge on Stanford with their 43% shooting from the field (Stanford is shooting a mere 38%), but with the score tied at 8, this could be a lot closer than expected.

Stay tuned...

I Love LA

We've still got a good 20+ minutes to go but with the curtains open on the north side of the Galen Center, it's a surreal feeling here today. With the curtains open one can see the downtown LA skyline up against a grey sky background and palm trees in the foreground. It's rare to have the curtains open during a game here, but pretty stunning none-the-less.

Just another reason why LA rocks.

Forecast: Good Game

It's overcast and dreary outside of the Galen Center on USC's campus today, but with tip-off between visiting Stanford (12-2, 2-1 Pac-10) and home team USC (8-6, 1-2 Pac-10) coming up, things are about to look a lot brighter in this part of town.

Stanford is coming off one of the most shocking losses of the year in women's college basketball. After getting handed their first conference loss at USC's cross-town rival UCLA on Friday night, it is still TBD whether or not the entire Cardinal team has found their mojo (energy) on the court during their day off. Players that should have a big game this afternoon for Stanford include CSTV.com Wade Watch Candidate Candice Wiggins who had 29 points and 10 rebounds and Jayne Appel with 17 points and eight rebounds against UCLA.

Meanwhile home team USC is getting ready to face their third consecutive ranked opponent this afternoon. The Trojans are on a two-game losing streak after falling to No. 10 Cal on Friday night 57-52, and No. 24 Arizona State 66-63 last weekend when conference play started, so a win against Stanford would help take some of the sting off these recent losses. Players to watch on this Trojan team that has been plagued with injury problems for too many years now include Nadia Parker (11.8 ppg), Camille LeNoir (10.4 ppg) and Morghan Medlock (8.4 ppg).

Stay tuned, we're waiting out the warm-ups...

January 04, 2008

A Legendary Night

UCLA has never in the history of its women's basketball program beaten a team ranked higher than No. 4. Yet considering that the Bruins play in the legendary Pauley Pavilion where John Wooden's success is immortalized, it's no surprise to see the women's program enjoy a legend making moment of their own.

That night was tonight as the unranked UCLA Bruins not just edged out, but solidly beat No. 2-ranked Stanford 69-56.

"This was a very good win for our program and I think our non-conference schedule prepared us for a team like Stanford," said UCLA coach Kathy Olivier. "Our team is fearless and out to play anyone. We are going to be ready for anyone."

The fearlessness of this UCLA team was seen early on when the Bruins enjoyed an 11-point lead twice in the first half. Yet instead of falling behind and letting their opponent make a run on them (as what Maryland did late in the second half), the Bruins stayed strong and shook off the Cardinal coming within four points both at the end of the first half.

"I thought our team did a great job of staying focused for 40 minutes," said Olivier. "We played for 40 minutes and when we do this, we can play against good people."

Part of UCLA being able to stay focused is the balanced attack of scoring and rebounding from all players on the court. UCLA was led by freshman Darxia Morris with 20 points and senior Lindsey Pluimer with 13. Yet when all players except one scored tonight and everyone who saw playing action grabbed at least one rebound, it was this team effort that enabled them to get the win.

"I think our team was sick of playing with teams at the top and not being able to finish," said Pluimer. "We learned from those games and you could tell at the end that we were slowing the ball down, using the clock and being patient which came from the Maryland and Tennessee games."

Despite getting within reaching distance many times during the game, Stanford's struggles were painfully obvious as their energy level was not where it should have been and not putting in a team effort for the night.

"We had trouble defensively and didn’t have the energy we needed as a team," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "I was very disappointed overall with our team effort and we missed an incredible number of point-blank shots and free throws. I thought we rebounded well and had a lot of good opportunities, just didn’t knock them down."

Stanford was led by senior Candice Wiggins and her 29 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Jayne Appel with 17 points and eight rebounds.

"It's hard to explain a game like this," said Wiggins. "We knew what to expect and that they were a great team who had played great teams close and they are very good at home. Unfortunately bad shooting and getting in the hole early, we were unable to fight out of this one."

Knock-off!

That's it, UCLA has knocked-off No. 2 Stanford 69-56.

Post game wrap-up to come...

Upsetting situation

There's less than a minute left and UCLA is up 67-56.

Stanford is forcing shots and making bad decisions which are two good signs that they are going down to this unranked UCLA team that has been unpredictable for the last month.

