4:00 PM ET, January 1, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Candice Wiggins kept reminding herself to keep playing hard even though No. 14 Stanford had a lengthy lead. The Cardinal had lost twice in the past three games after leading by at least 14 points in the second half of each."It was a good reminder," Wiggins said after scoring a season-high 30 points in Stanford's 91-68 victory over UCLA on Sunday. "I never want to feel like we did at Boston and Washington. We won't forget it."Stanford led by 13 at halftime and kept increasing its lead to keep the Bruins at bay."Life on the road, it's not fun in the Pac-10," Bruins coach Kathy Olivier said. "We're out of sync right now and Stanford is playing well."Brooke Smith added 23 points and a career-high 14 rebounds as the Cardinal (8-4, 3-1 Pac-10) won their 39th consecutive home conference game. Krista Rappahahn had 17 points and Jillian Harmon contributed 10."We haven't been playing great second halves so we came out with a concentrated effort," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We knew they would come out in a press and I thought we handled it well."Lisa Willis, the Pac-10's leading scorer, scored 20 points and Nikki Blue finished with 13 for the Bruins (7-6, 2-2), who lost their fourth straight on the road and their 14th straight to Stanford.The game featured four of the top five scorers in the Pac-10. Willis, Wiggins and Smith did their part but UCLA's Noelle Quinn was held to a season-low eight points."We just didn't play our game," Willis said. "It's always tough but there was never a point in which we thought we wouldn't come back."Stanford played without junior center Kristen Newlin and sophomore guard Cissy Pierce. Newlin, who averages 12.3 points and 10.3 rebounds, missed her sixth game with an injured left leg. Pierce sustained a high left ankle sprain in the Cardinal's 77-56 victory over USC on Friday night.Smith recorded her fourth double-double, all within the last six games."I wasn't rebounding very well at the beginning of the season," Smith said. "With Kristen out I definitely became more accountable for rebounds. Coach says it's all about effort."The Bruins extended their defense to the full court to try to get back in the game in the second half, but Smith converted an uncontested layup to put the Cardinal ahead 62-40 with 12:51 left.The Bruins, who allowed a season-high eight 3-pointers, never got closer than 19 the rest of the way. It was their first loss by double digits. Their previous five losses were by an average of 6.8."Brooke is a force inside," Olivier said. "We didn't feel like single coverage would do the job. She didn't get that many easy looks but she kept her head up, got some offensive rebounds and scored on second chances."After falling behind early, Stanford went on a 15-2 run to pull ahead 20-8. The Bruins crept within three points several times but the Cardinal led 44-31 at halftime.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||29-71 (.408)||35-72 (.486)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-14 (.214)||8-22 (.364)|
|FT Made-Attempted||7-12 (.583)||13-14 (.929)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|