5:00 PM ET, January 20, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer isn't particularly fond of how the ninth-ranked Cardinal are playing right now, even though they have the nation's third-longest active winning streak.After struggling in the first half against Oregon on Thursday, Stanford again stumbled out of the blocks against Oregon State on Saturday before rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit for a 69-55 victory."I hope we're not a team that needs a bloody nose before we start fighting," VanDerveer said after her team's 14th consecutive win. "It just points to maybe not understanding what it takes to play at a really high level, and that's disappointing."Brooke Smith had 17 points and nine rebounds for Stanford, which overcame its worst shooting half of the season after opening the game 10-of-30 from the floor.Candice Wiggins added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Cardinal (15-3, 8-0 Pac-10), despite playing on a sprained right ankle that limited her in practice this week.Casey Nash scored 20 points to lead Oregon State (7-10, 2-6), which remained winless at Maples Pavilion in 21 tries. The Beavers haven't beaten Stanford on any court since winning 81-65 on Jan. 11, 2001, in Corvallis, Ore. Since then, the Cardinal have won 13 straight against their conference foe.This one was a little more difficult than the previous 12, even though Oregon State was playing with a depleted lineup that forced coach LaVonda Walker to play two starters 40 minutes and two others 39 minutes.The Beavers, who had been beaten by an average of 32.2 points in their five previous trips to Maples Pavilion, took advantage of every Stanford mistake in the first half and overcame their own offensive problems to silence the home crowd while taking a 34-23 lead into the break.The 23 points were a season-low in any half this season for Stanford, which trailed at halftime for the first time since Dec. 30 against Arizona State."We had people making bad decisions and then we weren't finishing a lot of shots," VanDerveer said. "Oregon State just kind of came in with an attitude that, 'We're going to battle' and they did. We didn't handle the situation as well as we wanted. [But] we got it going and we just laid down the law."Stanford was much better offensively in the second half, going on a 20-6 run in the first 5:30 to take a 43-40 lead on Wiggins' 3-pointer. Smith then scored eight points to spark another Cardinal run before JJ Hones' driving layup pushed Stanford's lead to 61-50 with 4:04 remaining.After getting outrebounded by the smaller, less experienced Beavers in the first half, the Cardinal dominated the glass 26-5 in the second half, holding Oregon State to one offensive rebound.But it was Stanford's offense that sparked the turnaround. The Cardinal did not attempt a free throw in the second half, but shot 61.1 percent from the floor and led by as many as 16 points."Hopefully it will be sort of a wake-up call to us," Smith said. "Hopefully that makes us aware that we just can't go into games expecting to win, that we can't just go and expect to beat a team just because we're ranked higher."Jill Harmon added 13 points and six rebounds for Stanford, which has not lost since a 74-69 defeat at then-No. 8 Georgia on Nov. 26.The Cardinal were 10-of-30 from the field in the first half, missing several layups and putback attempts. They were outhustled by Oregon State, which had four steals and forced 10 Stanford turnovers.The Beavers had their own offensive problems for much of the first half, but pulled it together over the final 10 minutes to go on a 16-3 run and take a 34-23 lead into halftime."You knew at some point [the Cardinal] were going to make their run," Walker said. "They were very strong to the ball, very aggressive in the second half. They used their size."
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