Stay tuned...

Crunch time

There's three minutes left and Stanford may be in trouble.

UCLA is up 63-54 and with the Cardinal shooting touch only being luke warm at 32.8%, we may have an upset brewing here at UCLA.

Stay tuned...

It's Wiggins' World

Candice Wiggins just scored a nice lay-up on a fast-break pass and now has 21 points for the game.

I am guessing that she finishes with at least 30 points which will give her a second 30-point game.

In addition, she's getting hotter as the game goes on. With Wiggins' last three-pointer, the Cardinal are back in this by only being down seven with seven minutes to go.

Seeing her score either from NBA three-point land or under control on a fast-break reminds me that out west it is Wiggins' world and we are all just watching.

Stay tuned...

Now is the time!!!

Not sure if that is exactly what Wiggins just said to her teammates as they returned to the floor from their second time out of the half, but the expression on her face tells me that it was something along those lines as she was trying to fire up her teammates to get back in this game.

Stanford needs to find their mojo real quick here if they are going to walk away winners tonight.

UCLA on the other hand is saying the same thing, but in a much more positive light as they are trying to preserve their 13-point lead.

There's a lot of time left, so stay tuned...

UCLA 50
Stanford 37

And we're back...

We're not even two minutes into the second half and Stanford has taken a time out. Considering that UCLA has come out of halftime on fire and regained a 10-point lead, I'm not surprised to see Stanford using a time out to cool off the Bruins.

Stay tuned...

UCLA 44
Stanford 34

Not the halftime score expected

It's 38-34 and UCLA is still in the lead.

Granted, this is not the halftime score that I think ANYONE expected, but that's the reality of this wet and wacky night here in LA.

Stanford is being paced by Wiggins and her 16 points (which include two three-pointers) and Jayne Appel's 13 points. On the boards, the Cardinal's Jillian Harmon is leading the way with eight and Appel with five.

UCLA is led by Darxia Morris' 11 points and Chinyere Ibekwe's four boards.

The secret to UCLA's success of the first half, solid shooting. The Bruins are shooting 48.3% from the field which is edging out Stanford's 40.5% shooting from the field.

For our halftime entertainment we have two pee-wee girls basketball teams making their debut here at Pauley Pavilion. Makes me remember the good old days of when all I needed was basketball and water to live on.

Stay tuned...

UCLA 38
Stanford 34

Honing in!

That's the only way to describe the three-point shot just made by Stanford's JJ Hones. She was so focused and in control of her shot that there was no way she was going to miss it.

UCLA's lead had now been cut to four points as we head into halftime.

Stay tuned, halftime report to come...

Pouring it on

Usually the only thing I like to watch being poured on is hot fudge on top of ice cream.

However, since there is no ice cream to be found and it's game time, the only thing being poured on is the points by UCLA. That's right, the unranked Bruins have built a healthy 21-12 lead on Stanford at the halfway point of the first half.

The Cardinal are shooting a dismal 26.7% while the Bruins are pouring it on with their 58.3% shooting from the field. Not helping the Stanford fight to stay No. 2 in the country is the seven turnovers that they have now committed. Helping add some emphasis to these turnovers is the UCLA band chanting "We're No. 1 in turnovers!" Gotta love the band (especailly since they are directly behind me and I get to hear every smart remark coming from this peanut gallery).

Stay tuned...

What's hot and cold

It's so chilly here in LA tonight that I actually wore a scarf and heavy coat to brave the rain (yes, that means it is below 65 here).

However the only thing in LA that is chilly is the temperature outside as the UCLA Bruins are playing pretty hot during the opening minutes.

UCLA is now up 9-4 and with Staford's Appel just getting called for a traveling violation in the paint and Kayla Pedersen missing her first two free-throws it's taking a while for the Cardinal to warm up.

Stay tuned...

Cardinal Storm into LA

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Storm watch 2008 is in effect here in Los Angeles this weekend because of heavy rain that is expected.

The same could also be said in the world of women's college basketball as Stanford storms into town for games against UCLA tonight and USC on Sunday afternoon.

First things first as the Bruins host the No. 2-ranked Cardinal in 30 minutes.

Stanford comes to LA riding a nine-game win streak that is highlighted by their upset of then No. 1-ranked Tennessee (73-69 (ot)) on December 22.

