10:00 PM ET, February 23, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Candice Wiggins showed up at Wednesday's practice planning to watch a little video and take care of a stomach ailment. She canceled her viewing and went straight to bed.Wiggins returned with a vengeance on Thursday, scoring 18 of her 29 points in the first half in helping No. 15 Stanford beat Washington 100-69 on Thursday night and clinch a share of its record sixth straight title."I couldn't move (Wednesday)," Wiggins said. "I just lay there trying to get hydrated and stuff. I was kind of worried. I took a lot of medication and slept all day."When it came to game time, there was no way she was going to sit it out."I got a little dizzy before the game but by then it was too late," Wiggins said. "I think the competitive nature and the adrenaline outweighed any sickness or fatigue."Brooke Smith added 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Cardinal (20-6, 14-3 Pac-10), which won its 15th Pac-10 title overall. In the 20 years of its existence (for women), Stanford has only lost 11 games at home in conference play. The Cardinal extended its home streak against Pac-10 opponents to 45 straight."We wanted to get some momentum going into the tournament," Smith said. "We want to play up to our potential and this was a good start."Kristen Newlin scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half for Stanford, which reached the century mark for the first time since last Jan. 20 against UCLA. It was Washington's worst loss since a 93-62 loss to Arizona in 1998.Breanne Watson scored 12 points and Jill Bell and Andrea Plouffe each scored 10 points to lead Washington (18-8, 11-6), which beat the Cardinal earlier in the season and was looking for its first-ever season sweep of Stanford. The Huskies lost their seventh straight road game to the Cardinal."Losing is never fun and that loss was right before the Christmas break so we all remembered it a little more," Smith said. "It was definitely a motivating factor."Washington entered the game with an outside shot at tying for the title and will likely settle on the third seed for next week's conference tournament.Wiggins missed her first 3-point attempt and then made four straight to help Stanford open a 22-point advantage in the first half. After the fourth make, Washington's Cameo Hicks turned to her coach and threw up her arms."Sometimes you get frustrated when a team goes on a run," Hicks said. "But we have to be able to handle that. If she hits a big shot we need to hit one of our own."Hicks, who scored 23 points in Washington's earlier win over Stanford, returned to the lineup after missing a game with the stomach flu. She was held to eight points, her worst effort in conference play and ended a string of eight straight double-figure scoring games.Wiggins, who nursed a stomach ailment on Wednesday, matched her career high with seven 3-pointers. She sat out the final 8:50, when Plouffe left the game after taking an elbow to the chest. She sustained a deep bruise but is expected to play on Saturday."Their inside game was exceptional and then here comes Wiggins," Washington coach June Daughtery said. "She's that good. What makes them special is Wiggins."Stanford took control of the game with a 15-0 run midway through the first half. Wiggins and Smith combined for 12 of those points and the Cardinal held a 27-9 lead with 9:09 left in the half.The Huskies went over five minutes without scoring during that span.Stanford led at halftime 51-31.
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