5:00 PM ET, February 11, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- With No. 14 Stanford trailing midway through the second half, Candice Wiggins calmly sank a 3-pointer to tie the game. Seconds later she blocked a shot and got the rebound to set the stage for yet another victory.Wiggins scored 19 of her 25 points in the second half and Stanford survived its worst shooting game of the season to beat California 55-46 Saturday."Whenever we needed points, C.W. was right there to make baskets," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She's one of the most competitive players I've ever seen. She made some big 3's and she made her free throws."Cal coach Joanne Boyle knew the dangers of allowing Wiggins -- the Pac-10 scoring leader -- to get loose. The Bears were able to contain her until the final 13 minutes, in which Wiggins scored 11 points, including the defining 3-pointer."We talked about that," Boyle said. "There are certain kids who take over the game and she's a gamer. She hit that three and they got the momentum back. That was the key right there." Kristen Newlin added 10 points and nine rebounds as the Cardinal (18-5, 12-2 Pac-10) beat Cal for the 13th straight time. The win was VanDerveer's 500th in her 20th year at Stanford, and 652nd overall."When I look back at it I'll remember it because it was at Cal," she said. "We're going to have a great rivalry with Cal and that's what the Bay Area needs."Ashley Walker scored 12 points to lead the Bears (15-9, 7-7), who have lost three of four at home after winning the first nine. Devanei Hampton added 12 points and 12 rebounds to match Walker for the conference lead with eight double-doubles."Last year we didn't believe as much as this year's team," Cal senior Renee Wright said. "We truly believed we had a chance to beat Stanford. This one really hurts."Hampton and Boyle missed the first game against Stanford and also held a second-half lead in the contest."They have great players, All-Americans, but I feel we should have won," Hampton said. "They should play us man, see how it goes, instead of sagging off on us."Stanford was held to its season-low in points while shooting 38.8 percent, but the Cardinal defense allowed its lowest total since a season-opening 69-28 victory over Long Island."That last game gave them the confidence they could play with us," Wiggins said. "We started playing more relaxed and focused. We changed our mind-set and that got us going."Cal, which shot 27.6 percent, was ahead 30-27 before Stanford made its run, eventually taking a 49-39 lead into the final two minutes.Wiggins' long-range basket sparked an 11-1 run and Stanford led by at least six the rest of the way."I was upset with some of the knucklehead plays we made early," VanDerveer said. "People were trying to force things they don't usually do. In the second half, people focused better, made better decisions and we didn't turn the ball over."After Wiggins scored the first basket of the second half, Cal responded with eight straight points to go up 25-24 on Wright's jumper for the Bears' first lead of the game.The Cardinal missed nine of their first 11 shots of the second half, and the Bears began dominating the boards to help their surge.Stanford scored the game's first 12 points as Cal missed its first nine shots and scored for the first time on Walker's spin drive with 12:09 left in the half.Both teams struggled to score in the early going, with the Cardinal shooting just under 35 percent and the Bears shooting 25 percent. The teams also combined for 21 turnovers.Walker was a bright spot for the Bears, scoring 10 points and leading them back from the double-digit deficit to within 22-17 at halftime.The game attracted a Haas Pavilion record crowd for women's basketball of 4,859.