It should come as no surprise that the Cardinal are led by senior Candice Wiggins (aka Superwoman of the West) with 17.5 ppg. On the boards for the Cardinal it is one of the freshmen on the team Kayla Pedersen with 8.9 rpg. Yet with other players such as sophomore Jayne Appel, junior Jillian Harmon and sophomore Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, the Cardinal are ready to pour it on from all over the court.

UCLA on the other side continues to struggle. Ever since losing to No. 3 Maryland in November, the Bruins are hoping that the new year will bring more wins than losses their way. UCLA finished the month of December with a 3-5 record. The Bruins are led by senior Lindsey Pluimer (13.9 ppg and 7.5 rbg). Freshmen that have made their presence known early in their career include Regina 'Gigi' Rogers, Nina Earl and Doreena Campbell.

Stanford seems unstoppable right now, but the Bruins would love to start off the year with an upset of their own.

Stay tuned...

December 23, 2007

STANFORD FINALLY BEATS TENNESSEE

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Of all the players to have the potential to put the nail in the coffin of Tennessee's 16-game winning streak, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude wouldn't be the first player to come to mind.

But in a thrilling 73-69 Stanford (10-1) overtime victory over visitng No. 1 Tennessee (10-1) Saturday night, Gold-Onwude was the difference maker in the final seconds.

Continue reading "STANFORD FINALLY BEATS TENNESSEE" »

STANFORD PULLS IT OUT

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The crowd is still here waving its towels and going crazy and they have every right to do so. The Cardnial held on for a 73-69 win over No. 1 Tennessee in one of the best women's basketball games of the year.

Tennessee had the ball down two and everyone expected Parker to take the game-tying or game-winning shot, but instead she kicked the ball to the arc, and after a couple of passes Shannon Bobbit lost the ball and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude hit two free throws to ice the game.

Stay tuned for reaction to the game.

TENNESSEE UP ONE

PALO ALTO, Calif - Jayne Apepel (who has otherwise been exceptional tonight) misses a layup and going the other way Alexis Hornbuckle misses a layup which would have put Tennessee up three.

Stanford is down one, with the ball with 1:35 left.

PARKER COMES THROUGH, GOING TO OVERTIME

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Candice Wiggins was at the line with a chance to ice the game, but she missed both of her free throws (she was 10-12 from the line before those misses).

Candace Parker then grabbed the rebound, took it herself, and from seven feet out bounced home the game tying shot.

Stanford couldn't get a shot off and you could literally hear the air go out of the Cardnial fans.

Five more minutes (at least), and the Vol are in serious foul trouble (they are already without Anosike).

STANFORD UP TWO WITH THE BALL, 22.6 left

PALO ALTO, Calif - Wiggens got a steal and made two free throws to put the Cardnial up four but Parker came right back down and drove to the hols to close the deficit to two, at 63-61.

Stanford looks in good shape, but Tennessee's 16-game winning streak isn't over yet.

CANDICE PUTS STANFORD ON TOP, FOR NOW

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The "Go Stanford" chant is rattling throughout Maples after Candice Wiggins made ajumper from the free throw line with 44.4 seconds left to put Stanford up 61-59.

Now is it Candace's turn?

OH MY, ALL TIED WITH 1:32 LEFT.

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Candice Wiggins just made two free throws to give her 17 for the game and tie the game at 59.

Tennessee has three players on the court with four fouls and Maples is shaking.

BOBBITT SILENCES CROWD

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Shannon Bobbit hadn't made a 3-pointer all game, but she just sunk one to put the Vols back on top at 58-56.

Parker just made a free throw to put Tennessee up 59-56.

Stanford hasn't made a shot from the field since the 6:30 mark.

THIS JUST IN: SUMMITT IS SMART

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Alexis Hornbuckle picked up her fourth personal foul with 5:30 left, but Summitt kept her in and on the next Tennessee possesion the senior sunk a 3-pointer to make 54-53 Stanford.

It's now 56-53 Cardnial at the last T.V. timeout with 3:45 left. Here we go.....

December 22, 2007

WHEN WILL PARKER TAKE OVER?

PALO ALTO, Calif. - You can almost feel it coming.

Parker is having a good game, with 16 points, but she by no means looks like the greatest women's college basketball player ever tonight. Although, she just might in the final 7 minutes, 16 seconds.

