10:00 PM ET, February 2, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Tara VanDerveer's motivational technique for getting her team to rebound is working.Each practice, her players run sets of lines for the difference in their total number of offensive rebounds if their opponent grabs more.Brooke Smith had 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals and No. 15 Stanford jumped out to a big lead early on the way to winning its 43rd straight conference home game, 79-58 over Oregon on Thursday night.The Cardinal grabbed 14 offensive boards to Oregon's 12, meaning the Cardinal now need another day of the same Saturday against Oregon State for next week to be completely sprint-free."I think we played with a lot of energy today, especially in the first half," Smith said. "We talked about it right before we went on the court, the five of us, about having a quick start."Candice Wiggins added 15 points and eight rebounds and the Cardinal (15-5, 10-2 Pac-10) shot 48.2 percent on the way to their seventh straight victory in Maples Pavilion since a 74-67 loss to Tennessee on Dec. 4.VanDerveer, in her 20th season as Stanford's coach, moved one victory away from her 650th career win and within three of her 500th victory while in charge of the Cardinal.Stanford hasn't lost a conference game in Maples Pavilion since a 62-59 defeat March 1, 2001, to Southern California.Wiggins, the Cardinal's sophomore star who on Sunday became the 26th player in school history to score 1,000 career points, made all nine of her free throws. She sank two to start a 19-7 second-half run that ended with her three-point play for a 30-point lead, 59-29.It was another strong performance against Oregon for Wiggins, the reigning Pac-10 player of the year and conference freshman of the year. She scored a career-high 37 points against the Ducks in Eugene on Jan. 7.Freshman Rosalyn Gold-Onwude made three 3-pointers for nine points and also had seven rebounds and four assists for the Cardinal, who earned their third straight win over the Ducks and ninth in the last 11 meetings. Krista Rappahahn also had three 3s and Eziamaka Okafor, sidelined most of the last three seasons with injuries, added eight points and five boards.Stanford's supporting cast is determined to do more to take the pressure off Smith and Wiggins."I've watched them on tape the last few games and Tara has used her bench a little more to be stoppers or be scorers," Bev Smith said. "Obviously that's important for them as they finish off the season and head into the Pac-10 tournament."Brandi Davis had 15 points -- all on 3-pointers -- and Gabrielle Richards added 10 points and eight rebounds as Oregon (13-8, 4-7) fell to 0-6 on the road in Pac-10 play and lost its seventh straight overall away from McArthur Court.The cold-shooting Ducks, who had won three of their previous four following a three-game skid, fell behind early and never recovered against the conference's first-place team. Stanford held a 44-29 rebounding edge."I thought we played very tentatively in the first four minutes offensively," Bev Smith said. "They got the rhythm and tempo of the game and we were never able to wrestle it back."Davis hit three 3-pointers during a stretch of four straight by Oregon midway through the first half that got the Ducks back within striking distance. But after Davis' third 3 pulled Oregon within 19-14, Stanford went on a 13-0 run to open up a 20-point lead and Oregon never recovered."It was really important to us because our team has struggled coming out really strong," VanDerveer said. "It's good to see our team come out and play with a sense of urgency."Stanford had its seven-game winning streak snapped in a 90-80 loss at UCLA last Friday, but rallied from seven points down with a 23-7 run down the stretch to win 78-69 at USC.The Ducks missed their first nine field-goal attempts and fell behind 15-2 in the opening eight minutes before Davis' first 3-pointer.Stanford had four steals in the first 10 minutes, shot 48.1 percent to Oregon's 26.9 percent (7-for-26), and outrebounded the Ducks 24-13 on the way to a 38-20 halftime lead.
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