5:00 PM ET, February 4, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Tara VanDerveer has produced two remarkably successful decades at Stanford. Her current players, such as Candice Wiggins, watched the coach on television growing up and developed an admiration for VanDerveer's style.Her former players still come back to campus to cheer on the Cardinal.Wiggins scored 24 points and No. 15 Stanford earned VanDerveer her 650th career victory with an 87-54 win over Oregon State on Saturday.VanDerveer joked that she started coaching at age 12, and that's why she has reached this mark -- a milestone celebrated by the school with little fanfare, exactly to VanDerveer's liking."You win because you have great talent and you have to have a plan and work at doing something right," VanDerveer said. "We have a great program and I'm proud of what we've done at Stanford. As well as we've done, I think we have better things ahead. ... I started when I was young. I started when I was 12 years old."Wiggins hit three straight 3-pointers in one first-half stretch during a string of four consecutive 3s by the Cardinal (16-5, 11-2 Pac-10), who won their 44th straight Pac-10 game in Maples Pavilion. It was also their eighth straight home victory overall, with the last loss coming to Tennessee on Dec. 4, 74-67.The 52-year-old VanDerveer became the ninth Division-I women's coach to reach 650 wins and also moved within two victories of her 500th at Stanford, though such milestones aren't nearly as important to VanDerveer as keeping her team healthy through March.Krista Rappahahn added 10 points with two 3s, Brooke Smith had 11 points and six rebounds and the Cardinal began the second half with a 15-3 run to build a 54-30 lead on the way to their 12th straight win against Oregon State.While VanDerveer downplayed the significance of 650 wins -- saying "I'm not a scrapbook person, I'm not a numbers person" -- her players were proud of the accomplishment."That's a lot of wins and she deserves it more than anyone," Rappahahn said. "I was talking to my mom before the game and she said, 'Tara is going to have 650 wins,' and I said to my mom, 'Isn't it amazing?' She's such a knowledgeable coach and cares so much about you as a person."Kim Butler scored 18 points and Anita Rivera added 12 points for the Beavers (10-10, 4-8), who fell to 0-20 all-time in games at Stanford thanks to a sloppy second half.Wiggins, the reigning Pac-10 player of the year and conference freshman of the year, shot 7-for-12, made all six of her free throws and also had three rebounds, three steals and two assists. Kristen Newlin had 10 points and freshman Rosalyn Gold-Onwude dished out eight assists in another solid game.Stanford hasn't lost a conference game in Maples Pavilion since a 62-59 defeat March 1, 2001, to Southern California.VanDerveer again had the opportunity to empty her bench and get significant minutes for most everybody on the roster -- and the reserves even extended the lead.The Cardinal's 20th-year coach is keeping track of her team's offensive rebounds and when they don't outrebound their opponents on the offensive glass they have to run sprints every day in practice.On one series late in the first half, Oregon State grabbed three offensive boards before fouling Wiggins. Stanford got outrebounded 10-8 on the offensive end.Oregon State, which had won three of its last four games including a 63-55 win at California on Thursday night, didn't make its first field goal of the second half until Mercedes Fox-Griffin hit a 3 from the top of the arc at 14:35.The Beavers haven't swept the Bay Area schools since the 1994-95 season, but that was in Corvallis. Oregon State went 1-17 in Pac-10 play last season, so this season's strides have been encouraging for the program.Rappahahn scored Stanford's first five points and eight of the first 10 as the Cardinal made seven of their first 12 shots -- 5-of-8 on 3-pointers -- and forced five turnovers in the opening nine minutes.Rappahahn, who attempted and made a two-pointer for the first time since Jan. 1 against UCLA, scored a putback as time expired in the first half for a 39-27 lead at the break, the Cardinal's biggest advantage in the opening 20 minutes."That was very deflating, but I thought the whole first half for us was deflating," Oregon State coach LaVonda Wagner said. "We came out with good intensity, good energy and let them take us out of what we wanted to do. Turnovers have really hurt us."