The Vols have stuggled shooting the ball in the second half, going 5-20 from the floor. The Vols went 15-27 in the first half.

The two team are trading baskets, and Stanford now leads 53-48 with 6:04 left.

ANOSIKE PICKS UP FOURTH FOUL

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Wiggins hits two free throws to make 47-45 Stanford, but what might hurt more for Vol fans is that Nicky Anosike will have to sit for much of the rest of game with four fouls.

Tennessee's Hornbuckle and Bjorklund will have to be careful because they have three fouls each.

There is 8:16 left and it is still 47-45.

STANFORD UP TWO

PALO ALTO, Calif - Jayne Apple is holding her own with Tennessee's trees inside, scoring 14 points, which included the last basket which put the Cardnial up 43-41.

As I type Stanford made a couple of free throws to make it 45-41 and the Vols need to be careful that this game doesn't get away from them.

Stanford has outscored Tennessee 18-10 in the second half.

The final 10 minutes should be a danzy.

IT'S WIGGINS TIME

PALO ATLO, Calif. - After a poor first half, Wiggins has scored seven points so far in the second half and Stanford has taken its first lead at 39-38 at the 14:00 mark.

Maples is finally rocking and Tennessee looks flustered.

STANFORD GETS CLOSER, VOLS IN FOUL TROUBLE

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Wiggins scores a layup and is fouled, to make it 33-30 TENN . Seconds earlier Alexis Hornbuckle picked up third personal foul.

Right now, Candace Parker has two fouls and Angie Bjorklund is with Hornbuckle with three fouls.

The crowd is starting to show some more life and Standord is only down four, at 38-34 with 15:21 left.

STANFORD STAYS CLOSE

PALO ALTO, Calif - Stanford scored the last five points of the first half to clse the deficit to six, at 33-27.

The Cardnial's Rosalyn Gold-Onwude got her only points of the half in the final minute, when she got a steal and layed it in.

Overall, it was (and I know this is a shock) the Candace Parker show in the first half, leading all scorers with 10 points. On the other hand, Candice Wiggins had six points, but went 1-4 from behind the arc. It goes without saying she will have to do better in the second half if Stanford is going to pull off the upset.

The Black Eyed Peas song, "Let's Get it Started" is playing in Maples and that is what Stanford needs.

VOLS UP DOUBLE DIGITS

PALO ALTO, Calif - Candice Wiggins hit her first 3-pointer of the game and the crowd started twirling its towels, but Tennessee keeps getting inside and making baskets.

Parker is queitly having a good half, with 10 points (5-8 from the field) and Tennessee leads 33-22 with 1:30 left in the half.

TENNESSEE CAN'T MISS

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Vols are shooting 68 percent (11-16) to start the game and hold a 23-17 lead.

The crowd (which is 90-10 Stanford fans) has been a non-factorm - this is by no means a hostile environment.

But what should really scare Cardnial fans is that Wiggins only has two points in the first 14 minutes.

TRYING TO CONTAIN CANDACE

PALO ALTO, Calif. - At the second T.V. timeout, thanks to seven points from Alexis Hornbuckle the Vols lead 13-9.

It seems clear that the strategy Stanford has to stop Parker is to not let her get the ball in the first place. The Cardnial are putting their two big women, Jayne Appel and Kayla Pederson, on her to try and deny the ball. So far Parker has four points. Scratch that, she just made one to make it six :).

Stanford is shoot 4-12 from the field, and that clearly won't cut it.

Update as I type: Tennessee 17, Stanford 11

NOT PRETTY BUT EXCITING

PALO ALTO, Calif. - There were seven turnovers and the two teams have combined to go 5-15 from the field in the first five minutes, but it sure has been up and down basketball.

Alexis Hornbuckley has scored four points to lead Tennessee to an early 6-4 lead.

GAME TIME

PALO ALTO, Calif - The national anthem has been sung and Maples is filled to capacity.

You know it's a big sporting event when the athletic department hands out "Rally Towels." It also makes it easy to see where the Tennessee fans are because they are the only people not slinging around thier towel like a helicopter.

The atmosphere here is a little different than a regular Stanford game. Usually students are packed in by the floor, but with it being Christmans break, they got old people by the floor instead (not that there is anything wrong with old people).

Anyway, here we go...

MAPLES IS FILLING UP

PALO ALTO, Calif - We are still 25 minutes before tip-off, but Maples Pavillion is filling up with Cardnial red and Rocky Top orange.

