10:00 PM ET, December 10, 2004
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Freshman Candice Wiggins made sure Stanford opened its renovated arena with a victory.Wiggins, the daughter of the late former major leaguer Alan Wiggins, finished with 21 points and six steals in No. 2 Stanford's 85-49 victory over Pepperdine on Friday night."She's very gifted and does some things," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She rushed on offense but she really made things happen defensively. We have to take advantage of our depth and team speed and get out and run."Wiggins was at the point of a pressure defense that forced 26 turnovers and resulted in several easy baskets as Stanford extended its season-opening winning streak to six games."I think defense first," Wiggins said. "If I can create a steal and then maybe a layup that gives us a spark. I like creating my offense from my defense."Kristen Newlin added a season-high 16 points for the Cardinal, who played their first game in Maples Pavilion since February. Brooke Smith added 13 points.The $26 million modernization project of the facility, which opened in 1969, added theater-style seating, a hanging scoreboard and other amenities."We got kicked out in February," Newlin said. "It's a special place. It still has the same feel to it but a lot of things are different. It's gorgeous."Jennifer Lacy scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds for the Waves (2-7), who lost for the fifth time in six games.The Cardinal overwhelmed the undermanned Waves, who dressed just eight players."I thought we played well for 18 minutes and then it went bad for us," Pepperdine coach Julie Rousseau said. "We aren't deep but that's a reality we are familiar with. It's like that old television show 'Eight is Enough."Rousseau served as an assistant to VanDerveer the last four years, and Rousseau's staff includes former Cardinal stars Vanessa Nygaard and Kate Paye.In the closing minutes, the crowd started chanting for Jessica Elway, the freshman daughter of former Cardinal and Denver Broncos great John Elway. She made her first career 3-pointer with 4:23 remaining.Stanford extended its lead by scoring the first 15 points of the second half to finish off a 29-0 run.Pepperdine was held scoreless over the seven-minute span, missing eight shots and turning the ball over eight times.Wiggins, who was recruited to Stanford by Rousseau, was the key figure in creating havoc for the Waves."She's a great player," Rousseau said. "She gives Stanford another dimension they haven't had in the past and that's great athleticism."Lacy's basket with 3:42 left in the first half tied the game at 28, but it was all Stanford after that.The Cardinal pressured the Wave into 14 turnovers, four in the final four minutes of the half, and scored 14 straight to take a 42-28 advantage at the break. Newlin scored eight of her points during the stretch.Pepperdine didn't help itself by missing its final five shots of the half.Stanford has won seven of eight meetings between the schools.Stanford has its highest ranking since being No. 2 in March 2002. Stanford hasn't been ranked No. 1 since December 1996.
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