5:00 PM ET, January 13, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Winning isn't all that matters to Stanford coach Tara VanDerVeer. In her quest for perfection, it's how her players perform that counts."I was disappointed we were sloppy," VanDerVeer said after the 10th-ranked Cardinal overcame 20 turnovers to beat Washington State 63-55 and improve to 43-0 all-time against the Cougars.All-American Candice Wiggins missed the game with a sprained ankle, but freshman backcourt partner JJ Hones led Stanford (14-3, 7-0) with a season-high 17 points. Brooke Smith added 12 points, nine rebounds and career highs of 10 assists and seven steals in Stanford's 12th consecutive win.Marisa Stotler and Amanda DuRocher led Washington State (5-3, 1-7) with 17 points apiece. The Cougars have lost seven straight.The league leaders from Stanford bolted to 10-0 and 14-2 leads. The last-place Cougars missed 10 of 11 shots in the first 9 minutes and shot 32 percent for the game.The Cardinal led 24-8 before Washington State closed the first half with a 12-4 run to trail 28-20 at the break. Hones scored 14 points in the second half to help Stanford pull away."For 30 minutes, I thought the Cougars played a great game," Washington State coach Sherri Murrell said. "The Cougars came out and didn't think they could win."VanDerVeer and the Stanford players praised the Cougars."They play hard; they're a scrappy team," Smith said.But the Cardinal felt they could have played better."We didn't play the way we're capable of playing," Hones said."Without Candice, I thought we'd get some better play from some people," VanDerVeer said.The coach was delighted with the play of Hones and Smith. The 10 assists for Smith was particularly noteworthy, since she's a 6-foot-3 post player."She was spectacular," VanDerVeer said.Smith also made an impression on the Cougars' coach."Brooke Smith is a force with anybody they play," Murrell said.Stanford had beaten Washington State by an average of 29 points in 10 games since the Cardinal's last single-digit win over the Cougars, an 87-78 victory in 2001.