Candace Parker might be on the opposing team for a majority of fans, but it didn't stop some teenage girls from yelling, "Candace we love you," during pregame warmups.

What will be interesting is to see is if Parker will matchup against the other Candice (Wiggins) on defense. Something to look for.

AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT: TENNESSEE VS. STANFORD

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The best of the West will go up against the best in the South Saturday in what has the potential to be an absolute classic at The Farm.

Two of college basketball's best players, two of college basketball's best coaches, and two of the most storied programs of all college sports will meet when No. 1 Tennessee (10-0) goes up against No. 4 Stanford (9-1) at 7:30 p.m. PST.

Continue reading "AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT: TENNESSEE VS. STANFORD" »

November 11, 2007

Finish For A Season

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Don't believe in fate? Rutgers does now.

The last time the Scarlet Knights played in a game that was decided by free throws it was in last year's Sweet 16 against then top-ranked Duke. In that game, Duke's Lindsey Harding stood on the charity stripe with .01 seconds remaining, only to miss, sending Rutgers ultimatley into the Final Four.

Fast forward to the first game of the 2007-08 season for No. 3 Rutgers, this time against No. 7 Stanford in the friendly confines of the RAC, and again free throws determined the outcome of the game.

But this time they were made, and not missed, and this time it was Rutgers who must go to bed with that empty feeling of losing their opening game of the year.

Again with .01 seconds on the game clock, All-American Candice Wiggins had the ball for Stanford near her own team's three point line, seemingly resigned to let the game go into overtime, when it happened.

Continue reading "Finish For A Season" »

Down To The Wire

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - This game is going down to the wire.

With 8 mins to play and the score 47-46 in favor of Rutgers - for this moment, at least - the Scarlet Knights will try to hold on.

Every time Rutgers takes a lead though, Stanford answers. The duo of Appel and Pedersen - who are playing with three and four fouls, respectively - has been dominant. Both players have a double double tonight, with Appel sitting on 16 points, 12 rebounds, and Pedersen, 13 points and 11.

Continue reading "Down To The Wire" »

Average Car, Star Player

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - As a consumer motorist I don't know if I'm buying myself a Kia, as a women's basketball writer, Kia is definitely the way to go.

Vaughn is an All-American and Wade Trophy candidate, but as of 13:51 to go in the game, Vaughn had zero points and three fouls in her first game of the new season.

Continue reading "Average Car, Star Player" »

Ticky Tacky

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The fouls are starting to mount up for both teams as Stanford leads by one, 38-37, with under 18 minutes to play in the game.

First Stanford's Kayla Pedersen, who was leading the team in scoring and rebounding, pikced up her third foul with 19;29 to go in the.

Seconds later, Rutgers' Kia Vaughn picked up her third.

Both centers will need to be careful the rest of the way as both are vital to their team's success. The refs are calling a tough game, not afraid to blow their whistles and the RU crowd - and C. Viv especially - are getting a little testy.

Continue reading "Ticky Tacky" »

Scarlet Half

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After the first half of the first game I have seen live in 2007-08, I can safely say that I am winded already.

What a fast-paced tempo to this game featuring two Top 10 teams. After one frame, Rutgers takes a 37-36 lead on an Essence Carson three with seconds to go.

Continue reading "Scarlet Half" »

Baby Cardinal

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With 11:14 remaining in the first half, and the score Stanford 15, Rutgers 13, by far the most impressive player on the court thus far is playing in only her second collegiate game.

Stanford's center Kayla Pedersen has nine points and four boards already and has been everywhere for the Cardinal, even hitting a three. Pedersen leads all scorers and rebounders.

Continue reading "Baby Cardinal" »

Rings And Things

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Before tonight's game, Rutgers team members, players and coaches who were apart of last year's Final Four run will receive their NCAA Final Four rings.

Tonight also sees the official raising of the new National Finalist banner that now hangs in the RAC next to the Scarlet Knights' 2000 Final Four banner.

Continue reading "Rings And Things" »

Three Days Old

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With the season only three days old, already we've seen some top matches across the country.

None can be bigger than what will take place in New Jersey Sunday night when the Pac-10's No. 7 Stanford Cardinal and the national runners-up, No. 3 Rutgers tangle at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, AKA the RAC.

Continue reading "Three Days Old" »