STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- After twisting a knee in the first half,
Candice Wiggins returned to help Stanford finish off Rice.
Wiggins scored 19 points to lead Stanford (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) to an 83-53 win
over Rice on Saturday.
Wiggins gave the Cardinal a scare in the first half when she
crashed to the floor after colliding with a Rice player. She was
helped off the court clutching her left knee, but returned to the
game less than 2 minutes later.
"I was concerned," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. " I
was hoping she just banged it. If she had gone down, it would have
change things for us drastically."
Stanford is already playing without junior center Kristen
Newlin, who has been sidelined with a stress reaction to her left
knee since a Dec. 4 loss to No. 2 Tennessee. Against Tennessee,
Newlin scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
"I was jumping for a ball and my leg twisted," Wiggins said.
"But it was OK and now it's just a little sore."
However, freshman Jillian Harmon added 15 points, and Brooke
Smith had her first double-double of the season for the Cardinal,
finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds and helping to make up for
the loss of Newlin..
"Brooke did a great job rebounding," VanDerveer said. "I
thought her performance was one of the highlights of the game."
"Everyone just needed to step up to take the place of
Kristen," added Harmon.
Stanford (5-2) opened the game with a 12-0 run. The Cardinal
then took advantage of Rice's dreadful shooting to build the lead.
"You can't win when you shoot 24 percent," Rice coach Greg
Williams said. "We had just a horrendous shooting game.
Our inside game isn't very good right now and Stanford just took
advantage of that."
The Owls (3-4), who had not played since Dec. 3, hit only 17 of
their 72 shots in the game. Krystal Frazier led the Owls with nine